We’re nearing the end of our pizza challenge. It’s been a delicious 9 months that’s for sure!
With only 2 restaurant choices left, we decided to give good old Melville a chance – Café Picobella to be exact. With Toni’s still on my mind, I was somewhat skeptical about what Café Picobella would have to offer.
Décor: Set in a cute little house on a side road in Melville, Café Picobella is the epitome of a quaint Italian trattoria. Outside, tables and umbrellas fill the porch, overlooked by a massive tree. Inside, the walls are adorned with pictures of saints and religious icons and beautiful chandeliers provide warm lighting. It has the feel of a little old chapel which I quite like. One suggestion, fairy lights outside – fairy lights make everything better.
Vibe:For some or other reason I expected more of a vibe from a Melville restaurant. I think I might be living in the past somewhat. The restaurant was full but it just lacked a little something something. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Service: Average at best. I’ll lump the service from the kitchen together with front of house for this one. Service was slow and painful. I can’t remember who our actual waitress was as we saw so many people throughout the night so I can’t put the blame on any one person. We ordered just after 8pm and the food only started coming out at about 9. Some pizzas only made it to the table well after 9pm (these were the pizzas that had to be remade after they were made incorrectly the first time round). The issues were compounded when, at pay-up time, the solitary card machine started giving hassles. Managers and staff ran around trying to fix the issues but made little progress. I left with a slightly bitter taste in my mouth but I can’t really blame the restaurant for a bank problem.
Base: Amazingly thin and crispy. Exactly how the perfect base should be. Some pizzalympians found the base too dry but I quite like it that way.
Average Score: 4 out of 5
A coupla’ comments: “nice and crispy. Well cooked” “Crisp, but the dough was not the tastiest” “Bit powdery” “Burnt on one of the edges”
Toppings: Café Picobella has a wide range of toppings and some quite unique combinations. I like that they offer calzones as well (2 mini calzones made from a choice of 2 pizzas). I ordered my usual Quattro Stagioni and was a little disappointed. My pizza was luke warm (a pizza should only be eaten piping hot or icy cold) and the olives tasted old and dry. I also had to add extra garlic, which I never do, and a heart attack inducing amount of salt to get some flavour. I just felt that overall my pizza lacked flavor and seasoning.
I also tasted the Picobella Deluxe which is meant to have parma harm, avo and bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls). The pizza was covered in parma ham (which isn’t normally a problem) but there were only 1 or 2 bocconcini to be found. Disappointing.
Average score: 3.5 out of 5
A coupla’ comments: “Toppings generous but lacked depth of flavor”, “Awesome to actually taste the bacon” “too dry”, “very yummy” “not enough cheese”
Awesomeness: Once again, we sampled the sangria. It wasn’t bad but wasn’t great. A bit too winey for my liking (need something sweet added to it) and a lot of orange pieces. Nothing worse than biting into soggy citrus skin when you think it’s an apple.
Average score: 4 out of 5
A coupla’ comments: “No complaints but was just nice, not awesome”, “base too dry, sangria too much orange with skin”, “felt Italian and romantic even with all you chops” “Service slow but pizza made up for it”
Overall: 11.5 out of 14. I think most pizzalympians enjoyed the pizza at Café Picobella but the average service and delay in getting our food let it down. I would probably go back but not in a big group. I think this could be an awesome “date night” spot!
66 4th Avenue
Tel: 011 482 430 (it was full, make a booking)