When Hubby Bear was trying to win me over to have pizzas one night for dinner, he described De Fazio’s Restaurant as being “old school, Aussie-style Italian food“. So let’s unpack that description one by one.
Old School: Fit-out circa 1980’s; clean, practical, boring; absence of modern dining elements such as industrial bar stools and glass jars dangling from the ceiling as light shades; token decoration and flowers which re-assures one that a decent level of care and consideration has been placed in trying to inject atmosphere into the dining room.
Aussie-style: Standard pizza bases; gargantuan toppings; flavours appealing to the average Australian palette.
Italian food: Inspired from that boot-shaped country far, far away.
We were seated at a table for two, nestled up against the bar and had a cheeky chuckle with each other when we saw the names of their gourmet pizzas: Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4. Hey, sometime’s keeping it simple is a good thing! Ha!
After perusing his options, Hubby Bear ordered Gourmet Pizza 1 ($21.50/Large) which had tomato smothered on the base, just the right amount of cheese, roasted peppers, and olives. All these elements were mingling with slices of honey cured ham and sorpressa salami. Despite its simple name, after a couple of large bites into a slice, Hubby Bear declared this to be “one of the best Aussie-style pizzas” he’s ever had. And that’s pretty special! 🙂
I ordered the Gourmet Pizza 3 ($21.50/Large), the only veg gourmet pizza to choose from, and was served up #4 instead, which has salmon on it. As she placed the pizza on the table, I alerted the server that it wasn’t the right one. Then by way of super-sonic hearing, the manager was at our table in a blink of an eye, menu open and asked me to point to the pizza I originally ordered. I singled out, “Number three, I’m vegetarian“. From there she swooped the incorrect plate away and got the pizza kitchen to re-make the correct one, pronto.
While Hubby Bear did attempt to eat slower, I must give big kudos to the De Fazio team for pulling off a very quick rectification! Eager to get stuck in after hearing Hubby’s exclamations of yumminess for his, when my correct pizza landed, I chomped into a large slice of roasted eggplant and peppers and could taste that token bit of saltiness from the olives. Hmm. Even with the generous amount of cheese and drizzle of tomato on top, the flavours weren’t captivating me. I happily accepted the offer of chili flakes to sprinkle on my meal when the manager passed by again.
Whilst I appreciate (to no end) the way De Fazio’s handled and delivered the correct dish with priority, unfortunately, the pizza was just okay. But let’s be clear, there was nothing wrong with the pizza, it just didn’t hit any squeeeeee buttons for me.
As we made our pies disappear, we chatted and chomped and sipped our red wine; watching the restaurant fill up to capacity. And you know what, we can see why this place was packed out – with the phone ringing off the hook for takeaway: they’re delivering (as my significant other said), old school, Aussie-style Italian food – which seems to be a bit of a dying breed in Melbourne’s trendy uproar of new, more classic Italian pizza places.
Don’t go here expecting the pizza bases to be light and crispy and sparsely adorned, like D.O.C. or Ciccio’s – De Fazio’s just isn’t that type of Italian restaurant. But do expect their pizzas to be jam-packed with toppings and satisfying! Overall, if you’re in the neighborhood looking to fill the tank with some solid fare, we recommend you make a visit!
Address: 155 Whitehorse Road, Blackburn VIC 3130
Tip! Their dining room isn’t all that big, and the locals clearly love this joint, so make sure you ring ahead and book!