Inner West Independent

New Balmain restaurant striving to tailor pizzas to the ‘people of this suburb’

A new pizza restaurant has opened on Darling Street. Photo: Supplied.


An innovative, eco-friendly pizza joint has opened in Balmain, founded by one of Sydney’s premier pizza chefs and promising a unique menu that honours local and Indigenous Australian ingredients.

The restaurant called Tipo “00” Balmain will function mainly as a takeaway option, with a few alfresco tables outside giving diners a prime view of the Darling Street strip. And the founders want you to know that no, it isn’t at all related to the Tipo00 chain in Melbourne. 

Gianluigi di Sarno, affectionately referred to by locals as ‘Gigi’, named the restaurant after the flour he uses in his pizza dough – a dough recipe he’s cultivated over years working at the helm of Sydney’s best chefs like Maurice Terzini, Luke Powell, and Monty Koludrovic. 

Photo: Supplied.

Gigi’s talents were recognised early on by hospitality entrepreneur Luke Powell, owner of LP Quality Meats, who opened Bella Brutta Pizzeria in Bondi with Gigi’s consultation, bringing him on as head pizza chef. 

Wanting to make pizza ‘for people of this suburb’

Hailing most recently from The Dolphin in Surry Hills, Gigi is bringing his skills as head pizza chef to Tipo “00” in conjunction with a desire to introduce innovative pizza ingredients like saltbush, homemade vegan cheese and Balmain bugs to the Inner West palate.

“I love this suburb – and I want to make everyone happy. Vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free. Everyone uses prawns or octopus in their pizza, but I want to make a pizza for people of this suburb – the Balmain pizza,” Gigi said of his Balmain bug hero ingredient.

“This isn’t going to be your typical pizza. I want to bring together two worlds of pizza flavours, the Italian and the Australian.”

Tipo’s takeaway-only business model has been designed with eco-consciousness in mind, with owners Gigi and Romano Pugliese emphasising the use of ‘organic boxes and cutlery’. 

“We’ll only be serving pizzas, two salads, and one special Nonna-made dessert,” Gigi said of the specially designed menu at Tipo “00”.

“I want to incorporate all the Indigenous natural ingredients and honour them in my menu. I’ll be using saltbush, natural yeast, caper berries [and] lemon myrtle. It won’t be your traditional Nutella pizzas that you can find anywhere else.”

The restaurant is effectively designed to be completely “COVID-proof”, with the takeaway business model ensuring that diners won’t have to miss out on their favourite pizzas if Sydney does happen to plunge into another lockdown in the future. 

Tipo “00” will be open from 4-10pm six days a week, livening up the west end of Darling Street with great music and even better pizza. 

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