I have found a counterpoint to New Zealand's Hell Pizza. It is Al Volo, a more traditional Italian pizzeria located in the greater Auckland area. I took a shot a writing my own review here: Al Volo Pizza, but perhaps their website, which has a spiffy animation of the pizzaiolo doing his thing, would be more informative: www.alvolo.co.nz.
No, Will, we think your take on it is more informative:
The pizzas were classic neapolitan pies--extra thin crust, measuring about 12" in diameter. According to the pizzaiolo, the oven ran on native manuka wood and burned somewhere between 300 and 400 degrees Centigrade (roughly 575 F to 750 F). The pies only were in the oven for two or three minutes before they were done. The crusts were crisp, if a little flimsy due to their thinness. However, the sauce was somewhat bland. This may have been related to the kind of tomatoes used (I couldn't say for sure), but it also suffered from an apparent lack of any seasoning. The difference between the cow and buffalo mozzarella was suprisingly clear when sampling them side by side with the buffalo possessing distinctive tang and a creamier texture. Olive oil proved to be an excellent addition to the Al Volo pie, while basil was key for the margherita, though it probably could've used a few more leaves.
AL VOLO PIZZA
Address: 27 Mount Eden Road; Auckland, New Zealand [map]
Phone: 09 302 2500
Al Volo Pizza [Cat Eats Brains]
Photograph of Al Volo pie by Will F.