MELBOURNE | When searching for Melbourne’s best pizza, Pascoe Vale South pizzeria Shop225 is a name that pops up frequently. It’s won several awards since friends and Pascoe Vale locals Lorenzo Tron and Roberto Davoli purchased it in 2016. Most recently, Shop225 was recognised as one of the best pizzerias in Asia-Pacific by the highly regarded “50 Top Pizza” awards. Clearly they’re doing something right, and I was recently invited in to check it out.
Shop225 is a unfussy local’s spot, with a few tables at the front, in view of the kitchen and the custom Melbourne-made Giuseppe Colosimo wood-fired oven. Out the back, you’ll find a small, cosy, weatherproofed courtyard. The menu is a simple selection of classic Italian favourites. Pizza, pasta, a few sides, and desserts.
The menu at Shop225 is very dietary-friendly. It was the first pizzeria to be accredited by Coeliac Australia, and much of the menu, including all of the pizzas, can be made gluten-free. Vegans are in luck too. Lorenzo and Roberto have collaborated with Coburg non-dairy cheesemakers Damona to develop a full range of non-dairy cheeses, and even have a house-made vegan-friendly Nutella. Shop225 also has Halal accreditation.
The famed wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas are brilliant, made using a 72 hour proof dough, and the best quality local (where possible, imported from Italy when not) ingredients. I opted for the Bufala (buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh prosciutto di Parma and basil) and the Salsiccia e friarelli (fior di latte, scamorza, Italian pork sausage, and friarelli). Both are great, with a just-right charred base, airy crust, and the right proportion of ingredients.
Pasta and gnocchi is made fresh on site each day, and is also fantastic. I went for the Norcina. It’s a creamy, but not too heavy plate of fettuccine with mushroom, pork sausage, and grana padano. For sides, I couldn’t go past the simple and surprisingly light bowl deep-fried gnocchi with mayo. There’s also things like focaccia, arancini, and salads.
If you’re in the mood for dessert, it’s hard to go past the tiramisu. If that’s not your vibe, there’s classics like Sicilian-style cannoli, cassata, and panna cotta. To drink, it’s a small selection of local and Italian Italian-style wines, beers, and drinks. Gluten-free and vegan drink options are also available.
225 Melville Road
Pascoe Vale South
Telephone: (03) 9077 4904
Mon – Thu: 5:00pm to 9:30pm
Fri – Sun: 12:00pm to 9:30pm