Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pizza Napoletana @ 400 Gradi - (Melbourne)

  It’s nigh on impossible to find a proper Napoletana Pizza in a lot of places.  There is only 1 restaurant which attempts trying to make it in Hong Kong -  the result is not bad,  but there is room for improvement in many ways and is getting there.  And then,  there are the millions of other Pizzeria’s in town (even those that are Italian owned) claiming boldly that they make and sell Napoletana pizze,  and if you (or me, the Customer) is not an Italian,  therefore I am treated like I am not knowledgeable enough to know how to eat and distinguish between different Italian cooked ‘Italian’ pizza’s.    But the truth of the matter is,  just because you’re an Italian doesn’t guarantee that you’ve ever eaten a proper V.P.N. Napoletana style Pizza in their life nor know how to make one properly,  and I’m saying this because I’ve been blamed by someone on this matter.   It’s just like I wouldn’t expect any Wonton Noodles in Melbourne to be upto Hong Kong’s Mak’s Noodles standard or Hong Kong Peking Ducks to be carved and plated as beautifully as you’d find in Beijing…     But Melbourne being Melbourne,  the 2nd largest Italian Immigrants populated city,  surely you’d come expecting better quality and more authentic Italian stuff,  despite it being on the other side of the hemisphere..! 



Only one of 322 Shops in the World,
to be recognised for being a member of Verace Pizza Napoletana of Italy



Hi Chef!   I know you’ve learnt your Pizza in Napoli, Italy -
But I also love your Wood Fire oven behind even more though : )



Most Customers tonight were Italian faces…  interesting




Olive Oil -



A Sangiovese from Umbria,  2009 -  $38
This is pretty decent as a table wine,
to down with the food..



2008 Prunotto, Barbera D’Alba -  $45
A lovely wine to go with paste and pizze …



The Pizza Napoletana, or Neapolitana Pizze,  here at 400 Gradi Pizzeria e Cucina are made according to guidelines as laid out by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association,  which awards them the V.P.N. and D.O.C.  status.   
For more information about this specialty pizza’s specifications, visit:



Caprese Salad -  AUD $15
Fresh flown-in Mozzarella di Buffala (imported from Napoli, Caserta),  basil leaves, oregano, virgin olive oil and grissini.  Fairly good starter ~  7/10


Calamari Fritti -  $19.50
With lemon mayonnaise and rucola.  This was really fresh and fried well.  It’s strange indeed why not every shop serves this as a fritti starter -  as is the norm in Italy’s Pizzerie.  ~   9/10



Margherita Verace (NA Napoli citta) -  AUD $20.50
The Pizze are baked for around 90 seconds in an ultra high heat wood fired oven.  The crust-cornicone of the pizza is correctly bubbly and blistered up,  whereas the Napoli Caserta imported Mozzarella di Bufala cheese, haven’t completely melted and still has a recognizable shape as it should!   The timing of this pizza was spot on. hoho  The spread of the San Marzano tomato sauce and the Basil leaves were evenly distributed.  Very smart and neat looking Pizza Napoletana and not overly wet in the middle either.  Excellent ~   9/10



Paesana  (CZ) Catanzaro – AUD $20.00
Another beautiful looking pizza with the San Marzano tomato paste base, this time with additional Fior di Latte,  Salsiccia and Broccolini,  as well as Oregano and Cherry Tomatoes.  Different pizze have recipes derived from a different Italian region,  and this is named from the city from Calabria.   The pork sausage and the herbs mingled with the tomato and broccolini really well.  In fact,  this pizza was even better than the Margherita above! 
~  10/10



Nicely Puffed Up Cornicone ‘crust’ -
Very good dough and baking.



Pizza Burrata with Pancetta and Rucola -
The Burrata cheese had a proper Skin vs Creamy centre.  This specials pizza offering was very addictive.  I could eat it everyday !  ~  9/10




Broccolini -
Tastes fairly similar to a young Gaai Lan. 
Drizzled with a bit of olive oil, lovely plate of side veggies !  ~   9/10



Pescatore -  Linguine frutti di mare, live shell fish, White Wine,
Olive Oil, Parsley with Napoli Salsa - 
This was surprisingly packed with shell fish and fish varieties.  ~  9.5/10



Scampi Linguine,  with White Wine and Cherry Tomatoes - 
This had some pretty decent and prawny scampi’s.   The dish was super oily (from tomato and crustacean oil),  but the flavour was great and the pasta was cooked to the perfect degree.   Only oiliness prevented this from being a great dish ~    7.5/10

Porcini Mushroom Risotto -
This was cooked to the perfect degree.  The porcini were surprisingly of the fresher variety than dried ones.    Pretty decent and I liked the way they shave the Reggiano so thinly like its paper!    ~   7.5/10




Now this, is what real Napoletana Pizza is all about.  Even the Paste were done to a high standards,  if not a bit too oily.   None of the B.S. being passed out as Napolean style pizza everywhere else sosad,  when it can’t be further from the TRUTH.




Price: AUD $20 – $30 per person
Food: ♕♕♕♕♕1/2

Opening Hours:
Sun -             12pm  –  3pm
Mon to Sun -    6pm - 11pm

Address:  99 Lygon Street,  Brunswick East,  Melbourne,  Australia. 
(Accessible by Tram from the City.  Note this is NOT in the normal Lygon St’s ‘Little Italy’ side, but at least 10 minutes drive away towards the East Brunswick side)
Ph: 9380 2320


  1. Ouch! Hehehe... Btw is this place new?

  2. E_Ting, this shop was already there before from around the block, but have moved closer to a bigger premise to where the new 'Rumi' is located. This stretch is becoming fairly interesting - I'm sure you will agree as we're both Melbourne Uni students :P

  3. Man, there's nothing better than wood fired ovens ! I'm a food enthusiast and think that it's really taken my excitement and appreciation for culinary arts to new heights!

  4. Lydelle, I think this place absolutely rocks! A new place called Scoozi at Ascot Vale, also serves VPN spec pizze now. My friends went there and said it's pretty good but here is still better. New openings I guess : )



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