Located in the busy Newmarket area, this is a hidden gem within the Auckland culinary scene. Touted as serving the best pizzas in Auckland, this restaurant certainly does not disappoint. And as soon as my eating companions and I set foot into this eatery, we were greeted with a warm smile, by the restaurant’s Italian boss and the staff. I was immediately impressed.
So did the food match the service?
The restaurant serves a variety of pizzas, pastas and a good selection of meat dishes, as well as a decent assortment of delicious entrees and sweet desserts. But as their name suggests, their speciality is their thin-crusted wood fire pizzas, which are prepared the traditional way using coal and cooked inside a large wood fire oven.
On our two visits to this restaurant, we had two types of pizzas and pastas plus three types of desserts. These are as follows.
Proseiutto cotto e fungi Pizza (NZD26.50)
This pizza is served with Proscuitto (Italian) Ham, field mushrooms, tomato, parmesan (a type of cheese) and delicious mozzarella cheese, to top it all off. The moment I took a bite of this pizza, I was completely blown away! The strong flavours of the mushrooms and ham really complement each other very well. At the same time, this pizza does not feel too rich to the taste buds, and this makes it extremely satisfying.
As well, the pizza crust is really scrumptious. It is extremely crispy on the edges, and the centre retains its texture and moisture, without getting too soggy, like some other pizzas that I have tasted in the past. This pizza is completely irresistible, with the crunchy crust complementing the juicy and moist mushroom, ham and tomato fillings.
Mediteranneo Pizza (NZD23.50)
Prepared with Pancetta (bacon), tomato, pecorino (a type of cheese), mozzarella and rosemary, this pizza is delicious, but I must admit that it was not quite as good as the Proseiutto pizza. While it was very tasty, the flavour of the bacon was quite overpowering and it seemed to drown out the other flavours in this pizza. However, the crust was just as good and crunchy as the Proseiutto pizza, especially the crunchy edges.
Prawn Linguini (NZD28.50)
Once again, I was completely blown away by this delicious and scrumptious pasta, which comprised of sauteed prawns with spinach, cherry tomatoes, coriander and topped with lemon wedges. The pasta was served in the traditional al dente style and the added vegetables and herbs complemented the flavours of the pasta very nicely. Finally, the prawns, which were juicy and moist, added a very scrumptious touch to this lovely dish. At the same time, none of the flavours overpowered each other and I found this to be very pleasant to my taste buds.
Spaghetti Bolognese (NZD21.00)
This is the traditional Italian pasta dish, of spaghetti served with minced beef in tomato sauce. The spaghetti was good and served al dente style, and the beef was very moist and juicy, which was good, but I found the Bolognese sauce to be just a little too rich for my taste buds.
This is one of the classic Italian desserts – a sponge finger biscuit soaked in in mascarpone and espresso liqueur and topped with delicious coffee sauce. I definitely thought this dessert was delicious. The flavours all blended in quite well together and the cake was really moist and creamy, which was very good. At the same time, the texture of the sponge was very soft and moist – which I loved.
Creme Caramel (NZD12.50)
A custard-based dessert containing caramel and topped with a generous amount of sweet caramel sauce, I found this to be very smooth, creamy and moist. In fact, when I took a forkful, the dessert melted in my mouth, and that was a very pleasant sensation. However, I have one gripe about this dessert – it was a tad too sweet for my liking. I thought it would be perfect, if salted caramel had been used instead. But otherwise, this is a very pleasant dessert and I would probably try it again.
Tartin Tart (NZD12.50)
This was a deliciously fruity sour apple and pear pie, prepared by caramelising the fruits and finally, placing it on top of some deliciously buttery pastry. At Archie’s Pizzeria, this was served with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream, which went very well together with the scrumptious fruity tart. The sourness of the fruits and the dry, buttery French pastry created a perfect harmony with the moist, melt-in-the-mouth ice cream, creating a divine sensation of textures and flavours for the taste buds. As well, I could also detect some rum flavour in this otherwise classic French dessert – perhaps the eatery had added a Kiwi touch to the yummy sweet treat.
As I mentioned, the service here is outstanding. The staff really try to go all out to make their customers feel welcome and this turns dining here into a very pleasurable experience. They greet customers warmly at both the beginning and end of the meal, and this feeling makes me want to return to this eatery again and again. Moreover, they offer good service. When my companion thought he may have left his jacket behind at the restaurant, the service staff tried to ask around for who had seen it. In the end, he found the jacket somewhere else, but I was still impressed with this eatery’s post-service standards.
If you happen to be in Newmarket, Auckland, I definitely recommend this gem of a restaurant. The food indeed matches up to the great service standards and you will feel very welcome here. As for the dishes, you should order the Prawn Linguine and the Proseiutto pizza and end with the Tarin Tart and you will almost certainly not go wrong, in terms of tastes and flavours.
Archie’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria @ Newmarket
Address: 61-73 Davis Crescent, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
Phone: +64 2 09-523 5111