373 Malvern Rd
South Yarra, VIC 3141
48h Pizza e Gnocchi Bar is only the best pizzeria in the Asia Pacific, no biggie hey? If that doesn’t impress you, then get a load of this: it’s also been the best pizza in Australia for the last 3 years straight. And boy do they have the deliciousness to show for it. Not only is the pizza as good as it gets, they also offer melt-in-the-mouth gnocchi and delectable pastas. Service is a bit… Italian at times, but there’s enough hospitality to balance out the brusqueness. Or y’know, just shut your eyes and ears, and chow down on pizza.
Rating: 14/20 – 48h well spent.
To-order: di parma – the award-winning pie. but first, start with the chiacchiere (read on to find out what that is – very mysterious!)
The Di Parma ($29.5) is the golden child, and despite the relatively hefty list of ingredients (compared to the usual award-winner Margheritas anyway), it is a remarkably balanced slice. The bitter rocket fizzles against a riot of 3 cheeses, which may seem like overkill, but the sharp Grana Padano is well-served by the mellow backdrop of fresh buffalo mozzarella. And people who are distressed by entire swaths of chewy prosciutto coming off the slice with the first bite will enjoy this setup, which allows you to choose how much and where to lay your buttery slices of cured meat.
Paring it back to basics with the Margherita ($23), this classic allows the puffy, chewy, and artfully charred dough to shine against a simple backdrop of summery tomato and creamy mozzarella.
Despite sounding heavy on paper, the Porchetta ($29) is arguably the lightest of the lot, and certainly moreso than the Di Parma. The thinly sliced pork has an almost sweetness to it, and although there’s a dash of salty taleggio to deepen the flavours, when eaten with bitter petals of radicchio and a drizzle of balsamic vino cotto, each seems to just melt away.
Dad’s been on the hunt for a good Spaghetti Carbonara ($33) since he came back from Italy, and this one he rates on par with what he’s had overseas. The strands of fresh pasta (not dry – the textural difference is very important) is coated with a sticky sauce of nothing but cheese and egg yolks, and tossed through with generous amounts of black pepper and guanciale (not porchetta; I’m told an Italian will fight you over this). It’s simple, it’s decadent, and it’s so very delicious.
Given it’s in the name, we couldn’t leave without trying the Ragu Gnocchi ($28), and it’s absolute wild how fluffy these little dumplings are, melting in the mouth almost like a souffle. Just as remarkable was the ragu, which had all the slow-cooked richness you’d expect, without any of the accompanying heaviness that might’ve overshadowed the lightness of the gnocchi.
Now, about the Chiacchiere ($24). If you’re wondering how to start your meal, this is the way to do it – with deep-fried batons of pizza dough, served alongside cool, creamy burrata. If you’ve ever had Chinese doughnuts, this is their breadier cousin, and really goes a long way to show off the delightfully light and chewy texture of the pizza dough.