Saturday, October 20, 2007

D.O.C. - Denominazione d'Origine Controliata

After a long week of studying with a few more weeks of study, essays and exams ahead of me, I've taken to getting up early in the mornings to get to the library first thing in the morning so I can work all day and afford to take nights off. So when B asked earlier today if I was free on Sunday morning for brunch, I asked whether he was free tonight for dinner instead. Fine by me, he said. After a failed attempt at convincing a few more friends to join us, I met him at 6.30 and headed down Lygon Street in search of a good feed.

We had planned on the un-original yet reliable Tiamo 2, but seeing the masses of people milling around the entrance on this comfortably cool spring night, we decided to search elsewhere. Stopping at the corner of Faraday Street, I suddenly recalled the new restaurant that Cindy and Michael, as well as Claire, had recently reviewed. Intruiged by the sound of a pizza and mozarella bar, I slyly suggested we try it out (as B, like most, don't know that my ulterior motives for trying out new restaurants is so I can come home and blog about them!).

D.O.C was still only half-full when we got there, so getting a table was the easy part. Perusing the menu, we were informed by the menu that D.O.C was named after the phrase used by various agricultural government bodies that set and oversaw the standards of some Italian foods, such as cheese and wine. The menu plugged "simple Italian food", and that was exactly what we got. B and I decided to go all out, and ordered something from the Mozarella Bar, which we thought was an entree, but turned out to be a main instead. B ordered an Assagio Di Salumi, an assortment of cured meats, and I went with the Bresaola, air cured beef. Both were accompanied by a ball of Australian Fior Di Latte mozzarella cheese and salted biscuits. B later mused that the mozzarella personally wasn't all that spectacular for him. I grudgingly agreed; though I was very enamoured by the idea of a Mozzarella bar, I had to admit perhaps my tastebuds weren't quite up to speed as to be able to appreciate the mozzarella for what it really was. Nonetheless, the cured meats were truly mouthwatering and eating a mouthful of mozzarella with melt-in-your-mouth meat on top of a chunk of the savoury biscuit was really an experience.

The pizzas, however, were on a whole new playing field themselves. B ordered the Pizza ai Porcini with wild mushrooms, truffle oil & mozzarella in bianco, whilst I went for the Pizza Soppressa with tomato, mozzarella, salame, provoloine, pesto di casa & olive. The toppings themselves were good, but the pizza dough and crust really stole the night. Though just a tad salty, they were crispy on the crust whilst satisfyingly chewy on the base. The greatest thing about them is how thin they are. Though B and I could only finish about half our pizzas after having eaten our mozzarella and meats, we ruefully looked back at the table when we were leaving to look at our half-eaten pizzas, a bit reluctant to leave them, but really just unable to ingest any more.

My only complaint about D.O.C was that service seemed a bit haphazard. For some reason, my pizza came out at the same time as the mozzarella "starters", which meant that by the time we got to it, the pizza had gotten cold. What showed how truly impressive the crust was, however, was that the coldness didn't detract from how good it was one bit. It was a bit hard to attract attention after our food had arrived. I couldn't figure out whether it was because we were seated in a nice cornered nook. Plus the price was a bit steep - the bill came to $40 each for two people. That being said, I would recommend it for the experience. And as B wisely said, you can judge how good it is by the number of Italians there were, and there were a lot of Italians. Not sure if I would go again in the near future - mostly due to the indentation it makes on my wallet - but worth another shot definitely.

295 Drummond Street, Carlton
No Bookings
Open 7 nights and Sunday lunch


Cindy said...

I'm glad you made it for a visit! I think the pizzas are something really special.

Like you, I'm not a huge connoisseur of mozzarella - I liked it but could take it or leave it.

Shame the service was so haphazard, though this seems to be happening to quite a few people!

mutemonkey said...

Hey Mel, like Cindy I'm glad to hear you liked the pizze... I agree though that it's a pretty expensive outing. Sorry to hear the service was patchy, but I seriously doubt you were ignored after your mains due to any sort of racial bias! Those Italian stallions that run the place may be forgetful, but I don't think they're racist.

It's funny what you said about lots of Italian customers being a good indication of quality in an Italian restaurant... as a half-Italian, I use the same criterion in selecting Chinese/Malaysian/Vietnamese restaurants! :)

Sarah said...

That pizza sounds yummy; I'll have to try it! I've been searching for a great pizza every since I came back from Naples in 2004.

Sucks about the service though; I hope their service wasn't crap cos you're Asian! That would suck massively!

xox Sarah