Curved panels of Tasmanian oak veneer, cosy leather-lined booths and the flicker of a lit-up wood oven give Anchovy Bandit a nostalgic charm. One you wouldn’t expect from its exterior as part of the Palace Nova cinema complex on Prospect Road.
With a warm design, the pizzeria and cocktail bar from NOLA’s Oliver Brown, Josh Talbot and Alex Bennett skilfully walks the line between the two venue types.
Executive chef Shane Wilson designed the menu. Wood-fired pizzas straight from the oven are still the main focus here, but they're joined by a supporting cast of interesting dishes. One highlight is refreshing take on the classic vitello tonnato, which involves a veal tartare topped with bonito mayonnaise and bonito flakes, served with a potato fritters.
The oven also gets used to bake sourdough daily, and to char and smoke vegetables for the sides menu. Crunchy, house-pickled morsels – which soak in jars in the partly open kitchen – star on antipasti boards. Pasta options include spaghetti with XO pipis, green garlic and tomato; pappardelle with lamb ragu and parmigiano; fusilli with pesto; broad bean and stracciatella; and tortellini stuffed with 'nduja in a chicken broth.
The dining room, renovated at the tail end of 2020, is by Studio Gram, and it manages to seamlessly adopt the existing look of the restaurant while also doubling its capacity.
To drink, there's an extensive list of signature cocktails, most of which are inspired by the team's favourite movies. There's also a healthy line-up of wines, beers and spirits. Alcohol-free options such as mocktails, kombucha and fresh juices are a big focus, too.