I use to think Pizza was junk food, and should only be eaten on special occasions. Of course that’s because I was thinking of the pizzas from Pizza Hut and Dominos where they have a super thick base and overload it with toppings 😛 But things changed when I was introduced to the traditional Italian woodfired pizza that have a thin base and less toppings but heaps of flavour!
I didn’t know that there was a Pizza Festival that was happening in Melbourne right now, until Kathryn from Keep Left PR invited me to try out the pizzas at Cantina Centrale in Mont Albert. To celebrate the Pizza Festival, 13 pizzeries across Melbourne and Sydney will be showcasing their pizzas and offering customers a $20 deal, which comes with a pizza of your choice and a drink including a glass of red or white wine, beer or soft drink. Which I thought was a pretty good deal ~
My other sister Macy and niece Stephenie has recently come to visit me from Hong Kong, so I couldn’t just leave them at home. So even though I was the only one invited, we decided to pay for the other things ourselves and enjoy a good meal together 🙂
I rarely go to Mont Albert even though it’s a suburbs that’s actually not too far from where we live, and in one of the quiet streets next to the train station was Catina Centrale. As soon as we walked in, we immediately felt the liveliness of the restaurant with the Italian restaurant playing in the background and the chattering from other customers ~ A waiter with a warm smile and thick Italian accent immediately came to greet us and led us to our table next to the bar and woodfire oven.
Cantina Centrale isn’t just a pizzerie, they also a wide range of appetizers and mains which I’d be interested to try next time. Of course we focused on the pizzas 😀 We quickly coordinated and ordered a pizza each.
Starting with the pizza I chose, a Capricciosa Romana which had tomato, ham, artichokes, mushrooms, flor di latte and olives. I didn’t know what fior di latte was but found out that it is mozzarella cheese which is one of my favourite. I really liked the combination of toppings especially the thinly sliced ham and mushrooms, but I’m not a fan of olives and found them to be a little overpowering. The pizza base was quite good, not too thick and had a good crust on the bottom.
Mr Bao and Macy both wanted the same pizza the Adriatica which is a seafood pizza with calamari, prawns, clams, mussels, tomato, fior di latte, garlic and chilli. This was our favourite pizza that night, we particularly liked the large prawns and clams, but I found that it lacked a bit of flavour and would’ve been better with some more chilli. We found this pizza base to be a little thicker but still had good texture.
Last pizza for the night was the prosciutto which tomato, fior di latte, sage, rocket and shaved parmigiano. Unfortunately, this was our least favourite as we found the sage and rocket too bitter and when combined with the salty prosciutto it just wasn’t what we expected which is a shame because we had enjoyed the other pizzas.
I don’t think I can ever leave a restaurants without ordering at least one dessert 😛 We ordered the Tortino al cioccolato which is a double baked chocolate fondant pudding served with mixed berry sauce and vanilla ice-cream. I was a little disappointed because the pudding was overcooked and not molten at all, I’m not sure if this is the Italian style or if it’s because it was double baked. It tasted quite nice chocolate with some mixed berry sauce in the middle. Vanilla ice-cream was creamy and contrasted well with the rich chocolateness.
I wanted the Nutella pizza that they offered, but Mr Bao insisted on getting the coffee flavoured panna cotta. Surprisingly it was served in a cup and although coffee flavours were intense, we found the texture quite firm and tasted more like a mouse and didn’t quite have that wobbliness you would expect from a panna cotta.
Sorry guys I totally forgot the names and price of these drinks, to go with our pizza Mr Bao got the white wine which was very easy to drink and very light tasting. We found that it went very well with the saltiness from the Capricciosa Romana pizza.
I don’t normally drink on a weeknight but beer and pizza on a Monday night? Why not? 😛 Especially since it was a super busy day at work, it was the best way to relax and forget all about it. This is an Italian imported beer, once again sorry again I didn’t get the name, but it was very strong and great malt flavour. Probably a bit too strong for me but Mr Bao really enjoyed it so we ended up swapping our drinks!
We really liked the idea of the Pizza Festival and think it’s a great idea to allow people to try and discover traditional Italian pizzas. I never knew that there were so many pizzeries in Melbourne and definitely not one that quite close to us 🙂
There’s a few events left for the Pizza Event and also the closing event held on the 30th at Artists’ Market, where customers will get all the pizzas they can eat for only $25. For more information please go to their website.