26 Jun Son of a Pizzaiolo, Thornbury
Brothers Frank and Roque Romano had their beginnings in the restaurant trade with Woodfire Cafe Pizzeria in Ivanhoe back in 2008. Maintaining an allegiance to their Italian background, Son of a Pizzaiolo was opened up in nearby Thornbury.
The launch of their new ‘Prima Colazione’ (aka breakfast) menu coincides with their first birthday, so is a cause for celebration. An all-day breakfast is served here, with lunch options kicking in at 11:30am. Salmon for Breakfast is a clean and simple assembly of house-cured salmon, dukkah spiced avocado, grilled asparagus, cream cheese and sourdough multigrain toast. The Ancient Grain Super Salad is a healthy, textural mix of quinoa, avocado, goji berries, grilled asparagus, kale, fennel, toasted pumpkin seeds, nigella seeds and a beetroot dressing. It could do with a bit more quinoa and maybe a bit less lettuce, but the flavours are decent. The cauliflower delivers a tangy hit, and the dukkah poached egg provides extra moisture.
SOP does smashed avocado too, theirs infused with lemon juice and dressed up with beetroot puree, thyme and crumbled baked ricotta. Tomatoes on the vine inject a warm splash of colour and flavour. The highlight is the Cheesy Scrambled Eggs. Two squares of polenta hash browns, grilled Portobello mushrooms and sliced chorizo are arranged around the pecorino-infused scrambled eggs. The chorizo in particular turns this simple looking dish into a mouth-watering one.
Neapolitan-style woodfire pizzas are cooked in a rotating oven, resulting in an evenly cooked creation. The simpler flavours of the margherita means the quality of the dough and cooking method have nowhere to hide, and here they’re up to the mark – the pizza’s thin, crispy base comes with the just right amount of chew. Pasta and risotto become available towards the lunch side of the brunch hour. Tomato-based Pasta Mafalde al Ragu features slow-cooked lamb with shavings of Pecorino, and the Duck Risotto makes for a hearty and delicious lunch, with a tender slow-cooked duck ragu and mixed field mushrooms to go with the al dente risotto rice.
We can’t forget the sweet options. Italian Hot Chocolate is thick and chocolately rich, creating a molten trail of warmth down to our stomachs. Tiramisu Porridge contains all the components of tiramisu plus more. Coffee-infused oats come with mascarpone, dried organic coconut, slivered almonds and cacao powder, with sponge fingers and caramelised banana laid on the surface. It sounds great on paper, but lacks a little something. A touch more sweetness would go a long way in elevating the dish to something great. The Nutella French Toast is the star of the dessert round. The brioche is adorned with mixed berry compote and fresh berries, and dressed with a ‘Nutella indulgence’, white chocolate ganache, and a quenelle of mascarpone. A scattering of mixed nut croccantino adds extra texture to each bite, and the dish is not overly sweet.
The brunch menu at Son of a Pizzaiolo has a good range of dishes to suit the morning crowd, from the usual suspects to the more Italian dishes. Not just an Italian dinner destination, SOP is a solid option for brunch too.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest. Opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time of the visit.
Son Of a Pizzaiolo
875 High St
Thornbury, VIC, 3071
(03) 9484 9911