362 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD
Phone: 9642 0440
I had been invited to go along to one of the pizza battle heats being organised by Alex of the MSG blog. I rushed off early from the Moortangi Estate tasting to meet @alexlobov and @jillianjtl for some pizza battle tasting, around the corner at +39. It was jammed full of people, with quite a few milling around the entrance as I stumbled in. These people looked a little peeved at me when I walked right past them and found Alex and Jillian already seated at a table up the back.
+39 is the creation of the people behind D.O.C., and style of pizza is pretty much the same. The vibe, however, is much more urbane, with exposed concrete everywhere, and moodier lighting. And yes, it was a very busy Thursday night, but the service was patchy at best. We had to ask twice for our drinks, were presented with menus after we had already ordered, and waited about half an hour before even receiving our drinks. Thankfully, the pizza came not too long after.
Alex ordered something off the specials board, involving Italian sausage, some fancy mozzarella (scamorza?) and silverbeet. It was pretty good – I liked the sausage, but we’ll not go into my history with Italian sausage, because this is a family blog.
I have a soft spot for broccoli on pizzas (I’d like to think it’s because it creates the illusion of nutrition, but it’s actually I just like broccoli a lot) and when I saw that +39 had paired it with anchovies (see my D.O.C. post about the quality of their produce) my decision was made for me. This pizza was pretty great, though after about two slices, I found myself following Jillian’s lead and adding some of the pickled chillies to it for a bit more of a kick.
Jillian ordered a pizza with another fancy cheese – taleggio? fontina? – truffle oil and rocket. It’s hard to go wrong with the heady earthiness of truffle, so keeping it simple here was a good idea.
I liked +39, despite the lacklustre service. I’d say wait for the hype to die down somewhat, and hopefully it’ll be a better experience for you.