Johnny Di Francesco’s margherita pizza of Brunwick’s 400 Gradi was announced the best in the world. Not long after his claim to fame, the store soon opened a new branch at Melbourne’s famous gambling den, The Crown. The new 400 Gradi outlet takes on a more sophisticated interior as compared to the Brunswick store, to match Crown’s facade of course. So, the big question is.. Does the Margherita pizza at Crown truly deserves the crown or not? Read on to know a unanimous verdict between my friends and I.
We ordered the Margherita along side other things, such as this seafood platter for a start. The grilled platter switches daily depending on the availability of what’s in store for the day. On the plate that night was squids, prawns and a leg of an octopus.
For a side of greens, we ordered the rocket salad that had hints of apple shavings, walnuts, balsamic dressing, and last but not least, a light and delicate, melts-in-your-mouth Bella Lodi Raspadura cheese shavings.
And behold.. of what was awarded as the mother of all margheritas, known for perfection in its simplicity with the most basic three ingredient toppings on a pizza, San Marzano tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil. The title was not as easy to attain, as it requires specific amount of dough, the right type of ingredients for toppings, yet maintaining its traditional way of making, handmade. Was it worth all that hype? Well, perhaps a pizza connoisseur would input critics that I would never even have thought of. But for commoners such as most of us, we would suggest a much more simpler opinion of whether its bad, average, good, very good, or over the top excellent. Personally, I’d say it was pretty good but it did not blew my mind away. I possibly already have had such a high expectation of the mother that I was just expecting.. more. Many people I know who have tried seemed to have their subjective opinions comparing that with different pizzas, but one should be aware to compare the Margherita only with other Margheritas. Hence, the title could very much be misleading in this way. I rate it a 7.5/10 because it was tasty, but after all, it is still just a Margherita. How could it triumph meat toppings right?
The Capricciosa was one of 400 Gradi’s most ordered pizza. It seemed messy for a pizza presentation but do not judge a book by its cover, it was indeed one of the tastiest pizza we ordered. Its another San Marzano tomato based pizza with heaps of fior di latte, impressive artichokes, olives I ditched, mushrooms, and really tasty and smoky leg ham.
Last but not least, we have another tomato based pizza with fior di latte, and this time, the addition of aromatic hot salami and fresh rockets. We especially loved the spiced flavour of the salami.
The waitress recommended the Tagliolini Allo Scoglio as the best pasta option. It wasn’t just filled with what can be seen, mussels and clams; there were also prawns and scallops hidden under the blanket of tagliolini. The whole dish drenched with napoli sauce and every bite was delicious.
Overall, 400 Gradi is considered a restaurant that I really like. Just don’t set up your hopes too high on the Margherita, its good but not the best thing out there. You will still though, enjoy other options which are really, really tasty.
Mon to Sun: 12pm-1am