because I can't cook
+39 Pizzeria and Degustation Bar in the Melbourne CBD.
|Address||362 Little Bourke Street
|Visited||16 February 2011|
My friend wanted to eat out that night with no Asian/Chinese food requirement, but I was actually too lazy to explore the city of Melbourne to find options. Hence I was glad when Google told me about +39 Pizzeria and Degustation Bar. It was located 1.5 blocks away from where I lived and +39 won The Age Epicure's Best Pizzeria of The Year in 2010. Perfect!
For a Wednesday night, +39 was sure very busy indicating that it was highly popular. With no reservation, we were very lucky to secure a nice table by the window straight away on that warm night. The frequent breeze of the night made dinner more relaxed.
I had never been to Italy, but considering all the staff spoke with heavy Italian accent (and sometimes answered in Italian too!) and +39 was the international dialling code for Italy, the cuisine of +39 had to be authentic Italian right? ;) After we both sought advices from one of the staff, I ordered Salamino pizza (with mozzarella, tomato, salami, radicchio, and cherry tomato) -warned to be hot and spicy- while my friend ordered Linguine Gamberi (with tiger prawns, cherry tomato, and asparagus in a light Napoli sauce). Drink-wise, nothing naughty (they had no scotch otherwise my friend would have pushed for it!); we ordered a sparkling water and a peach flavoured Italian ice tea.
The drinks arrived first (the peach ice tea was heavenly!) but even after I almost finished my drink, we were still waiting for our mains. To be exact, it took them about half an hour to deliver our orders but once they came we were pretty pleased. The linguine was rich in seafood-flavoured sauce, ample in portion, and satisfying with its giant, fresh prawns. As for the pizza, I was not much of a pizza hunter so I could not really comment on whether they had the best pizza or not, but my Salamino pizza was definitely fantastic. Thin crusted, cheesy, spicy, sprinkled with black pepper adding some more spiciness and flavour to it. Hmmm... delicious!
My still-hungry friend then ordered their sweet pizza (with strawberry, nutella, and vanilla ice cream) for dessert. Again we waited for quite a while for it to arrive. The sweet pizza was pretty much hazelnut-covered pizza with strawberry and ice cream. It was all right; smaller in size than their regular pizza mains and topped with heaps of strawberry pieces. The dough of the sweet pizza was also thicker and harder to cut through than the mains, and the ice cream that was served with it was highly unusual; to me it had some kind of rose flavour?
+39 was not a big, posh restaurant; the tables were small and the restaurant was quite narrow and loud, yet the ambience was still cosy.
Without a doubt, their service was sluggish but their very friendly staff made it fun by joking around with us and their large pizza selection made +39 deserved a revisitation as I’d love to try more of their ‘zzas!