Italians have their own word for a shop that sells fried food – friggitoria – and Valerio Calabro realised Melbourne was severely lacking in these iconic institutions.
Valerio (who also co-owns La Svolta in Hampton), in collaboration with his wife, Sally Calabro, and Andrea Pagani, decided to open what the southside was missing: Figo, a relaxed takeaway restaurant combining Italian fried food with pizza, booze and dessert.
The fritto misto (assorted fried food) includes an item from almost every part of Italy: polenta to represent the north, seafood from the coasts and arancini from Sicily. A sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon is all it takes to finish these dishes off.
Other dishes include the panzerotto fritto, two deep-fried mini calzones filled with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato and basil that are perfect for hangovers; and cosoletta, parmesan- and garlic-crumbed lamb cutlets thrown into the deep fryer.
Keep an eye out for the carbonara pizza, with pancetta, garlic, eggs and pecorino.
Six pozzetti (refrigerated wells) are filled with a rotation of Gelateria Primavera’s own flavours.