f you’re sitting at your desk already wondering what you might have for lunch today, here’s an idea. Head down to Equitable Place (between Collins and Little Collins) for a focaccia. But before you scoff at the suggestion, note that this is no sub-standard flat loaf with some sullied veggies thrown in – this is the real deal. Keen to redefine the Italian sandwich, Fugazza – which was opened earlier this week by Simon Michelangeli – is an authentic Tuscan focaccia bar (the real kind of foccacia) and the city’s newest lunch spot.
Michelangeli was once a banker, but has now turned his fast hands to making focaccia bread, like in the bars his family used to sit at in Italy. And just like those places, things are done simply, but well, at Fugazza. There are a handful of focaccias to choose from, including mushroom and talegio or housemade pork sausage and stracchino cheese. They come whole or half with a salad or soup, all washed down Italian Abbondio soft drinks. The difference here is this bread is real focaccia dough; it’s light and flavoursome, and like a true Italian, Michelangeli is making it himself.
“I’ve experimented with a range of sourdough options during developments,” he says. “The one that we are using for Fugazza was inherited about 20 years ago by the baker I am working with.”
They’re also roasting their own coffee, a blend made especially for Fugazza in Deepdene by their lead barista who also works in the cafe behind their vintage Gaggia machine.
Attention to detail is something that Michelangeli is keen to note. Everything is locally sourced and top quality, from the food and coffee, right down to the fit out (Megan Genat) and identity (Luke Brown and Lora Ward).
What’s more, Fugazza is not only in the city, they are also on wheels in a food truck. They’ll be driving their restored 1970s Millard to the Harvest Festival in November and, with any luck, some of the big music festivals over summer.
These guys are giving the focaccia a good name again, or as Michelangeli notes, “A delicious reminder that food should be savoured, not scoffed.”
31 Equitable Place, Melbourne
Mon to Fri 7am–3pm