Bianca: Pizza, something I don’t have often but when I do…I want it to be good. No Dominos, no Pizza Hut. I was drawn to ‘Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta’ for two reasons, well three now that I think about it. The pizza, the pork and the name. Feeling I needed to visit just to see if they did my dad’s namesake justice, an Orazio or Aussie ‘Oris’ as he’s known here in Straya.
Just opposite the recently opened Papa’s Pasticceria, Da Orazio is nestled in a somewhat Italian corridor, with a deli next door and ‘A Tavola’ upstairs. A brainchild of ‘Icebergs’ Maurice Terzini inside it’s all muted whites, bare wood panels and a marbled bar. Heading the restaurant is former Popolo/Icebergs chef Orazio D’Elia (and my Nonno will approve here) a former Neapolitan.
Alex and I arrived just after 5pm to an almost empty restaurant, with most people most probably still on the beach, it was such a gorgeous day. Perhaps they’re seen as the prized seats in the restaurant but we were directed to the stool seats that line the perimeter of the space. Most of the time it’s great to have your back to most people in a restaurant so they can’t see you stuffing your face but in this case the seats were terribly uncomfortable.
It was nice to see/ hear that most of the waiters/waitresses themselves were fresh off the boat and could hear them talking in dialect to each other. We were brought a little pouch full of cutlery, literally 20 or so knives and forks which we found funny.
To start we shared the ‘Capricciosa’ – Fior di Latte, San Marzano Tomato, leg ham, mushroom, artichoke, black olives. $21. Alex ever the pain in my behind, wanted it without the mushrooms, the waitress advised they couldn’t just put them on half so we went without. Cooked in a traditional brick wood fired oven, this was one of the best pizzas I have eaten in Australia. Granted that only encompasses Sydney & Melbourne but I have no qualms saying it. It wasn’t ‘soupy’ which is a by-product of its very thin base and centralisation of toppings. It is a traditional Neapolitan style pizza, very thin/ scant toppings. When I say scant I don’t necessarily mean stingy, which can sometimes be the case with this style of pizza. Essentially the idea is that the dough and ingredients are of such a high quality that less is sometimes more to let all the flavours shine through. It was really just the perfect harmony between the right amount of toppings and the delicious dough, the mozzarella and the artichoke were a standout for me.
I have a bit of a thing for Panzanella style salads at the moment, so couldn’t go past the ‘House Panzanella Salad’ w/ Burrata, tomato, Spanish onion, olives, roast pepper and sourdough croutons. $19. A really delightful and punchy salad, the burrata ‘crown’ adorning the tomatoes was a ball of pure bliss, cutting into the centre and releasing the mozzarella and cream innards was truly a sight to behold….yes…I’m waxing lyrical about cheese! I only wished there was a little more of the roast pepper and Spanish onions as they were rather scarce. Alex and I both don’t LOVE tomatoes on their own but these were so good it was hard to stop eating. The sourdough croutons weren’t crunchy as I like them but they were still delicious, the bread had been soaked beforehand (most likely in the tomato juice) as they were soaked and full of flavour.
To have with the salad we just couldn’t go past the ‘Porchetta Alla Romana’ – slow roasted deboned and rolled Berkshire Pork. 1p = $24, 2p = $45 and 4p = $80. This was a dish very similar to the pork my Nonno rustles up on special occasions. I can’t say I’m hip as to why this is a speciality to the Rome region but it sure is tasty. Essentially rolled, slow cooked and sliced very thinly, it was served with a tiny ramekin that contained the porchetta’s cooking juices which we then used to drown the pork, as well as a wedge of lemon to cut through the fattiness. It went particularly well with the salad as well. They do offer a focaccia with the pork which we heard is equally delicious but with the pizza we didn’t want to overdo the carbs.
It almost felt like a small tucked away trattoria in an idyllic Napoli island minus the thick Aussie accents of the dining patrons. If you can’t afford a plane trip to Europe this isn’t an entirely bad fall back plan.
Super keen to come back and check out more of the pizzas on the menu.