Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published January 25th 2014
Nutella Pizza with the Lot
Muma mia, Look at that pizza!
On the way to Wesley Anne Theatre in High Street Northcote, we decided we must get something to eat. The choices were endless making the decision more difficult. I am not joking when I say that at least every second shop was a restaurant or bar, a virtual multi-cultural smorgasbord.
For some unknown reason, despite my high heels, we headed up the hill towards the city. Within the block there were two Italian restaurants, one Indian, Taiwanese and Malaysian (called Jo-Ann's Kitchen), Vietnamese, a snake merchant (I kid you not) and an Aussie pub on the corner of the block.
There were also many more eateries across the road. So you can see there was a dilemma about where best to eat dinner. Jo-Ann's Kitchen was a likely candidate with main meals for $9.50. If it had not been so hot and there was air conditioning that would've been our first choice.
Luckily for us we stopped at the Cafe Bedda. This was a most enjoyable, authentic Italian dinner. I must say that it was kind of ironic that we chose this restaurant with this name when we were about to go to see a show by the Black Theatre Company. The show had a lot to do with sexual relationships. Don't get the irony? Say it slowly … bedda. Bed her. Okay, maybe it's better said than written. Maybe it's not much of a connection at all... Just my mind rushing off in all directions as I collect relevant (and irrelevant) data to write this review.
The other irony about the name is that their website insist that they are not a cafe!
I guarantee the waiters' names were Anthony, Con, Lorenzo and Fabian. Our waiters had staunch Italian accents and I guess we have an Australian accent and that meant that we all needed to listen a little more carefully to each other in order to understand. The waiter was patient as we took a long time to getting around to opening the menu. They were attentive without being intrusive.
We noticed that some traditional Italian families were eating there also. That's a good wrap for this place. Using our fine tuned female powers of observation we also noticed that many people were ordering pizza. This bore absolutely no resemblance to Domino's or Pizza Hut pizzas.
I have discovered how much I love a crusty based pizza. This one had delicious puffy edges - catering for the indecisive like me. I think this might be my new eating quest (alongside baked cheesecake which will be a lifelong quest). The crust at Café Bedda was fluffy and the base almost wafer thin. It was cooked to perfection. It's the real deal Italian pizza that is hard to get anywhere outside of Italy.
Sorry I couldn't wait. It looked better before attacking it. Absolutely scrumptious
On the shelf near the pizza oven there was an enormous jar of Nutella. I tried mightily to convince my companion to try the Nutella pizza with no success. I wasn't deterred by the fact that she said she didn't even like it on sandwiches. Unfortunately the vegetarian pizza was quite large and accompanied by the delicious aranchini meant there was no room for this sweet pizza today. It reminded me of a new year's resolution to eat desserts first just in case there was no room. Mental note to myself to stick to this wise resolution.
Our vegetarian pizza was topped with eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella cheese and a lot more garlic than we had expected. We laughed that we would have to chose a row in the theatre just for ourselves.When it first landed on our table I thought it was a bit scantly covered in topping but this is purposeful. They do not want their diners to ever losing sight of the dough. Sensible, their dough is seductive.
Look at that dough
Without my reading glasses I found the menu to be little small. Perhaps this was because the menu was extensive and they had to squeeze a lot onto the pages. They had what you expect to find at an Italian restaurant with lots of pizzas and pastas but very interesting varieties, especially for vegetarians.
I thought the prices reasonable, for example the aranchini entree was on $7, a main serve of gnocchi dish was $20 and for both of us sharing aranchini and pizza, the total bill was $24.50. This inexpensive meal was partly because we did not order any drinks from the licensed bar.
Everyone is welcome
Friday & Saturday nights are really busy so they have two sittings. The early sitting has three options & starts at 5.30pm, 6pm or 6.30pm and the second sitting begins at 8pm or 8.30pm.
It is a casual establishment catering for all, including families.
The restaurant can apparently be be noisy some night...like a true Sicilian home at dinnertime.
The cafe Bedda is a fair dinkum, authentic Italian restaurant (it's not a cafe!). Or should I say fabulous Pizzeria e cucina Siciliana. Bellissima.