Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Room 101

Having done their part in the ritual humiliation of the English soccer team, Italy themselves bowed out of the World Cup ... with a little help from Mick Jagger. Which must've hurt, at least as much as a shoulder bite, at number one hundred and one Bay Street where, everywhere you look, there's reminders of the heritage of Port Melbourne's latest in a long line of pizza parlours.
Despite The London's rather excellent transition to Middle Eastern cuisine, there's still a lot of local competition in the melted mozzarella stakes. Fortunately the pizza at Bay 101, though not wood-fired, is undeniably authentic; the thin, yet airy, dough up there even with the recently opened Albert Park branch of legendary D.O.C. And their cheeses are far from one-dimensional either with tallegio, provola, asiago and fontina all on offer alongside a similarly authentic range of cured meats.
The wall of customer graffiti has now gone, replaced by black and white images of Vespas, supplanted by shelves filled with San Marzano tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil, and seemingly exclusively Italian wait staff. And along with the superb patisserie counter at Noisette opposite, their chilled display unit makes the beach end of Bay Street resemble a certain cake-laden stretch of St Kilda. However, despite the tempting delights, it's hard to resist the call of the huge tubs of Nutella used to make their delicious sweet Calzoncino

One slight fly in the Italiano ointment is that their cask Peroni is brewed, not in Roma as you might expect, but under license to CUB in New South Wales. Fortunately the remaining games of the tournament are being screened at the nearby Local, which offers some genuinely international brews.

Main prices: $16.90 - $28.90
Beer range: Peroni ($8.50 on tap)
Wine range: $9 - $12
Quantity vs quality: You'll still have room of dessert, which is a good thing
Nearest Tram: Graham Street (109)
Bookings: 9646 6088
Bay 101 on Urbanspoon

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