Melbourne has so much to offer. I love experiencing new places and events and sharing them with you.
I have an interest in gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diets so I will let you know if you these can be catered for in my reviews.
Published August 2nd 2012
Pizza in a different setting
There is no doubt that having a pizza at L'uccellino is an experience quite different from having a pizza at Pizza hut or La Pochetta, or indeed the average family owned local around the corner.
This isn't just about the pizza, it is about the whole experience.
White tablecloths on the tables, low lighting and warm inside. So warm that when we were there. the windows were steamed up as it was a cold Melbourne night. Almost could have been considered fine dining. Except the tables were too close together and the staff could have been more hospitable.
The menu promised interesting pizza. Gamberi piccante tomato has fior di latte, tiger prawns, basil chilli & semi dried tomato or Alla Moda di Giuseppe has in bianco, fior di latte, potato, rosemary and caramelised onion. There is also the traditional Margherita, Capricciosa or Hawaiian. I just wanted to order Pizza for a friend because it sounded so big hearted (fior di latte, roast pumpkin, pine nuts, rocket and goat's cheese).
There is also a children's (bimbi) menu, with 3 choices, for example tomato, fior di latte, virginia ham & pineapple, but we didn't see any children in the restaurant and couldn't see it being that child friendly given the closeness of tables and the ambient noise.
We struggled to hear each other at the table with the restaurant completely full. Every table was occupied, and they had healthy take-away trade. We enjoyed our wine served with traditional wine glasses, tumblers. We anticipated pizza that was exceptional in every way – taste, smell, texture, toppings, hot. Clearly it is a local favourite.
What we were served was, in short, a disappointment. My pizza was overcooked, the base borderline burnt. The Gamberi pizza had too much chilli, and not enjoyed by someone who likes chilli usually. The other two pizzas were acceptable, but not exceptional.
Were we missing something? How can a restaurant with just OK pizza, premium prices on pizza, and average customer service be so busy? Admittedly we didn't complain. We had had enough of not hearing each other anyway. Went home to have cake, because this restaurant will not allow you to bring your own, although we could have had dessert pizza, which I have read is exceptional.