Topolinos Restaurant @ St. Kilda, Melbourne
Show me a man who's worked 16 hours a day since 1972, and I'll show you Topolino's restaurant. I honestly can't pull a nine to five without spending 6 hours on facebook in the office, but hey, that's why my lazy ass doesn't have a fine Italian restaurant that is rated at least 4 stars by all online polls. This humble looking restaurant opens 4pm till late on Mon to Wed and 12pm till very very late on Thurs to Sun.
87 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 3182Phone: (03) 9534 1925
Opening hours: Monday - Wednesday: 4pm-Late; Thursday - Sunday: 12noon - Late
Step inside, a the warm, friendly Aussie ambiance greets you with their happy go lucky and can-do attitude. But make no mistake, the Italian heritage is strong in this one, giving further credibility to the fact that Victoria has the largest population of Italian-Australian. You can almost feel the presence of Marlon Brando making shady deals in the secluded parts of the dining room amid its dark tone and red luminescence. I could have sworn I heard a faint tune from the accordion. Or it could just be hunger playing with my mind.
We had the opportunity to go backstage to see the inner workings of a well oiled machine mixed with artistry flair. At this point I can hardly contain my saliva..er I mean excitement.
The definition of DEDICATION is when each piece of pizza pie is visually appraised for consistency of topping and doneness of the crust. Yes...I have no use of this word other than what I've just described. I honestly thought this dude was praying before all these pizza.
The camera (with human fingers) was in the shot just in case we get into a litigation battle with a crested black macaque to claim ownership of these awesome photos.
can't decide which toppings? Just go with 'all the works'
Our awesome dinner started with focaccia pizza topped with Oregano, Jalapeno and cream cheese. With these load of toppings that you see before you, a good time ahead is definitely in the cards. Think of it as a foreplay for your appetite. The sharp acidic tomato and jalapeno that you get initially get is then subdued by the creamy cheese and fragrant herbs
Starter: Focaccia Pizza Bread with oregano, jalapeño, chilli and cream cheese, Aus$7.90
When the next dish was presented to us, it came with its own little glow of sunrise at the background. I might have even cried a little bit, I mean look at it, sweet and succulent prawns cooked in 2 different sauces, fritto calamari and grilled calamari, plus 4 different mind blowingly delicious dipping sauce. My personal favorite is the herbed butter sauce, savory, creamy and fragrant.
Entree Seafood Platter: Garlic Prawns (Aus$16.90), Chilli Prawns (Aus$16.90), Calamari Fritti (Aus$15.90) and Chilli Calamari (Aus$13.90) served on a bed of rice
At the risk sounding like those dudes in them blue placards, but.....you could be here, what else are you waiting for? Seriously this is the best tasting combo of fresh seafood and superior culinary skills.
The gucci of pasta here lay before us as we stare in awe at the generous portion of seafood consisting of prawn, calamari, mussels and oyster. What else can I say but everything on this plate will just make you go ooooh.. aaaahh.. and mmmhhhh... but keep your tone down though.. because this is a family oriented restaurant.
Spaghetti Del Mare Supremo, Aus$26.90
A seafood indulgence including king and tiger prawns, scallops, fish fillet, mussels and an oyster in a rich tomato and garlic sauce
Al dante pasta (of course) drenched in creamy tomato based sauce, yet still not overwhelming so you can enjoy the seafood in all its glory.
To simply call the next dish a pizza is a blatant understatement, I would prefer to call it artisan bread draped in smoked salmon fused with all the things that are good and holy. The savory salmon and creamy chunky creamy cheese...oh! I think I just had a foodie boner, enough said.
Gourmet Pizza: Aquarius (Small), Aus$15.90
tomato, cheese, tasmanian smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese and red onion
The earthy flavor of salmon, with periodic snaps from the capers and the sweet interruption from red onion creates a myriad of texture that is hard to explain with words.
This next one, Topolinos calls it supreme. Well, I reckon all of their food is supreme if you ask me, but they can't all be winners I guess. So at the apex of their menu (only in namesake, mind you), is the King that reigns supreme. Decked with Prawns, Mussels and clam, its a pizza fit for poseidon...or Harry, or Michelle....whoever ordered it.
Original Pizza: Supreme (Small), Aus$14.50
tomato, cheese, ham, mushrooms, olives, capsicum, onion, clams, Prawns, mussels, herbs, garlic
Look at the orgy of toppings on this thing, its almost obscene and vulgar, HBO wants to buy rights to show this.
Ahhh....this next one has Italian written all over it, the sun dried tomato, properly aged and cured salami has all the trappings of the sunny mediterranean Sicily. The combo of creamy savory cheese and capers goes in sync with the sour tomatoes and fragrant herbs
Gourmet Pizza: Bandito (Small), Aus$14.90
tomato, cheese, hot salami, fresh tomato, black olives, onion, roasted capsicum, fetta and sun-dried tomatoes
I lust for these pizza so much that I wanna take them to sleazy hotel and have a foursome..please don't judge me
Our dessert sent us to heaven and back, rich and compact sweet cheesecake with intermittent berries cures all your sweet tooth, and with the ice cream, it is a perfect pair.
Mixed Berry Cheesecake with ice cream, Aus$11.40
I'll start my diet after this dessert, I promise. Who can say no to these eh? Delayed gratification is only for the immortal, well maybe not, but I'd say gratify me now this instant!
Photgraphed with Mr.Matthew Forte, the proprietor of Topolinos, who has poured all his life's dedication into making the restaurant a resounding success. Learning the art of cooking since the age of 4 immediately after arriving from Sicily, his passion for food continues to this day, where not a day goes by where he is not at the restaurant. A personal note of thanks to him for being a gracious host for the evening.
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