A new Joburg pizzeria you won’t get O’ver

Posted on 27 August 2019

Described by an Italian as the ‘best real Italian pizza in Joburg’ and as ‘perfect’ by another reviewer on Trip Advisor, Joburg’s new pizzeria, called O’ver, was opened by Lisa Stofella (26) in June – on the same day she found out that she was one of the Miss South Africa 2019 top 16 finalists.

Although she didn’t win the crown, she was more than happy to return to her pizzeria, a project born out of a passion for authentic Neopolitan pizza and the destire to put her financial management degree to work. We find out more about O’ver’s genuine Neopolitan-inspired pizza and exactly where to find it.

What led you to open a pizzeria?

For two reasons. Firstly a love of pizza and a strong entrepreneurial drive to put my financial management degree to work on something I am passionate about. Heart and mind is my approach to all things. And secondly, having spent some time in Naples recently opened me up to the differences between pizza in Italy and pizza in South Africa; I wanted to bring that degree of dedication to the craft back home. Working with two consultants, one of whom is Neopolitan born and bred, and both of whom are equally passionate about creating the genuine thing, I was able to leverage my background and understanding of the local market to put out a product that is equal parts authentic to its origins and appreciative of its current locale.

What is the name of your pizzeria?

It is called O’ver Pizza. In local Neapolitan dialect ‘O’ver’ is a used to refer to a person, place or thing as legitimate, true, the real deal. In English we would say ‘for real’. In this case, it refers to the authenticity of the pizza we serve and the genuine passion to share this experience with people in Joburg; giving customers a taste of something totally different to other current offerings.

How many pizzas are on the menu?

The menu currently features seven pizzas. The aim is to keep it simple with a little something to suit every taste. We have the classics – the traditional staples that never change such as Margarita, Diavola, Ortolana (mixed vegetables) and the Calzone (fold-over) and then our signatures, where we have more room to experiment with a fusion of Italian and South African flavors such as the La Messicana (chicken, avo and sour cream) and the Short Rib (pulled beef and caramelised onions). The signatures will change periodically depending on what ingredients are in season and what we feel our customers are asking for. Also, the meats we use are all halal so everyone can enjoy the pizza they really want.

Is it true that you opened your pizza on the same day you found out you were going to be a Miss South Africa finalist.

Yes, 27 June is definitely a day for the books now! In one day I realised two of my biggest lifelong dreams – launching my first project and qualifying for the finals of Miss SA. I can’t even begin to describe how overcome with joy I was in that moment. After many attempts at starting my own business and my second try for Miss SA, this was a life lesson for me to keep striving towards my dreams; never give up, never compromise. Believe in yourself and in the merit of your hard work to help you achieve your goals.

What is your favourite pizza?

I’m a purist, I’ll always go for the Margarita, it’s the best way to measure a pizzeria. The simplicity of the ingredients on a Margarita allows the technique and quality of the pizza to shine through. If you have a Margarita and it’s good, you know this is the place to come back to again and again. I love how laid back it is as a pizza – just the highest quality Italian tomatoes and fresh mozzarella finished with extra virgin olive oil and basil on a good base…it’s all about that base. It should be very light, airy yet still maintain that trademark crunch when you bite into the crust. It’s the perfect explosion of flavours with every mouthful.

Is there any topping you don’t eat on a pizza?

Seafood on a pizza, I’m definitely not a fan.

Thick or thin base?

Thin base always. I love when you can bite into a pizza and get a slight crunch that then dissolves in your mouth, like a cloud. I also prefer the rich flavour you get from a naturally leavened dough made with stone-ground flour… like we do at O’ver.

Finally – and most importantly – where can Joburgers find O’ver Pizza?

The shop is just outside the new Food Lover’s Market at Brightwater Commons on Republic Road – where the Randburg Waterfront used to be. You can also find us at the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein on Saturdays.


Images: supplied

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