Food, Recently Opened
90 Secondi Naples Style Pizza in Docklands
As a lover of 400 Gradi I'm excited to see 90 Secondi open up next to Etihad. With Johnny DiFrancsco at the helm both establishments reach a pizza zenith with a Naples style pizza cooked for 90 seconds at 400 degrees.
Johnny tells us the secret to great pizza is in the quality of the dough as well as the use of fine and fresh ingredients. Having been to pizza estblishments all over Melbourne 400 Gradi and 90 Secondi are firm favourites.
I'm not alone. After only 14 days of operating I visited a packed 90 Secondi on a Thursday lunchtime. With a large group leaving next to me after their meal, it was only a couple of minutes until another took their place. This was Docklands coming alive.
I enjoyed lunch as a guest of 90 Secondi and here is my interview with Johnny DiFrancesco -
1. Hi Johnny, are you bringing the concept of highly successful 400 Gradi to 90 Secondi?
The 90 Secondi concept is similar to 400 Gradi, the quality of the food the service and of course the pizza, remains the same.
2. How is Melbourne embracing Naples style pizza?
Five years ago when I introduced Melbourne to the real Pizza Napoletana style the consumer was not familiar with the product at all. Over the past three years my pizza Napoletana has become more loved by pizza lovers and people can now appreciate the difference in quality, texture and taste. I believe that pizza Napoletana needs to be eaten three times to really become familiar with it.
3. What is the secret to a great pizza?
Definitely in the pizza dough and the dough making process, and the use of the highest quality and freshest ingredients.
4. Johnny are you looking to attract sporting crowds before and after games at Etihad? And corporates in nearby offices?
The corporates and sport crowds will come naturally at lunch time and on event days. Our aim is to also attract people to this part of the Docklands during the week for lunch and dinner and on the weekends, the Docklands has a lot of offer and we are excited to be part of such an exciting location.
5. Who do you support in AFL?
Essendon but I also have a soft spot for Carlton
6. Will there be a "dough dance" like at 400 Gradi? Ha ha
You never know, I'm always working on something special!
I dined for lunch as a guest of 90 Secondi and thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The waiter Vito was engaging, professional, helpful offering recommendations and an absolute champion. He enlivened the experience by speaking to customers in the odd phrase of Italian.
The Zucchini flowers stuffed with goats cheese and mint with a hint of chili were firm and the filling was generous, creamy and rich. as far as Zucchini flowers go these were top notch and full of flavour.
The entrees were superb. I was beginning to realise 90 Secondi is not a one hit wonder specialising in pizza but the menu pleases across the board. I wanted to experience the whole album.
The Lamb ribs were melt in your mouth cooked on the bone char grill style and marinated in oil and herbs.
Johnny has a penchant for Margeurita pizza claiming it's the best pizza in the world. I was tempted to go there. But I couldn't resist the Caserta with san marzano tomato, mozzarella di bufala (air freighted fresh from caserta), levoni prosciutto di parma, and rocket. Levoni is known to be top notch prosciutto di parma and I was all over it. The dough is perfect in the Naples style with flecks of char. I always think if the dough is a standout you can eat it on its own with pleasure.
The ingredients of this pizza are quality and generous but not overdone. The levoni prosciutto combining with the creamy mozzarella di bufala is a sensation, and further enhanced by the quality of the dough. I surmised that the quality of this pizza matched the zenith that 400 Gradi was able to achieve on the same pizza.
Italian wines enhance the meal and aren't overly expensive... Thanks Vito!
I can't believe how much I ate at 90 Secondi. But with Vanilla panna cotta up for grabs with strawberries and delectable prosecco (poured on top) - I rose to the occasion. The panna cotta had a slight sweetness and the advent of prosecco was brilliant together with the strawberries. There was something festive about this dessert and would be a winner served at a Melbourne Cup luncheon methinks.
90 Secondi has several dining spaces including the stools facing the window to Gate 3 of Etihad Stadium.
And the coffee here is excellent...
The fit out is modern with produce on display, large red light fittings, funky red chairs, great use of timber, a black fleck floor and high ceilings. I remember sitting at 400 Gradi with Mathias (ex SBS media personality) who organises the Melbourne Pizza Festival discussing pizza in Melbourne and Italy. His comment was that the pizza from 400 Gradi (and I'm sure 90 Secondi) would excel and be super popular in Italy. Ciao!