We needed a pre-gig dinner near the Gasometer and Red Sparrow fit the bill perfectly. They've doubled their floorspace since we last visited, but they still had to squish us in on a pretty busy Saturday evening.
We split a couple of pizzas and a side between three of us, starting with one of the specials - The Zoe ($22). It comes with a pesto base, fior di latte, cherry tomatoes, mock bacon, mushrooms, pine nuts and basil.
This was solid - the bases at Red Sparrow are excellent, but the fillings were a bit lacking in punchy flavours. The risk of mock cheese and mock meat is that things get a bit samey - I wonder if punching this one up with some tabasco or a sprinkling of olives might have helped?
Our other pizza had no problems with flavour - the sausage pizza comes with a tomato and bbq base, house pickled jalapenos, red onion, mozzarella and aioli (plus sausage of course, $20).
This is one of the best vegan pizzas in town - highly, highly recommended.
We finished things off with a serve of the buffalo fried chicken from the specials menu ($12). These little drumsticks came with a super spicy sauce slathered on them, with a ranch dipping sauce to take the heat down and some house pickles to cut through all the fried. I loved these, but the hot sauce will be too much for some people.
It's great to see Red Sparrow doing so well - they make really fantastic vegan pizzas. They're better in the shop than delivered - the bases really are spectacular fresh out of the oven. We'll be back!
Read about our first visit to Red Sparrow here. Since then there have been positive reviews on Whatever Floats Your Bloat and Vegan in Brighton.
Red Sparrow Pizza
406 Smith St, Collingwood
Accessibility: There's a flat entryway into a fairly crowded interior, plus some tables on the street. Seating is a mix of high stools and regular tables and payment happens at a high counter. The toilets are unisex, but in a pretty inaccessible courtyard out the back.