Saturday, December 4, 2010
Where can one find the best pizza in Melbourne?
Many people agree that you’ll find it at Ladro. With such high praise, of course we had to visit! I’m a huge pizza fan so I was definitely looking forward to trying it for myself. There are two Ladro restaurants in Melbourne, the original and ever-popular in Fitzroy and the recently opened Prahran outpost, which is where we decided to venture for lunch on a cold and drizzly Friday.
The restaurant itself was quiet when we arrived but that didn’t last long as the lunchtime crowds arrived. The atmosphere was bustling, however it did get quite noisy inside as the restaurant filled up. I started with a lovely Punt Road ‘Napoleone & Co’ Pear Cider from the Yarra Valley, which was lovely, crisp and refreshing. I’m a huge cider fan and this is one of my favourites of the year, more delicate than an apple cider and totally delicious.
Choosing a pizza to share was quite a difficult decision! I loved the sound of almost all the flavour combinations on the menu. We finally decided on the ‘Badabing’, with tomato, provolone, pork sausage, oregano, fresh chilli and basil. Interestingly, the pizza was brought to the table whole, and we had to slice it ourselves with the pizza cutter provided. It just felt a little bit awkward and slicing duties were quickly relegated to the boy.
The pizza was absolutely delicious, one of the best I’ve ever had. The crust was traditional, thin and perfectly cooked. The toppings were very fresh and packed with flavour, simple but not sparse. I think the pizza totally lived up to the hype!
We were tempted to order another, but decided to move on to dessert instead. The panna cotta was served with a flourless orange cake and Frangelico syrup. The dish was nice but not amazing. The panna cotta was very creamy, not overly sweet, and had a nice wobble. While I liked the cake a lot, it was a strange match to the panna cotta and I can’t help but feel the dish would have been nicer with a big dollop of whipped cream instead.
I am powerless towards anything involving doughnuts, so the Bombolini was a must try. Three Italian doughnuts were served with vanilla ice cream and a tangy blood orange syrup. I really liked the combination, but it seemed slightly odd to have two orange flavoured desserts on the same menu!
I was very impressed by the pizza at Ladro, but a little less so by the desserts. The pizzas are the selling point and they’re done superbly, however I’ve heard less positive reviews of the other mains on the menu. I thought the service was very efficient without being obtrusive, even when the restaurant got busy. Next time I’m in town, I’d love to try Supermaxi, another pizza restaurant established by one of Ladro’s original chefs Rita Macali. I liked the casual atmosphere and I think this would be a great spot to catch up with friends over a few slices of pizza and a few glasses of wine.
So tell me, where do you think you'll find the best pizza in Melbourne?
Ladro Greville – 162 Greville St, Prahran. 03 9510 2233 (phone bookings only)