Melbourne Round Up Part 2

Melbourne Round Up - May 2015 - Part 2 

Melbourne Round Up Part 1 covered some delicious territory and part 2 continues on this culinary journey with some noteworthy places to add to your eating itinerary next time you are visiting Melbourne.

400 Gradi - 99 Lygon St, Brunswick East

400 Gradi won the world's best Margherita pizza in 2014 which was an accolade I (Amanda) was super excited to check out. 400 Gradi is named after the temperature their wood-fired oven is set to and maybe this is the winning technique because the food here was absolutely mouth-watering. The wood fired pizza oven aroma wafts throughout and it's a wonder I didn't steal a slice of pizza from someone else's table on my way to being seated! We are seated close to the open kitchen and are treated to bonus entertainment of the pizza makers throwing, spinning and putting on a pizza making extravaganza.

Fiori di Zucca $5 each (front) Arancini $6 each (back)
We started with some entrees to share. The 'Arancini Balls' and the 'Fiori di Zucca' described as stuffed zucchini flowers with fresh Buffalo ricotta, spanner crab and chilli, was pretty on the plate...and in the mouth! Both entrees had that great crunch on the outer and lovely soft creamy flavours within. The stuffed zucchini flowers had lots of crab filling which we loved.

Margherita Verace $22
The award winning 'Margherita Verace Pizza' topped with San Marzano tomato, buffalo mozzarella & basil was divine. Like all their pizzas, the base is thin and soft with a perfect ratio of base to topping. The pizza just melts in your mouth even with the slight chew from the dough and the simple topping is so flavoursome you wonder how you ever agreed to share the pizza! 

Zingara $24
We also shared the 'Zingara' which is topped with San Marzano tomato, Fior di Latte, hot salami and rocket. The menu reads that the salami is "very very hot" but it's not that hot! Just a lovely hit of heat that works well with the freshness of the rocket.

Capricciosa $27
Our last pizza to share was the 'Capricciosa' topped with San Marzano tomato, Fior di Latte, prosciutto cotto (leg ham), mushrooms, artichokes and olives. Again another flawless pizza that we all enjoyed.

I'm not sure you could pick a bad pizza off this menu. As full as we all were halfway through these pizzas we kept on going until they were all gone as we couldn't leave something this good behind!  Make sure you make a booking if you want to get in to try one of these award winning pizza's next time you're in Melbourne.

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Pidapipo Gelateria - 299 Lygon Street, Carlton

Pidapipo = wow! It may have barely passed 11am but glowing reports of this gelato place made the early stop a priority. The lovely bright and pastel colours of this place brings a smile to your face as soon as you enter... or is it the continually running hot nutella tap that you can see?! The gelati here is handmade fresh everyday and stored in stainless steel cylinders, ensuring there are different flavours to choose from regularly.

Salted Caramel Gelato
Today I selected the salted caramel gelato with hot nutella topping. Yep this is the life! The gelato is so smooth, creamy and perfectly flavoured and the hot nutella topping...OMG do I need to say more!  We need this in Adelaide...or maybe I'll just install a nutella tap at home! Do yourself a favour and check out Pidapipo on your next Melbourne visit.. rain, hail or shine!

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Belle's Hot Chicken- 150-156 Gertrude St Fitzroy

It's no secret I love pickles and paired with spicy fried chicken, fries and mac and cheese, well it's an extra awesome day out! Arriving for a late lunch we have to wait 5 minutes until a spot becomes available. We are seated at the counter, overlooking the bar, just like an American diner. The simple menu outlining the different cuts of chicken available and the extras and sides to choose from with a couple of specials for the day on the side make it relatively easy to pick.

Fried Chicken Wings, Chips, Mixed Pickles, Mac n Cheese
Today we select the fried chicken wings which come with crinkle cut chips and pickles. We also select the mac and cheese (a special for today) and a serve of mixed pickles because you can't have enough! You can select how 'hot' you want your fried chicken (southern, medium, hot, really hot or really f**kn' hot!) but today we choose medium as my friend isn't into anything too crazy. You can also select the type of sauce you would like for your chicken and fries (Mississippi Comeback, Belles Ranch dressing or Belles Blue Cheese). The meals are presented in cute red baskets while we are sipping on our home-made lemonades.

There is no need to go into too much detail as all you really need to know is that everything was finger licking good! So many moreish spices throughout the juicy chicken, we had to lick those wings clean! The pickles were just how I like them, tangy and vinegary, the mac and cheese was creamy and decadent and the chips, tasty and crispy as they should be. Oh why oh why don't we have something like this in Adelaide. Next time I'm back in Melbourne I will definitely be returning to Belle's Hot Chicken as I already know what I will order... chicken and waffles please!

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