Bam Bam Italian was born of a desire to combine quality Italian food with a family-friendly atmosphere. Husband-and-wife owners Paul “Dougie” Douglas and Belinda Smullen (who also own the General Food Store in neighbouring Emerald) take inspiration from the casual trattorias found throughout Italy, while leaning on seasonal produce from the Dandenong Ranges’ growers and makers.

From the broad and often inventive menu, you might start with the tomato salad: a simple antipasto of tomatoes from Romaro Farm and Muddy Creek Gardens, a Bloody Mary-inspired dressing and basil. For a main dish, try the pan-fried calamari with spicy ’nduja and a creamy corn puree. And for dessert, take your pick of gelato, cannoli or a classic tiramisu.

But if you’re coming here, it’s almost certainly for the pizza. The dough is made from hand-milled, biodynamic flour supplied by Monbulk’s Rock Paper Flour, and the spent husks from the grain are reused to dust the underside of the pizza. Popular toppings include pork-and-fennel sausage (supplied by local butcher Bill’s of Belgrave) with chilli and mozzarella, and a truffle and confit garlic base studded with field mushrooms and topped with parsley.

The list of wine, beer and spirits is predominantly local and nearly all Australian. Although Italian staples, such as Peroni and a good selection of amari-based cocktails, are hard to resist given the cuisine.

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Updated: March 9th, 2022

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