Everything about Sunnyside Sliced in Mentone is a romantic play on old-school New York. Owner Ali Ali has been stretching dough since he was tall enough to reach the bench – he grew up in his family’s Cranbourne pizzeria. His time spent in the Big Apple inspired him to bring Manhattan to Mentone.
The pizza here is long-fermented and hand-stretched to give just the right amount of chew and crunch. In a bustling open kitchen, jumpsuit-wearing, paddle-wielding chefs bake up to 50 18-inch pies an hour in “a beast of an oven”.
The Hella Honey (with chorizo, jalapenos and Brooklyn's cult Mike’s Hot Honey) is spicy and salty, while the Sunnyside Cheese is a feat of simplicity. Baking Sicilian-style deep-dish pizza sets Sunnyside apart from many other NYC-style pizzerias; the “grandma” pie is baked upside down so there’s a thick cheesy crust on the bottom.
Sunnyside is all about the Italian staples: there’s “Mom’s spaghetti”, with rich bolognaise, and gooey home-style lasagne (both made by Ali’s actual mum, who helps out in the kitchen). There’s also a three-day fermented garlic focaccia.
There’s a wholesome family vibe to the warmly lit setting. Out back is a massive courtyard, complete with a container cocktail bar (go for the Spiced Negroni), an enormous palm tree and a heated dining area.
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