A PIZZERIA WITH FRIENDLY SERVICE IS JUST THE TICKET IF YOU’RE PLANNING AN OUTING WITH A HOLLYWOOD STAR
Let’s face it, there are great Italian restaurants and then there’s your local pizza joint. 300 degrees, which has taken over the spot occupied by La Porchetta for many years, lies somewhere midstream.
The middle market is no bad place. It brings affordability and little risk of disappointment.
On the whole, prices are neither cheap nor expensive, but perhaps a few dollars short of what you might pay at the higher end.
Inside, by appearance, there’s not a great deal of difference from its previous incarnation, though, this being an independent eatery as opposed to part of a chain, it seems to have a touch more character these days. It’s a Thursday night and quite busy. As we are seated, the waitress informs us there will be about a half-hour wait for food, due to the earlier arrival of a large group.
From where we sit, the sole chef down this end (there’s a pizza kitchen at the other end) is under the cosh, but managing admirably.
Knowledge is power, so being informed in advance is fine, we’re happy to wait.
Feeling a little tenuous about how things will shape up, we have decided to stick to basics.
Our thinking is, if they get the essentials right, we can be a little more adventurous next time.
A couple of traditional pizzas (there’s a gourmet range, but some of them sound a bit weird – chicken satay pizza, anyone?), a salad and some drinks. What can go wrong? Well, nothing, as it turns out. The wait isn’t excessive and, before we’re finished our first drinks (Jacob’s Creek pinot grigio for me, Peroni for him) the food has arrived.
A prosciutto and rocket pizza dabbed with molten mozzarella blobs, parmesan and basil looks appealing and tastes right with a mountain of fresh leaves piled in the centre.
A capricossa pizza (our Italian friend informs us this is the one you order when you “want it all”) looks a tad overdone, but well covered with ham, mushrooms, olives, anchovies and mozzarella. The crusts on both are crisp, with the right amount of give.
A Mediterranean salad is buxom for the price at $14.90 with abundant fetta and an agreeable balsamic vinaigrette.
The wine surprises me. It’s what could politely be described as “minimalist”. Looking around, every other wine drinker seems to have a much heartier serve.
I’ve shied away from the house wine at $4.90 a glass ($14.70 a litre), fearful of side-effects, but feel a bit cheated as to why I’ve been given such a grannie allowance. Our waitress reads my perturbation and corrects the matter. 300 degrees does good trade. At the start of the meal we discuss whether this is due to its location within a cinema complex, or whether the food and service are the drawcards.
The service is efficient and friendly, the food rather good.
Verdict: If a movie is on the cards, this is definitely worth consideration to keep hunger pangs at bay.