GRADI CROWN, SOUTHBANK: The best thing about living in Melbourne is the wealth and immersion of world class international dining options, and Gradi Crown, headed by the award-winning chef, Johnny Di Francesco, who owns the Gradi Group of restaurants, is certainly one such restaurant. Winning the 2014 World Pizza Championship, Gradi is not only home to the delicious sensation that is their Margherita pizza, but is also complemented by bustling, Italian-esque vibes, warm customer service, and an extensive, authentic Italian menu prepared by chefs who have a genuine passion and cultural awareness about Italian cuisine – making it a truly wonderful addition to Melbourne’s Italian food scene.
The good fat: So before we start with the dishes, we were treated to a unique, Italian experience of creamy iced coffee! Blended espresso with a granita machine, this napolitan style creamy espresso is not what we expected. The texture is somewhere between mousse, ice cream and marshmallow, all with the strong coffee flavour infused within. It was a whole new experience that made us feel like we were food adventuring for the first time!
The calamari entree was a simple and light way to begin our Italian food adventure – crispy skinned and perfect with a drizzle of balsamic over the rocket. Understandably, the Margherita pizza was the highlight of our meal at Gradi. Charred and crunchy on the bottom, atop a light and classic Neapolitan crust. Say goodbye to soggy crusts with Gradi! Once you try this Margherita, there is no going back to any other pizza in Melbourne – definitely a testament to Johnny’s 2014 award. Complete with the juiciest san marzano and the lightness of fior di latte.
The capricciosa featured a heartier, and more generous pizza topping than the traditional Margherita. The prosciutto gave that delicious, savoury kick whilst the tenderness of the mushrooms came through with its earthiness – once again, atop of a perfect Italian crust that is relatively difficult to find in Melbourne.
When our stomachs were already stretched far enough, our favourite course of dessert, came along and how could I ever say no to tiramisu? It can be hard to make tiramisu look as good as it tastes, but this tiramisu won me over in both aesthetics and taste, with a drop of espresso cream and 2 cute macarons.. can you get any better?
The bad fat: Wish my stomach was bigger to fit all the food in… but looks like it just means I’ll have to go back next time!
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES! Melbourne is the home of authentic, Italian food and the internationally-award winning restaurant that is Crown Gradi is definitely one to add onto your list. Also maybe a bit overpriced for a casual lunch, but definitely date-night worthy, and certainly in line with the standards of pricing in Crown especially with the vibes and service. One of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne!
CHECK OUT GRADI CROWN HERE: http://400gradi.com.au/
2wofatgirls would like to thank Gradi Crown for the invitation to dine – these opinions are strictly unbiased and were influenced in no way by the collaboration.