The world would be a better place if there were more suburban pizza joints like Monsterella. This white-walled room is casual but effortlessly stylish. It caters to the whole family; there’s BYO and textas and colouring-in (menus and pizzas boxes) for the kids. For owners Tania Nicolo and Ryan Bookless, it’s all about creating a fuss-free neighbourhood destination.
Monsterella nails a lot of the pizza-making basics. The dough is a mix of flours and fermented for at least 48 hours to develop both taste and texture; the ingredients bench stocks multiple cheeses; the pizzas are scantly topped and quickly baked in a hot, wood-fired oven. Diners can also order pies with lamb, smoked salmon and – avert your eyes, purists – pineapple. Unlike the typically saucy Naples-style pizza traditionally eaten with a knife and fork, Monsterella’s pies are sturdy enough to be eaten with fingers.
The brief edit of pastas features a truffled parpadelle carbonara; spaghetti with kale and spinach pesto; and that American red-sauce classic, spaghetti and meatballs. Nicolo’s mother makes the handmade pasta daily. Arossticini (dainty lamb skewers) are a juicy, smoky nod to the Nicolo’s Abruzesse heritage. The family’s homegrown produce stars in seasonal specials such as the caprese salad, an artful arrangement with alternating layers of sweet, ripe tomatoes and creamy rounds of buffalo mozzarella.
Chicho Gelato supplies the frozen treats. Pizzas come in both small and large sizes and gluten-free bases are also available (small only). Monsterella does takeaway and delivers within the local area.
A recipe from Monsterella is featured in The Broadsheet Italian Cookbook. Buy your copy at shop.broadsheet.com.au.