It's been a long time since I sat in a restaurant incognito recording every detail to write a review. But when we went to Mullumbimby's favorite pizzeria I said to Pete (who has accompanied me on many reviews) let's pretend to do a review. Just for fun. Believe it or not, reviewing restaurants is work and not always fun.
When I worked as a reviewer for The Age Good Food Guide I was often asked about reviewing: does the restaurant know you are reviewing them? No. The aim is not to receive any special treatment in the hope of a favorable review. And yes the meals were paid for, out of my pocket and then I was reimbursed by The Age. The reviews for that guide are carried out annually over about a 3 month timeframe by a team of reviewers who are assigned various restaurants. One year I agreed to do 25 reviews which involves taking along a co-reviewer to assigned restaurants and ordering three courses each and then writing a review of 200 or so words that sets the scene - place and people- and carefully considers details of food and service...
So. Back to Milk and Honey in Mullumbimby.
If you want a seat in this pizzeria favored by locals make a booking or you will be leaving with take away. Folks with and without children start filling the wooden seats and cushioned benches from 5pm and as the tables turn, friendly and capable staff smile and ferry the wood-fired pizzas and farmer's market fresh salads to chatty customers seated at bare wood tables inside and out on the front pavement. We were there early but rumour has it as the night progresses so does the noise level, the space between tables and chairs is slim so hearing your neighbour (both on your own table and eavesdropping!) should still be easy. Located by a busy roundabout the glow of headlights flickers through the windows as cars round the bend.
The ruggedly handsome owner/head pizza chef gives George Clooney a run for his pizza in the looks department and as for his pizzas? If crisp, thin crusted pizza covered simply but generously with combos such as roasted tomato sauce, dotted with olives, torn basil, pancetta and mozzarella cheese, or roasted pumpkin and goats cheese is your preferred style then make that booking. And arrive hungry. The large circumference of Milk and Honey pizzas ensures you leave with a satisfying "I've just eaten pizza feeling". The house made chocolate mousse is worth saving room for. For those who like vino with their pizza Milk and Honey is BYO and I can recommend the 2009 organic shiraz made by Organic One that I picked up at The Middle Pub bottleshop around the corner in Burringbar Street.
Milk and Honey
5/59 Station Street Mullumbimby NSW 2482