Monday, November 26, 2012

Wince's Faves: Kaprica, Carlton

Is that not one of the most beautiful sights you've ever seen at an Italian restaurant?

It was during our exams, my friends and I were studying at uni but decided to head over to what has now become my FAVOURITE pizza place in Melbourne for lunch, just a skip and a hop away from Melbourne Uni.

We chose to sat down in front of the pizza making station, so we could catch all the action.

And before I knew it, I was confronted by a question that never fails to turn me sheepish to me very core...

"Are you a Food Blogger?"

... asks the man behind the pizza counter.

"Uhhh, yeah I kinda am... But a friendly one...?!"

A lot of people may not know this, but for some reason, I still find it very hard to settle into this "identity" of being a "Food Blogger" even after all this time. First, I found people to have lots of preconceived notions about food bloggers.

Another main reason I feel uneasy for having a "title" like that is it makes it sound so official, formal and professional. Almost like a job. Whereas, I see myself more as someone who simply enjoys food and loves to share my experience with others. Sure there are other stuff like site traffic, page rank, invites, freebies, sponsorship, etc etc... But those things really don't concern me much at this point... Maybe I'm just lazy. Meh

Plus, I just DON'T want people to feel different around me because I am a "Food Blogger", whether it's the chef/waiters at the restaurant, or even friends in real life. I'm just........ Winston, your everyday guy.

We continued talking with the owner throughout our meal, who was actually the man making the pizzas at the counter. All day, everyday. Nicest and most humble person I've ever met at a restaurant. Being only 6 weeks old at the time, Pietro shared about the inspirations he drew from the street foods of Italy; and how he wants this place to be the simple and homey space for people to enjoy really good pizza. 

Pietro was later even more interested in our background when we told him we were from Malaysia because he says he's always wanted to take his wife and 2 young kids to Pulau Langkawi for a holiday. And maybe, just maybe, he might be so lucky as to open his own little Italian restaurant in Malaysia one day. I told him that when he does, he's got nothing but my FULL support. And told him to let me know if there's any way I could help.

A true gentleman, he is... And one can't deny his real passion for sharing true, authentic and delicious Italian pizzas with the everyday person. Love it.

This is what it looks like from the outside...
Pretty easy to walk past, am I right....?! Who would've thunk it...?!

Being non-existent on the interwebz prior to this (since it's so so new), I only found out about this from word of mouth from my friends that walked past this one day!

Walking in you are greeted by the sight of people, happily enjoying their lunch in a room with high ceilings, abundance of natural light and rustic interior. 

Nice buzz and chatter filled the room but wasn't loud due to the good acoustics and high ceilings

They even had books for kids to draw too...
Liked that.

 Salami Calypso -- $13
Tomato, mozz, pesto, hot salami
(taken with iPhone)

This was from my first visit to Kaprica and I loved it so much I thought I'd share it too. The hot salami, set against the gooey cheese and tomato with little hints of pesto was utterly DELICIOUS. Great combo, I would order this again.

Puttanesca - $13
Tomato, mozz, olives, anchovies, capers, chilli, cherry tomatoes

The anchovies were my favourite part about this. It was fresh and not salty and just moorish to eat. But, I also liked how my other friends liked this pizza for the other ingredients more, such as the chilli, cherry tomatoes, etc. 

Prosciutto - $13
Tomato, prosciutto, rocket, parmesan

Oh man these were great too. The prosciutto had a slightly chewier bite after being baked. Contrasted against the sharpness of the rocket and parmesan, was so delicious. What's not to like?

Salmone - $13
Tomato, mascaporne, onion, smoked salmon, fish roe

All the pizzas were really good... But this Salmone pizza has got to be my fave!!!

I mean, wouldja just look at that?

What I LOVE about this is how every single ingredient found its place, if that makes any sense. The salmon and fish roe were a natural fit. The mascaporne with its soft creaminess were a better substitue for cheese to go with the salmon. And the slices of red onions and parsley, again, just complemented the salmon so damn well.

I don't know if this may work for other people, but I seriously loved every bite!! This combo is an absolute WINNER to me.

Lemon Tart - $5

The curd was great. It was so light that it disappears in your mouth almost in an instant, leaving only its fresh, tangy flavour. Different from most jam or custard like curds...

Chocolate Tart - $5

Most people know that I'm not really a fan of chocolate (*GASP*!!) but I really enjoyed this. It was dark chocolate but not bitter and leaves you wanting more. Less rich from being well balanced with the right amount of cream. Good.

Final Thoughts:

What I like most about the pizzas here is that the tomato base is fantastic and the pizzas are really crisp. Not just crisp around the crust, but also the BASE (which is very rare for most woodfire pizzas these days, IMO!). I mean, you can tell from the photos of me holding up the pizza that the base had a crunch and held the ingredients really well. This was a huge plus for me. Only exception was prolly the Puttanesca, slightly soggier compared to the other 3 but I'm guessing it was from the weight of the ingredients. And of course, the ingredients and flavours of the pizza toppings. Like+++. Favourite is prolly the Salmone and Hot Salami.

Pizzas at Kaprica have easily become my FAVOURITE in Melbourne now for a number of reasons:
- crisp pizza base
- great flavour combos
- PRICE (only $13 compared to DOC's $25+ pizzas)
- location (right next to Swanston St and near Melb Uni)
- ambience
- downright good, honest pizzas

I hate to say this, but this place really made me rethink why I've paid so much more for pizzas that were not as good at places like DOC or the other pizzerias around Melbourne. I just love how affordable this place is, especially for students, without compromising on flavour. 

For future reference, Kaprica is open everyday, 8am-10pm; except for Mondays when it's 8am-4pm. 

Been here twice already and definitely look forward to coming back to bring new people to try. And also for the Strawberry and Ricotta Tart that Pietro keeps talking about. GOTS TA TRY DAAAAAT!

Kaprica on Urbanspoon

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