A25 Pizzeria Proves Pizza Is Sexy (Not That We Needed Much Convincing)
This article was first published on Onya on November 28
Just a mention leaves you excited and weak at the knees. One look is all it takes to be seduced, to convince you to give up, give in and enjoy. Whether it’s almost naked with just the bare essentials or covered in the goods and drizzled with desire, it’s utterly irresistible. It’s the sexiest thing that exists in the world. No, it’s not Ryan Gosling, it’s something even better – pizza. And it’s about to be given a sexy makeover (if that was even possible!) thanks to A25 Pizzeria.
Owned by Remo Nicolini (hospitality genius and brother of Tony Nicolini of D.O.C), A25 Pizzeria will be the sister venue to popular Docklands restaurant Non Solo Pasta. Due to open on Chapel Street early next month, I was lucky enough to experience a taste-testing preview of the new menu. It’s delicious. It is indeed sexy. It is food-porn worthy. And it’s definitely NSFHP (Not Safe For Hungry People).
If Non Solo Pasta is the authentic and refined sister, then A25 pizzeria is the cheeky younger brother. The atmosphere will be very casual and easy, taking Italian cuisine to a different dimension but still designed to be the perfect local pizza place. But don’t expect your run of the mill average pizzas – this is Melbourne pizza royalty we’re talking about. What comes out may look like fine dining, but there’ll be no morsel sized pieces and disappointment after your first bite. The concept is just to dress up what is already perfect – simple, traditional, delicious fresh flavours, with a few inspired modern updates here and there. Then, as if it couldn’t get any better, there’ll be nothing over $15 on the menu. Sexy indeed.
So what exactly can you expect? Nicolini’s belief is that you’ve got to have your classics, but it’s good to experiment as well. The menu focuses on salads and two types of pizzas – the traditional and the more playful.
The salads and smaller dishes are fresh, flavoursome and completely more-ish. Far from boring, the combinations of peach, prosciutto and tomato, and watermelon, mozzarella, toasted almonds and tomato satisfy every sense. Fresh mozzarella comes oozing out of wrapped pancetta on a bed of spicy rocket and balsamic, while a clever vegetarian take on parmiagana, breadcrumbed eggplant on an Italian style cous cous is quickly dubbed the dish of the day. The steamed cannelloni with prawn mousse and oven dried tomatoes probably best represents the stylishly simple concept and overarching promise – everything tastes just as good as it looks.
And what about the pizzas? There’s a variety, ranging from classics (who can beat a great buffalo mozzarella) and simple twists on favourites (an Italian take on Hawaiian sees ham and fresh pineapple paired with braised cabbage) to more experimental flavours of raspberry, mint, ricotta and potato. Other highlights include stuffed zucchini flowers and “black pizza” with squid ink, pecorino cheese, prawn, asparagus and oven dried tomatoes. The afternoon finishes off on a sweet note too, with a trifle of ricotta, marscapone, peaches, Bellini gelatine and berries, and the best tiramisu I’ve ever eaten. Completely full, a wave of satisfied silence spread over the table. Chapel Street doesn’t know what is about to hit it.
A25 Pizzeria, 720 Chapel Street, South Yarra. Opening early December.