Where:231 High St Northcote
When: Tues-Sun from 5.30pm
Contact: (03) 9482 7001
Licensed, BYO (wine only, corkage $4.00 p.person)
Vego :), Gluten-free on Thursdays
PML Capricciosa: tomato, mozzarella, oregano, porchini mushrooms, olives and prosciutto ($14/19.50)
There are lots of places to get fine pizza on High Street, Northcote, Café Bedda is just one shining example. But Pizza Meine Liebe has a certain edge; with a rock n’ roll feel and irrelevant use of German language, it’s a hit with the young and hip. In front, it’s got a straight-up pizza shop feel with a chequered floor, utilitarian wooden furniture and flour-covered young men flipping dough behind a glass countertop. Yet the further you cruise through the place, the more it starts to feel like a party pub; three dining rooms and a courtyard with two drafty toilets. There are plenty of raucous punters too; the large dining space caters well to large groups. Plus there’s plenty of alcohol, now with BYO wine.
The menu is impressive, lengthy and has enough exciting combinations to keep even the most seasoned pizza-eater interested. You’ll be tempted to leave room for dessert too with items like orange and dark caramel pannacotta, banana split and of course; dessert pizzas. Savoury pizza sizes are limited to Small (10”) or Large (12”) but I found the Small to be a good size meal. I had the PML Capricciosa; tomato, mozzarella, oregano, porchini mushrooms, olives and prosciutto ($14/19.50) which was incredible. The dense-yet-soft flat base was more substantial than the wafer thin crispy types you can come across. The oregano and porchini gave real depth of flavour to the soft flavours of the mozzarella and fresh tomato concasse. I couldn’t fault it in any way.
Unfortunately the young staff aren’t trying to impress anyone with glowing service; our waiter was disinterested, surly and even outright rude during our visit. After a Dining Companion asked after her long-missing salad (she was down to her last slice of pizza) the waiter cut her off briskly with “I know” and walked away. The salad eventually arrived without apology.
It is a shame Pizza Meine Liebe’s warm buzzing atmosphere is dampened with hostile service and some rather dodgy toilets too. The premium prices and fantastic pizza call for something a little nicer.