MEJ Masthead

Ainslie’s new Mama Dough

Emma Macdonald

There’s never been a better time to eat in Ainslie.

Pulp Kitchen has just picked up a chef’s hat, Edgar’s Inn is about to reopen after the building above it had to undergo some asbestos removal, you can get authentic Brittanic crepes at Breizh, grab a trolley of imported French cheese or proudly local product at the IGA, and did we mention the grog shop?

Now the mother of all pizza joints is about to open.

Well, actually, it’s pretty tiny. But it promises to be a popular fixture in an already busy suburban shopping centre.

You may think there is a hint of self-interest in Mama Dough – the latest venture from well-known restaurateur Frank Condi. He moved to Ainslie almost a decade ago and finds Civic and Braddon a bit of a “rat race”.

“I think Ainslie is growing up now – it just needs pizza,” he laughs.

Giovani Auzino

Giovanni Auzino

The hospitality brain behind Edgar’s, Shorty’s, Public and clubs including Academy and Mr Wolf, Frank has kept things simple for this latest development.

Mama Dough is located in a small strip of building between Pulp Kitchen and Edgar’s, with a nice, wide bit of footpath on which 20 seats will be placed. Inside, in a skinny hallway holds three small benches off a panelled wall. That makes 26 seats in all.

At the end of the strip resides an impressive pizza oven. The imported Italian Forno Bravo looks like it could pump out some perfectly crisp bases in pretty short time. In control will be master pizza-maker Giovanni Auzino, ably assisted by Jongwon Back.


Their mother dough takes pride of place on a slab of marble and Giovanni promises that quality pizza starts from the base, with simple and fresh ingredients enhancing that authentic flavour. These include some mouth-watering combinations including porcini cream, smoked mozzarella, and basil, or fior di late, pistachio pesto, sopressa and cherry tomatoes.

Under a section marked “Unusual” you will find pizza toppings including zucchini, calamari, roast potato and fried basil, and one that is sure to be a hit on grand final nights (or the night after the day before) sausage chips and smoked mozzarella.

Desserts include an astounding “Pizzamisu” of Nutella and ricotta calzone with hazelnut and mascarpone custard. Tiramisu will come in standard flavours, salted caramel and strawberry.

Giovani Auzino, Frank Condi and Jongwon Back.

Giovanni Auzino, Frank Condi and Jongwon Back.

A selection of antipasto – cured meats, house marinated olives, bruschettas and wood-fired flatbreads complete the authentic Italian menu.

Mama Dough will offer two white wines, two red wines and two beers and will cater for takeaway orders if the 26 seats are snaffled before you can grab one.

the essentials

What: Mama Dough
Where: 3 Edgar Street, Ainslie.
When: From 5pm-late daily.
Phone: 6248 0591


Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism - including a Walkley or two - along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials. More about the Author