I thought I had dinner already scoped out for the night with The Boy. We planned to meet up after my squash game at the Uni and go for Pho on Lygon Street. No, you didn’t hear me wrong. I wanted Vietnamese in Melbourne’s most famous Pizza mile…yeah. My squash mates had different ideas and convinced us to change plans to go and get Pizza.
But Pizza in Lygon Street? My experiences have always been bad. I mean, I like pizza (who doesn’t?) – but only in Italy. I’m a pizza snob; yes I am. Lygon Street is, for me, like running the gauntlet past various old Italian spruikers (and they’re not even attractive, unlike the ones in Hardware Lane) who are trying to pass off their various La Porchetta-like restaurants as authentic. Or any good at all.
This little eatery at the top of Bourke Street is a reliable choice at pretty much any time of day, for any occasion. I’ve come here for the odd sneaky dessert, as well as for dinner (on dates, some good, others not so much…) and a good morning tea coffee the time we strategically left the building before the fire drill started (I have friends in high places, what can I say? Haha). I’d never come for lunch before, but it was actually a marvellous surprise.
Our team at work went to celebrate H’s leaving us and A and I getting qualified. Yes, so many celebratory meals! You have to have a good reason to go out all the time… and this was certainly well worth it. We took up the whole of the giant table upstairs – I didn’t even know it was up there, but easily caters to large groups.
We left it up to the boss to order a smattering of different entrees, which included the incredible croquettes (with harissa sauce, absolutely melt in your mouth), Polenta chips with aioli – polenta is a huge tick in my book, any day of the week, and these were the perfect crispness from the pan and soft polenta centres, with incredibly lip-smacking aioli. The calamari fritti with tartare and roquette was certainly the most delicious calamari I’ve had this year, hands down. I don’t know where they’re sourcing their ingredients but these were fresh, soft and tasty. Sadly, no photo, but the croquettes were pretty photogenic:
One of my mates at work came up to me the other day and wanted to know if I’d been to Lupino (it’s just a short walk down from the office). He said he ‘fluked’ booking a good restaurant when he recently took his parents out to dinner and they all had an exceptionally good meal; pizza, pasta… not to mention the desserts.
I went with my drinking parter L, and because we rocked up without a booking we were seated up at the bar, where we could watch the chefs work their magic with some pasta.
Do you like beer? Do you like pizza? Here’s a very simple idea for dinner then: get yourself down to the British Crown.
They do $3 pizzas. And guess what? They’re not bad, either! The bases are very thin and kind of look and feel like your little sister’s attempt at making a pizza base, but I prefer their crunchiness to, say, an over-sweet and puffed up version (the kind that the takeaway places make). The toppings are many and varied and are applied sparingly, just like a good traditional Italian pizza.
I’ve been gunning to write this review for a while as I had such a lip smacking visit when we went. The Boy had been wanting to try this out for a while, all hidden up in the northern reaches of Richmond, but we kept on getting distracted on the only opening nights – Wednesday (from 5pm, tours from 6:30) and Friday (from 5pm). Even when you walk into the awesome warehouse space decked out with large tables and informal bar tables, you can’t get distracted from the brewery’s main purpose: beer. The boxes are stacked above the bar to a hair-raising height…