We were approached to try the new Domino’s Chef’s Best range. Lex loves pizza and has an entire spiel about the varying “levels” of pizza (frozen, takeaway, gourmet etc.) but has never been a fan of Domino’s. The guys at work on the other hand love all kinds of pizza, including Domino’s. What most guys love about Domino’s is simple: the price. What could their new “Chef’s Best” range bring to the table? I decided to put the new range head to head with the venerable Crust Pizza.
It was a simple pizza and games night given a little twist. Three of the new Domino’s Chef’s Best range put directly up against three of the long serving Crust Pizza range. I thought what better way to judge how the new range from Domino’s performed than have a group of guys, who are in the target demographic, compare the two vendors.
As soon as I was handed the Domino’s boxes I was quite surprised by how small they seemed. However, opening them up revealed some pretty good looking pizzas – FAR better than I’d anticipated. The Crust pizzas were much bigger, although they were large size (as opposed to the Domino’s Chef’s Best which only comes in one size) but of a similar price point. I was disappointed by the Crust pizzas’ appearance, they looked pretty ordinary, rather dry and a little unappealing.
But final decisions had to come down to taste…
Domino’s – BBQ Duck & Blue Cheese ($10.95 pick-up / $19.95 delivered).
Since I’d not chosen the Domino’s pizzas I decided to do the same for the Crust pizzas. Part of the fun was working out what each of them were. First up was a Domino’s pizza. Visually it was quite evident this was a meat pizza and on close inspection I was met was a hefty waft of blue cheese. In tasting, the blue cheese was quite dominant, so much so it did cover up most of the other flavours. I did find it hard to pinpoint the duck behind the bacon, BBQ sauce and blue cheese. Overall it was nice but not what I had hoped.
Domino’s – Deli Vege & Camembert ($10.95 pick-up / $19.95 delivered).
Second up for Domino’s was quite a smooth and creamy pizza; nothing to write home about on outstanding flavours, but it was such a nice and easy going cheesy pizza. For me this was my favourite of the Chef’s Best range, something that is typically not Domino’s – a vegetarian option that offers a good all-round experience that doesn’t leave you feeling jipped.
Domino’s – Chicken & Camembert ($10.95 pick-up / $19.95 delivered).
And the final Domino’s pizza? Well, by letting the crew at Domino’s decide on the selection it took a bit of investigating to find out what the third pizza actually was. When we worked it out again the bacon seemed more prevalent than the chicken, and not just visually. The intensity of it overpowered the scarce pieces of chicken so much so you may not have even noticed them. My least favourite of the Domino’s three.
Crust – Mediterranean Lamb ($21.00 large).
When the guys at work chose the lamb pizza from Crust I was excited, it is such a great pizza and my all-time favourite from all of the pizza franchises out there. Right away it felt that visually the Crust pizzas were inferior and though the lamb did look good it was lacking the flair of the Chef’s Best range. But the proof is in the pudding… Intense yet balanced is the best way to describe it, a big lamb hit combined with carefully selected ingredients to balance it all and make it as awesome as ever. My favourite pizza of the night.
Crust – Mexican ($21.00 large).
Second up for Crust was the Mexican. Spicy pizzas are always top of my pizza list: jalapenos, beef/pepperoni and chilli work so well together on a cheesy pizza. Honestly this pizza looked pretty average; it seemed to lack topping and appeared rather overcooked. But while it looked pretty bad it still tasted great. It wasn’t dry as I had thought it would be and had enough heat to at least let me know it was there.
Crust – BBQ Chicken ($21.00 large).
The final Crust pizza was one I would never in a million years order, it is just so boring and not my style but as I’d let the guys choose I couldn’t avoid it. I made sure it was ordered with the optional feta but as soon as I looked at it I knew it would be lacking. Much like the Mexican it looked pretty bad, definitely not a good bunch from the crew at Crust. Overall it was everything I knew it would be – bland, dry and so very meh.
It was a fun little experiment and one that I thought would be very biased. Domino’s surprised me with their Chef’s Best range, especially in the presentation. But in the end the one thing I took away from the new Chef’s Best range is this: it still tastes like Domino’s. Love it or hate it.
A Food Story sampled Domino’s pizzas courtesy of Domino’s.
230 Elizabeth Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 8255 7444
208 Harris Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009
(02) 9566 1933
Crust Pizza Website