Northcote, VIC 3070
What would the world do without pizza? Large, beer-sodden parties will no longer be catered for; a group of friends with differing tastes will be reduced to eating at a food court; and another, less delicious way to use up the ingredients at the bottom of the fridge will have to be found. Pizza Meine Liebe in Northcote is clearly at the forefront of the pizza-love movement, with their name literally meaning ‘pizza my love’. And the love shows – an almost pizza-exclusive menu with more choice than I’ve ever encountered, finished off with the assurance that it’s ok to eat pizza with your hands, because they’ll taste better and you’ll look sexier.
A booking here is more than recommended for weekends, but at 6pm on a Wednesday night, it was empty save for a family of four. However that didn’t stop the aroma of pizza permeating every corner of the shop, or the young hipster staff from lingering at the back, eating slices of what’s no doubt a very good margherita.
It was fun to watch the young and energetic kitchen staff effortlessly kneading the dough and stretching it out into impossibly thin pizza bases, all whilst flirting with the waitresses clad in skinny jeans and vintage tops.
|Buffalo Soldier (large, $21)|
Me and K both had eyes for the same pizza, so as opposed to ordering a small one each, we ordered a Large Buffalo Soldier (tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil leaves, and prosciutto, $21) to share. It came out just how a good pizza should, with a crispy pizza base that’s slightly puffy around the edges, topped with minimal but quality toppings. The tomato base was flavourful, and the pockets of chewy mozzarella stretched into long, thin strands when we bit into them. The prosciutto added a lovely meaty and salty punch, though they were quite tough and we had to resort to cutting them into smaller pieces. The pizza could have done with more basil, but it definitely didn’t suffer for the lack of it.
|Chocolate and Strawberry Pizza ($9.5)|
For afters, we shared a Chocolate and Strawberry Pizza ($9.5), which was actually a small pastry boat filled with melted dark chocolate,
strawberries, dusted with icing sugar, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
The chocolate was rich, the strawberries had a fresh, fruity aroma, and the ice cream was deliciously light and creamy. But I still think I prefer the excessively indulgent dessert pizza served at Bimbo Deluxe.
Pizza Meine Liebe is a good spot to get a gourmet pizza that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Just make sure you don’t try and visit for lunch, and that you come on a cooler day, because on the hotter days (like the one we visited) the un-air-conditioned space can get rather stifling, though it does still smell delicious.
Rating: 14/20 – gourmet yet fun