It sounded cool. Pizza - which, as everyone knows, can be amazing when done properly - in a favourite old haunt of mine in Collingwood, just one block down from Smith St, with fluoro lights and even a disco ball, to boot. But there were a few things about Lazerpig Pizza Parlour (9-11 Peel St, Collingwood) that just didn't sit right with me.
Occupying the site that used to house a great (albeit quiet) little pub, the Star, halfway down the notorious Peel St, Lazerpig is in a fairly accessible Collingwood spot. Its corner entrance is clearly marked by a fluorescent flying pig overhead. I'm yet to find a good explanation of the restaurant name (possibly something to do with gaming?!) - but it's certainly memorable.
Lazerpig is the newest venture of the Grace Darling crew, which I found surprising, because I thought the Grace Darling was a fairly classic operation, and I didn't get the impression Lazerpig was being run very well, when I was there. Service was haphazard, verging on rude - it was hard to flag staff down to order or pay. (Rude staff is actually something both venues share, come to think of it.) We were seated in a dodgy table near the steps, which meant every time someone passed, we nearly toppled over.
The look they are going for is somewhere between traditional Italian trattoria, American ranch, and '70s disco dive bar. Think red checkered tablecloths, low lighting, exposed brick walls, taxidermy, old antique pictures, fluoro signs, disco ball. I found it all very entertaining, but at the same time didn't feel very comfortable. I'm not even sure what kind of occasion this place would be good for. Loud raucous group dinner? It's too loud for a date. Drinking with a side of pizza? Apparently they do DJ nights and stuff... makes sense with the disco ball. (I know I'm mentioning that a lot - it's probably the coolest bit. To me.)
The food is supposed to be the saving grace here and although the pizza names were fun (The Fun Guy for a mushroom pizza, the Prawn Fraser, etc), I didn't find the food amazing either. We shared an entree of fried whitebait which was tasty, but a bit samey, and came out lukewarm. The pizzas were good - I did enjoy my Broc Steady, featuring broccoli and zucchini, something different on a pizza - but frankly I prefer the Baden Powell's, a few blocks away (even though you have to slice them yourself there!).
Most places I blog about, I tend to hit up twice before blogging. This gives me a better idea of the overall feel, and I don't like making false accusations based on circumstances of one particular night.* But I think I got a pretty good idea of Lazerpig, and honestly, I don't have any real desire to return. I'm sure it's a hit with some funky hipsters, but there wasn't enough goodness there to entice me back anytime soon. Shame, since it had seemed so promising.
Lazerpig is open seven days a week.
*Disclaimer! I would just like to clarify that I have never claimed to be a professional critic, and most of the time in my blog posts, I hardly mention the food - what would I know about food preparation? I just eat it! Nevertheless, I go out often enough that I can compare and contrast what I liked or didn't like about certain venues: considering their decor, service, accessibility, price, atmosphere. THAT'S the aim of this blog: to share what I think about places I've been. Please don't call me a food blogger!