Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
11. Sep, 2013
Pizza is probably my favourite food. And one of my favourite places to get it is East Brunswick’s 400 Gradi. So it was with some measure of excitement that I heard 400’s Johnny Di Franceso had opened 90 Secondi. In the Docklands no less, not my favourite part of Melbourne. But I will travel high and low for good pizza. Turns out I literally had to in order to find the place.
Officially listed at 1/700 Bourke Street, my chum and I followed Google Maps into the bowels of the Channel 9 Building and two times anti-clockwise around Etihad before eventually finding our mark (hot tip – keep walking on the concourse from Southern Cross Station to Gate 3 at Etihad.)
While stepping into 90 Secondi from the concrete Docklands isn’t exactly like stepping into a Neapolitan village, the staff are all old hands and the smells of pizza add to the theatre of the multi-levelled space. In the kitchen there’s the requisite wood fired oven turning out pizzas in the 90 seconds where the venue takes its name.
Yet there’s more than pizza on offer, as 90 Secondi is equal part cafe and restaurant. That means salads and sandwiches sit next to pastas and a considered Italian wine list.
When I go for pizza I alway go for Neapolitan – it’s like ordering a creme brulee at a French restaurant or lemon chicken at a suburban Chinese take-away. It’s my litmus test. 90 Secondi’s Neapolitan kicked a lot of goals. First of all it’s massive, with a satisfyingly chewy base that’s more firm than flop. Atop that base the fresh ingredients and saltiness of the olives and anchovies work in harmony to make me a happy camper. As an added bonus, they don’t overdo it on the cheese.
I’m not sure of 90 Secondi will transform the Docklands, but it’s another place adding more culinary bows to the windy part of town. And Johnny Di Francesco seems to know: if you build good pizza, they will come.
1/700 Bourke Street, Docklands (opposite Gate 3 at Etihad Stadium)
Mon – Fri 7am – 11pm
Sat – Sun – 12pm – 11pm
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