Takeaway Truth: Domino’s Chef’s Best Pepperoni & Parmesan Pizza

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: Domino’s Chef’s Best Pepperoni & Parmesan Pizza.

Fast food restaurants have been known to gild the lily when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we’ve decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

Domino’s seems pretty proud of its Chef’s Best pizzas. Boasting square bases and premium toppings such as Camembert cheese and duck, the new range has been enthusiastically billed as the biggest “game changer” to hit the company in 20 years. Remove the hype, and they’re basically just Crust pizzas for the budget set.

We put the Chef’s Best range under the a Takeaway Truth spotlight when the pizzas first came out. We were a more innocent bunch back then, and the pizza received a slightly overgenerous Truth Rating of 8/10. On reflection, it probably deserved a 6 or 7.

Domino’s recently updated its Chef’s Best offerings, so we figured it was nigh time that we revisited the range. The hero of the new bunch is the Pepperoni & Parmesan which comes with extra mozzarella and jumbo-sized pepperoni baked with grated parmesan cheese.

The new pizza looks like a work of art in the advertisement — we defy anyone to watch this clip without their mouth watering. But how does it actually stack up in reality?

Here’s the Chef’s Best Pepperoni & Parmesan Pizza as it appears in Domino’s advertising:

And here’s what we were served from an Emu Plains outlet in NSW:

Finally, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the poster image and actual pizza:

As you can see, our Pepperoni & Parmesan Pizza wasn’t nearly as sumptuous looking as we were led to believe by Domino’s marketing material. The grated parmesan is barely visible, the pepperoni has been laid with less care (there’s also less of it) and the mozzarella is far less generous.

Note the abundant strands of cheese in the marketing image compared to the real thing. This had nothing to do with temperature — the excess mozzarella simply wasn’t there. Indeed, our whole pizza looked a lot drier and less appetising. (The massive amount of steam in the advert is a bit ridiculous too: we highly doubt it looks like that even when you pull it out of the oven.)

All in all, the Chef’s Best Pepperoni & Parmesan Pizza isn’t the worst example of unscrupulous fast food advertising we’ve seen, but there’s way too much steam-and-mirrors going on for our liking.

Truth Rating: 6/10

Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.

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