A New York-style pizza joint has opened in Sydney’s CBD, with excited foodies queuing for hours to get their hands on a slice of pizza.
Oti’s, a branch of the famous Merivale restaurant Totti’s, is takeout only and sells sandwiches in addition to Roman-style pizza.
The Italian joint is the latest offering from the hospitality giant owned by billionaire pub baron Justin Hemmes.
It opened to a huge crowd on Wednesday, and the sandwiches sold out within 90 minutes of opening.
The menu, designed by Totti’s chef Mike Eggert, consists of sandwiches on a specialized Tuscan flatbread called schiacciata, as well as pizzas.
It will change daily, with pizza apiece costing $12-$15 and sandwiches costing customers $15-$20.
A New York pizza joint has opened in Sydney’s CBD, with excited Australians queuing for hours to get their hands on a slice
Oti’s, a branch of Totti’s, is takeout only and sells sandwiches in addition to Roman-style pizza. The Italian tent is the newest restaurant of the Merivale group, owned by billionaire pub baron Justin Hemmes
It is the sixth Totti’s restaurant to open in Sydney. Being smaller than the other locations, it is shortened to ‘Oti’ – the middle of the word Totti.
The Italian eatery is known for its wood-fired bread and long waits for tables, often booking up to two months in advance.
Mr Eggert said he wants his food to be more accessible to everyone.
The restaurant is in the site of the former Lorraine’s Patisserie shop in Palings Lane off George Street. Lorraine’s closed last year when pastry chef Lorraine Godsmark retired.
Mr Eggert said opening a slice pizza and Italian sandwich concept is a passion project he’s wanted to do for years.
“When Lorraine (Godsmark) retired, I was given the enviable position of coming up with a new concept for space,” he told FEMAIL.
The menu changes daily, with Roman-style pizza apiece (pictured) costing $12-$15 and sandwiches costing customers $15-$20
The newest branch of the Merrivale group, called Oti’s, is takeout only and sells sandwiches in addition to Roman-style pizza. The mortadella and burrata sandwich is pictured
“This concept of a pizza slice and an Italian sandwich shop is a passion project that Justin (Hemmes) and I have talked about for years, so it’s surreal that we’re finally doing it.”
“We like the atmosphere of Jimmy’s Falafel and how people line up on George Street for the takeaway offerings, so we hope to have similar success with Oti,” he added.
The shop sells meat sandwiches, including prosciutto, salami, and mortadella, which are sliced directly onto the fresh schiacciata sandwiches and hot-slab pizzas, before being topped with at least one of eight cheeses on offer, including the region’s signature burrata. Mr Eggert.
Vegetarian fillings and toppings are also on the menu for vegetarians, including mixed olives and capers.
Mr Hemmes released Mr Eggert to ‘do something crazy’ and suggested they open a bakery on the Pallings Lane site.
Sydney billionaire Justin Hemmes is photographed with girlfriend Madeline Holtznagel in December 2022
“I deviated to a sandwich and pizza menu to save myself. I’m the worst baker,’ Mr Eggert told the Daily telegram.
“For me, I just want as many people as possible to try my food. I mean whether it’s good times or bad, I know that a good slice of pizza and bread is always within reach,” he added.
The chef added that he will keep the sandwiches “simple” with a mortadella sandwich on top consisting of “two ingredients on warm crusty bread” a step away from “giant sandwiches that fit so much” that “has become a trend in Sydney in the past five years’.
As for the pizza, Mr Eggert has kept the ‘classic Totti’s combo’ on the menu.
‘We have a mix of cheeses with burrata as a base, stracchino, ricotta and parmesan. It melts and holds together better with a combo. We also have garlic and kombu (Japanese seaweed) on it,” he told the The Sydney Morning Herald.
The Merrivale group, which owns more than 80 locations in Sydney, is led by billionaire Hemmes.
Many of Sydney’s most famous restaurants are owned by the group, including the Coogee Pavillion, The Allawah and The Beresford Hotel.