Last year, I had big plans for my birthday – I was going to head to Bistecca and order a huge hunk of steak to comfort myself over the necessity of turning yet another year older. But of course, we all knew how that panned out. Like pretty much everything last year, those plans were ruined by covid, and I didn’t end up getting my steak until about September. Thankfully, this year things are looking a lot better, and I managed to get to their sister restaurant, The Gidley, exactly on my birthday!
Picture this: pizza, but deep fried. But not that horrible American thing where they coat it in a thick layer of batter before dunking it into vat of oil. Think instead Neapolitan-styled pizzas filled with gourmet ingredients, flash-fried until golden and puffy. Intrigued? So was I, and that’s why I’m here at Pizza Fritta 180. Every time I wander through the area, I can’t help but notice Pizza Fritta. Located right on the corner of a busy intersection, the bustling al fresco dining (bolstered cleverly by pedestrians waiting at the intersection) and vivid mural seems to promise a great time, and that’s not even taking into account the fried pizza bit.
I’ve been out clubbing exactly once in my life. Twice, if you generously count the time where a mate booked out a small dive bar for his birthday party. And that one time was enough to teach me that my penchant for good food does not stop after midnight. Unfortunately for me, the one time I went proper-clubbing was in Sydney, and by the time we emerged on the wrong side of 1am, kebabs and Maccas were the only options available. Growing up in Melbourne meant that I was used to wine bars and supper clubs open to the crack of dawn on weekends, if not around the clock, this came as a rather unpleasant shock. But once place I…
The worst thing about being away from Melbourne during Covid – aside from not seeing my friends and family and y’know, the death and disease – was the fear that all the amazing restaurants I’ve yet to try will have shut down during my involuntary exile. And whilst many restaurants certainly bit the dust, Pentolina was not one of them, and now dining is (more or less) back, it seems just as popular as ever. Pentolina embodies everything I love about dining in Melbourne – its unexpected retro glamour tucked away next to a parking garage, the effortless old-world European comfort it exudes, and of course, the warm welcome and hospitality from each and every one of the staff.
I first came across Westwood Pizza via my favourite way for discovering new restaurants; that’s to say, completely accidentally. We were on our way out from a delicious dinner at Continental Deli when I spotted the tiny little shop across the road with a pizza oven tucked into the back. It certainly didn’t look like much, but one peek inside at the succinct menu scrawled onto the chalkboard changed my mind – honey, smoked eel, black garlic – the pizza toppings (not all on the same pizza of course!) read like the shopping list for a fancy deli, and doubled my resolve to visit.
I treated myself to a fancy staycay a few weeks back, and whilst I was in the area, I decided to check out Chester White Cured Diner. Because what’s a holiday without a good meal? Chester White has always been on my to-eat list, but it was bumped up a few dozen places after my dinner at Buffalo Dining Club. Not only are they similarly-styled restaurants, they were also formerly owned by the same people. So if Buffalo was amazing, then surely Chester White can only do so wrong.