The business lunch is a thing of legend. In the 80’s and 90’s – sadly before my time – the business lunch was an opulent ritual ending with port and often sliding into dinnertime, with a generous supplier footing the bill. These days, value is important, as is the right atmosphere to kick back & mingle or to find a bit of shush if someone wants to keep talking shop while chewing the (low) fat.
A warm welcome and attentive but not intrusive service is also a must.
Italian has something for everyone. For those not wearing white, there is spaghetti. Plenty of options for the vegetarians. Also bistek for the omnivores. And everyone’s favourite, pizza. Plus quaffable wine.
90 Secondi is tucked into office space heaven at Dockside on Bourke St in Melbourne. A bit of pizzaz and flash is added by it being the second restaurant by Johnny di Francesco. The name refers to the official Naples ruling that a proper Napoli style pizza must cook in less than 90 seconds, and is in keeping with Johnny’s other restaurant name, 400 Gradi which refers to the perfect Napoli pizza cooking temperature – 400 degrees.
The space is modern and filled with natural light thanks to double story windows all along. A mezzanine level is available for a bit of privacy. Dark wood, steely grey and splashes of red create a business-appropriate look. The open kitchen gives great views of the action by the wood fired oven, and of the pizzaolo’s twirling dough and handling the extra special ingredients, including buffalo mozzerella air freighted in from Italy.
Of course, it had to be sampled.
Margherita with buffalo mozzerella Photo: Willunga Wino
Margherita is the king of pizza – the original and the best, in my book. Feel free to forgo cutlery – I did – and folded in hand is a great way to enjoy the smooth, stretchy, salty mozzerella. The base is blistered on top, crisp on the bottom, but the middle succumbs to the juicy tomato sugo if you take too long to eat it. This should not be a problem. These pizze are easy to love and almost perfectly sized to leave you full but still able to finish every morsel.
There is always one. I was talked into having some of the house made limoncello while everyone else had coffees. It was delicious and a great way to cap off a delicious pizza in well hosted, welcoming surrounds.
Rating : 4 Glasses
Menu – Pizza, pasta, appetizers.
Meal Size: Perfect – one pizza is exactly enough.
Atmosphere / Ambience: Modern, business crowd.
Standout Dish: The Margherita Versace $20.50.
Service: Fun, friendly.
Online Booking: No.
Restaurant Details and Location:
700 Bourke St, Docklands, Melbourne
Tel No: (03) 9600 2841
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 7.00 am to 11.00 pm ; Saturday & Sunday: Midday to 11.00 pm
Access: Easily accessed by walking across the elevated walkway from Southern Cross Stadium – follow the signs for Bourke St or Etihad Stadium.