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Here is a recent article written by Cal Wilson which gives you an insight into Motorino.
I love pizza. My first encounter with it was the homemade version my mother used to make, with baked beans on a hamburger bun, covered in melted cheese. If you were lucky, you might get spaghetti and melted cheese instead. A lottery-winning level of luck would bring you snipped up bits of bacon as well.
Mum called this concoction pizza, but all it really had in common with real pizza was its ability to strip the skin off the roof off your mouth if you got stuck into it too soon. It's always much harder to enjoy a meal when there are pieces of skin dangling down like the fly-strips in a fish 'n' chip shop doorway.
I don't remember when I had my first real pizza. No, actually, I do. It was at Northlands Pizza Hut in Christchurch in 1982, and I'm pretty sure it was Hawaiian. It wasn't a great start. I respect pineapple as a fruit, but it has no business on a pizza. I'm also not convinced by flavours like cranberry. I always imagine the other toppings going: ''You're jam. What are you doing here?''
Living in the west, it's exciting when you find great pizza without having to venture over the bridge. Living in the west, it's also exciting to wake up in the morning and find you've still got a car.
We've tried a few pizza joints around our area, and never found one we loved. Mostly it seems to be the sort of pizza that's so salty it sucks every bit of moisture out of your body overnight, and you wake up in the morning with dehydrated eyeballs and a pizza hangover.
So, I'm pretty excited to have discovered Motorino, a fabulous pizza restaurant in South Kingsville. I use the term ''discovered'' in the same way that I did when I discovered Stairway to Heaven in 1985, and thought I'd found a cool song no one else had ever heard of. Judging by the fact that Motorino has been packed every time we've been, I'm equally on the ball with this discovery.
The staff are lovely, the pizzas are great, with beautiful thin crusts, and interesting, but not ludicrous toppings (my current favourite is Smashed Sicilian Green Olive with pesto, ricotta and chilli). They do pasta too, which looks amazing, but I have to admit, I've yet to make it past the pizza.
The biggest issue with Motorino is having to pace yourself, so you have enough room for the equally delicious dessert pizza (it's interesting that dessert pizza works as a concept, but dessert pasta, not so much).
Whenever I write about a restaurant, I feel like I should be bandying about terms such as ''relaxed atmosphere'', ''reasonably priced'' and ''my charming dinner companion''.
As it happens, all those things apply to Motorino, although my charming dinner companion was a small boy who kept trying to wash his hands in his orange juice.
Motorino opens at 5pm and, as chief of staff to a four-year-old, I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. We've become experts at the Ninja dinner: get in as soon as the restaurant opens and eat fast.
If you're really good, you can sneak in with a milk delivery and be seated before the staff have even got their aprons on. Ninja dinners mean we get to enjoy a meal with our small son and be gone again, without bothering all the people who are having a night out that's actually at night.
Motorino is definitely kid-friendly, without being adult-hostile. There's a massive blackboard down the back for the kids to draw on, still in sight of the main restaurant, but far enough away that you don't end up covered in chalk dust.
I'm a big fan of tablecloths you can draw on. When you're actually allowed to, it's even better. Every table is covered with butcher's paper, and has a basket of crayons. Drawing on a tablecloth while you're waiting makes a nice change from playing on your phone. I drew a phone on the tablecloth. It couldn't receive calls, but with my provider, that's about par for the course.
The last time we went, they gave the two smallest members of our group a ball of pizza dough to play with, while we waited for our meals to arrive.
This was brilliant, just by itself, but when their dough was taken away to be cooked, and returned drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with icing sugar for dessert, the kids lost their minds.
I don't know whether Motorino does this all the time or whether I've just outed their secret weapon, but next time we go back I'm dressing like a child to see if I can get one myself.
©2010-2011 Food by Motorino