because I can't cook
Oddfellows "Oddies" Hotel in the Melbourne CBD.
|Address||33-35 Little Lonsdale Street
|Visited||30 August 2011|
That Tuesday night was an ordinary relaxed pizza night with a little bit of difference: the pizza was pure artisan.
Many refer to them as gourmet pizza; the first round we had was Capricciosa – topped with Virginian ham, olives, and artichoke, it was simplistically traditional yet delicious. The second was Alpina, a vegetarian pizza that was surprisingly very rich in flavours with field mushroom, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. Third was the red hot Calabrese – not exactly very spicy, but the salami/capsicum/olives combo was spicy enough to tease my tastebuds. Last was Norcina, my favourite out of the four; a satisfyingly meaty pizza with pork and fennel sausage and luscious sweet caramelised onions! Mmm…
There was more than fresh ingredients to the pizza; the base was sturdy yet tender as the pizza was woodfired using (one of the) 2 types of wood: red gum and yellow wood, and baked using lava rocks in a custom-made oven at 300 degree temperature on a busy day (or 220-250 degree on not-so-busy days).
Even more impressive, our half-half pizzas (two flavours per pan) were served separately per flavour too, so there was no oil/taste transfer between them. We were advised to have the white/cheese-based pizzas together, and the red/tomato-based ones together hence the Capricciosa (ham/olives/artichoke) and Alpina (mushroom/spinach/mozzarella) pairing, and Calabrese (salami/olives/capsicum) and Norcina (pork sausage/caramelised onion/mozarella) pairing.
Set in a modern, bright, pub-style eating environment, dining at Oddfellows Pizza was casual and cozy. The night was rather peaceful and quiet, though sometimes we were accompanied by the chatter and laughter of some corporate staff dining in groups after working late around the area.
There was more to the night than just the pizza (and the drinks ); Angelo, the friendly owner at Oddfellows Hotel, was nice enough to spend some time with us explaining the history of the building:
Located in the Madame Brussels lane, the Oddfellows Hotel building had a little bit of antiquity behind it. Back in 1853, the Oddfellows Hotel was a base for a workers’ union that provided welfare services to its members which then closed down and became a Chinese cabinet-making factory. It was then acquired by the Commonwealth government in 1948, and many artefacts such as meat hooks, silver-plated cutlery, dinner sets were found and some are being displayed in the foyer cabinet.
And if you happen to visit the Oddies on a Wednesday night, you might just win lots of 'crap and fabulous prizes' through their trivia night!
Many thanks to Angelo and Maya for introducing me to this fantastic pizza joint!