19 Lincoln Square South
Carlton VIC 3053
+61 3 9639 6222
Happy Easter, folks!
I trust that you’ve all enjoyed yourselves this Good Friday, whether it’d be at church with the family, eating the mandatory Good Friday seafood requirements by way of a hu tieu in Richmond, in bed catching up on some much-needed sleep or tucking into fish and chips for dinner– or all of the above if you’re like me. If you’re also like me, you probably won’t be able to get through the long weekend without squeezing a couple of blog posts. So here’s the first one.
So as some of you might know, I’m currently studying. Some of you might also know that Dave is also currently studying (but lucky for him, not for much longer). The two of us also study at the same institution. We don’t often see each other on campus due to different class times (it could also be due to the fact that I attend class as little as possible) but the other week, we both happened to have classes on Tuesday afternoon. Therefore, we decided to squeeze in lunch during our break.
Winston has been waxing lyrical about Melbourne pizza king Pietro Barbagallo’s latest venture, for quite some time. Barbagallo’s the dude responsible for institutions such as I-Carusi and his eponymous CBD trattoria Barbagallo before its sudden closure. Now, Barbagallo’s focus is on the grassroots and with that, came the quiet birth of Kaprica.
Located next door to the Salmat building on Lincoln Square South (just look out for the group of smokers and tattoos out the front), Kaprica is one of those walk-and-you’ll-miss-it type places. Hell, I must have walked past it three times before realising that the brick hut-looking joint covered in weird plastic green ‘stuff’ housed, what I soon found out was, one of Melbourne’s finest pizzas.
Dave was still in class so I decided to come in a bit earlier to grab a seat just in case it got packed during the lunch rush. The waitress seated me near the doorway and when I said that I was waiting for a friend, she nodded and left me alone. Now, it was a 36 degree day and the only thing providing little relief from the elements outside was the old electric fan a few tables next to me. I saw the waitress providing glasses of water to the other patrons but I was ignored. While I get that I told her that I was waiting for someone (and thus, obviously not ready to order), it would have been good if she gave me some of that much-needed water given the heat and all. In the end, I did ask for it and everything was fine – but I really felt that she should have used a bit of initiative.
Apart from that though, my experience at Kaprica’s was fantastic. Once I had my water, my lemon granita ($5) arrived shortly after. It was literally the. best. thing. ever. on such a hot day and it was not watery like a lot of granitas I’ve had in the past.
At this point, Dave was running a bit late. Okay, maybe more than just a little bit. Apparently a couple of student presentations went on for a bit too long and so did the barrage of questions from super-inquisitive students. Ugh. But he did finally arrive (though he only had about half an hour before he had to go back to class). Thankfully, Kaprica were very nice about this – not once were we pressured to leave, even when the place got more than a little busy (and hot!) during the lunch rush.
We ordered two small pizzas to share: the salsiccia and the salmone.
The salsiccia pizza ($12) was chosen because Dave wanted something ‘meaty’ and the pork and fennel sausages certainly delivered (okay that sounded slightly dirty…). The pizza might have only been a 10-incher (okay, I’ll stop now) but it was very filling. What impressed us both was the crust – it was beautifully crispy all over. Yep, not just on the crust but all over. Not even the tomatoes could make the base the slightest bit soggy, which I thought was amazing.
I also thought the salmone ($12) was terrific. Winston said that this was his favourite flavour and I can certainly see why – I loved the wonderful textural contrast between the creamy mascarpone and the silky smoked salmon, punctured by the popping fish roe. The tomato base then added a lovely tanginess to the whole thing. Beautiful, just beautiful.
We were both pretty full by the end of lunch so we were kind of glad that we went without starters (although I wouldn’t mind trying the Caprese salad the next time I’m here!). Apart from the water thing (partly because everything else was so good and partly because I’m a whinging sook when the weather gets a bit too hot), our experience was fantastic. The pizzas were not only delicious, but cheap especially given Barbagallo’s credentials. This makes Kaprica a place to go to if you want damn good value pizza.
I might hate going to uni but knowing that an eatery like this exists only two blocks from campus makes me, well, not hate it so much. As long as I’m a student (hopefully not for long though), I will make this a regular lunch haunt.