33-35 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 3437
It’s been a while since I caught up with my friend, Mitch, and a while since I had a really good wood-fire pizza. So when my mate, Mitch, asked for a long-awaited catch-up at the same time a PR blast about Oddfellows Hotel’s artisan wood-fire pizzas landed in my inbox, I thought it would be good to hit two birds with one stone.
If you’ve never heard of Oddfellows, don’t feel too bad. Its unfortunate location on the other end of the city (relative to where I work) means that I probably would have never heard of its existence if it weren’t for the e-mail, which claimed that Oddfellows boasted ‘THE best artisan pizzas in Melbourne.’ Mmmm, big call. Secondly, it’s located just off Lt Lonsdale Street so while it’s only a hop and a jump away from the ever-popular Madame Brussels bar, it’s a bit hard to find. Once you arrive, however, you are greeted by the warm smiles of the owner, Angelo, who, during our meal, continued to provide friendly and efficient service. The menu itself is pretty pub food-ish, with a few modern tweaks to appease food snobs. Think The Metropolitan on William Street, which used to be a regular trivia joint for me and my colleagues (funnily enough, I’ve never written a review of that place – that’s on my ‘to do’ list), but with less diners, even on a Tuesday night.
Given that Oddfellows is all about the pizzas, Mitch and I decided to go with two pizzas to share. First up, the norcina ($17). This pizza was chosen because the e-mail claimed it to be a staff favourite and on paper, I can see why. Topped with pork and fennel sausages, caramelised onion, mozzarella and Napoli sauce, the combination sounded very tempting indeed. Combine that with a dough that’s been mixed in with beer to give it a malty flavour, you can also see why I had somewhat high expectations. Unfortunately, it didn’t really induce a helluva lot of ‘foodgasms’ on our end – the whole thing was perhaps a little bit flat (I wonder what beer they used in the dough…), and the caramelised onions were a bit too acidic and sour for our tastes – this brought down what could have been a ‘yeah, not bad, hey?’ pizza. Having said that, though, at least they weren’t as bland as the pizzas they serve at The Metro.’
We both, however, thought the saporita was good ($17). Slices of mushrooms and salami shared a mixed tomato-bechamel base with a winning cheese duo of parmesan and mozzarella. Again, the foodgasms never arrived but we were both satisfied with our choice – the pizza didn’t have the oomph that Ladro’s awesome flat pizzas will ever have but for a dime-a-dozen CBD pub-type pizza, it was decent. Way better than The Metro.’
Both Mitch and I couldn’t see ourselves recommending this place for pizza any time soon. Why, when there are better pizza places in the suburbs? I will, however, be very keen to bring my work boys over to Oddfellows for a spot of trivia as they apparently do trivia on Wednesday nights. I mean, why not? The pizzas are better than the Metro’ and hey, the fact that there is less of a crowd at Oddfellows means that we’re more likely to win at trivia, right?