Pizza E Birra
60A Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
03 9537 3465
Italian, Pizza, Seafood
- Arancini di Granchio
- Calamari Fritti e Gamberetti
- Cozze Gratinate
- Porcini Pizza
- Chitarra allo Scoglio
- Pizza Fior Di Fragola
- Tiramisu al Caffe
We started off with the Calamari Fritti e Gamberetti. It came to us as a surprise as the small prawns were fried whole, head, tail and all, just like how they do it in Italy. With an incredible crunch, the crispy outer shell gave way to perfectly cooked, flavoursome prawn meat. This was well accompanied by the long chunky strips calamari, which inherited a light, crumbly batter that provided a slight crunch yet just simply melted away in your mouth.
We also enjoyed the Cozze Gratinate, which were baked mussels topped with tomato crumbs. and oregano. Beautifully presented, the tomato crumbs exhibited a light char and gave way to an inner that was served half-raw. Incredibly fresh, the mussels were soft and very tender and silky smooth, perfectly juxtaposing the coarse tomato crumbs. With some effortless chewing, these mussels inherited a mere hint of the sea and went down rather easily.
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the Porcini Pizza. The thick, puffy edges of the crust, towering over the rest of the pizza, gave way to a thin and delicate base that remained slightly crispy. Loaded on top was a generous amount of porcini mushrooms and torn-apart Italian pork sausages, both extremely flavoursome in their own right. This was well complemented by a light yet creamy ricotta that was scattered around. However the defining ingredient of this pizza was of course, that black truffle. As a rather rare type of truffle, it carried a slightly pungent sensation, coupled with an earthy aroma. Along with the smell, this black truffle offered a hint of sweetness and a garlicy aftertaste, which perfectly accompanied the porcini mushrooms. The flavour profile was absolutely incredible, a sensory overload almost.
We also enjoyed the Chitarra allo Scoglio. Cooked to just the right softness, the beautifully cut, delicate egg pasta was coated in a light though flavoursome Napoli sauce. With a light yet ever-present tomato flavour permeating throughout allowed you to truly appreciate the freshness and aromas of the seafood, which on this occasion was generously loaded. Within the dish, we found a variety of exceptionally fresh seafood, including mussels, pepes and king prawns, all of which
Coming highly recommended, we had to try the Pizza Fior Di Fragola. Exhibiting a pink colour, the base inherited its vibrance from strawberries. Sitting on top was a mixture of strawberries, chantilly cream and dehydrated mint as well as the occasional dollop of meringue providing a resounding crunch. A fruity yet incredibly refreshing dessert that wasn’t overly heavy. Delicious.
The Tiramisu al Caffe didn’t disappoint either. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the tiramisu was exceedingly rich and creamy. The silky smooth lightness of the dessert was perfectly contrasted by the biscuity base, as well as the sweetness juxtaposed by the coffee soil spreaded throughout. The occasional drops of espresso gel further enhanced the coffee sensations and aroma, creating an incredibly well balanced dessert both in flavours and textures.
We weren’t impressed by the Arancini di Granchio unfortunately. While the outer provided a nice crunch, the inner mix of crab and saffron risotto failed to excite the tastebuds. The lemon mayo was definitely a necessity to enhance the flavours of the dish.
While our visit to this pizzeria a couple of years back wasn’t overly impressive, it is clear that under the management and oversight of new owner Giuseppe, the restaurant has most definitely turned a new leaf.
Providing such an authentic experience, one that mimics so closely of Italy, is no easy feat, but Pizza e Birra has most definitely pulled it off, sporting some of the most authentic methods of preparing foods, as well as near flawless execution.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Most definitely The generous serving sizes, coupled with the authenticity that you get from both the food and the staff, there’s no doubt I will be raving about this place for a long time coming.
Penguineats would like to thank Pizza E Birra for inviting us to sample their new menu.