Artisan Pizzeria at Wamberal Beach
Everything about Lagune, Wamberal oozes passion and quality. Learning at the knee of his Italian grandfather in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Alex Benedictas has created a new chapter of artisan pizza here on the Central Coast. Opening early 2020, Lagune has quickly established itself as the go-to place for authentic pizza.
Having migrated to Australia years earlier and having worked in various corporate roles, Alex found the opportunity to move his young family to the Central Coast and open a pizzeria with his friends Luiz and Chef Rey. Before you even enter Lagune, you can see that they are serious about pizza.
Dominating the restaurant window is a Stefano Ferrara pizza oven, a specialist import from Naples that took over 6 months to arrive at its new beachside home. With the help of architect Melissa Ward, this oven has transpired into a centerpiece, donning signature blue mosaic tiles over the igloo-like shaped oven and proudly hosting the pizzeria’s name Lagune.
Alex knew the importance of having the best tools he could find and traveled to Naples, Italy – where pizza originated from - to study at the acclaimed Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) and achieved his certification in traditional Napolitana pizza making.
Bringing this expertise back to our shores, we are welcomed into this warm nook of a pizzeria where tables are bustling from mid-afternoon till late and take-a-ways are a unique concept.
Wanting to ensure you get the freshest pizza possible, the team wait until you arrive for pick up and only then cook your pizza (a mere 90 seconds in the 400-degree wood fire oven), so it is as fresh as possible when you arrive home.
There are no shortcuts at Lagune, with Alex and team starting early to prepare for the night ahead. Be it the traditional fresh pizza dough made daily, or the toppings that are cut and cooked in the woodfire oven for the day’s service. We suggest the Norma with freshly cooked eggplant, mozzarella, Grana Padano parmesan, chilli flakes and olive oil; and the Toscana - a Bianche Pizza – no tomato base that showcases oven-roasted zucchini, fresh cherry tomatoes, Sicilian pork sausage, scamorza, ricotta, herbs and truffle oil.
If you have never had a Calzone before, this traditional Italian folded pizza is kept simple with a filling of Ricotta, Fior di Latte mozzarella, salami, Grana Padano parmesan, and basil – delicious!
When we talk about the wine list, Alex explains “Chianti is very popular, it is organic and balanced, you don’t want a heavy wine with Pizza” and it should be as it’s a traditional Italian wine that matches the authentic experience perfectly.
Continuing with fresh produce, even with the limited space Alex has ensured the pizzeria has not one but three beer taps with a signature Lagune Lager by Bay Rd. Brewing available the day we visit. The taps are in constant rotation with other local brewery Six Strings and Fosters Coastal Brewing making appearances.
Before we finished talking with Alex, I had to ask the potentially relationship ending question “Do you put pineapple on a pizza?” …there was a pause followed by an eloquent response “We have no judgement of people who like pineapple on their pizza but there’s no fruit on our pizza, no figs, no apple, no pineapple”. Glad we cleared that up!
From a casual family pizza night to a special date night, Lagune is a pizzeria that will cater for everything and leave you with a memorable experience.