Thursday, 1 April 2010

North Fitzroy's Supermaxi worth the taxi fare

It was on this stretch of Nicholson Street, North Carlton, where I twisted my ankle on Saturday night.

North Carlton specky

But it would've taken more than a badly twisted ankle to keep me from checking out Supermaxi on Sunday night! Besides, I was suffering cabin fever from being housebound. J chivalrously phoned me from the restaurant when I was en route in a taxi and asked if I needed a shoulder to lean on, but I managed to limp in under my own steam. :)


305 St Georges Road, North Fitzroy (map)
9482 2828

So, the name. It turns out Supermaxi is many things: the name of a chain of Spanish supermarkets, a type of NZ racing yacht and a series of late 1980s compilation albums featuring Kool & The Gang, Yello and Wang Chung. Owners Rita Macali and Giovanni Patane told Espresso that the name is intentionally un-Italian, a portmanteau word made up of English superlatives Italians like to use. Fair enough. But me, I can't help thinking of products like these when I hear the name. At least it's memorable!


The atmosphere is bustling and the interior is all unadorned walls and moody lighting. Upon arrival at Supermaxi, guests are given a serve of lupini to munch on while they peruse the menu. You eat the beans by making a small tear in the skin with your teeth and then popping the seed directly into your mouth. A bit like Italian edamame.


We shared some excellent primi piatti: stuffed olives with fontina ($8) and the Salumi Maxi platter ($15) with prosciutto, pancetta and salame flecked with truffle oil and pepper.

Stuffed olives and Salumi Maxi

J as forearm and elbow model, posing with his margherita ($15). I ordered the funghi ($19) which in addition to two type of mushroom (field mushrooms and porcini) had two types of cheese (bocconcini and mozzarella). Both very good pizza specimens (Rita used to be a co-owner in and chef at Ladro), with a slight chewiness to the dough that I love. We also polished off an excellent, well priced Chianti Classico DOCG.

Pizza alla margheritaPizza ai funghi

Our amiable waitress came back to us three or four times to ask if we wanted to order anything from the dessert menus before us: eventually we just asked for another drink. J ordered Glenlivet (which, rather curiously, came in a wine glass) and I, being my Nonno's granddaughter, ordered a nip of Nonino grappa. All in all a very enjoyable meal!

Grappa and J's mystery drink


kate said...

We were there last night and I absolutely agree with you on the food front (we had the special pizza and the Aglio and they were both AMAZING!), however the service was THE SLOWEST EVER - we waited for 10 minutes at the door before anyone even looked at us (and were studiously ignored by about 10 wait staff during that period), then once seated waited another 20 minutes before anyone came to take our orders. Disappointing.

Ange said...

Glad you liked it, I'm booked in for a girls night there in a couple of weeks so nice to see a positive blogger review! BTW - I used to love the stuffed olives at Ladro so these will def get a look in on the night

Unknown said...

I miss Giovanni and the old Sud days. This looks like a reminiscence for an old food tragic.

Ali-K said...

Oh no, a twisted ankle? Good to see it didn't interrupt your dining out plans.

Michael said...

Loved it(both Supermaxi and post), but am somewhat sorry I overlooked the grappa as a follow-up!

claire said...

Ankle is well on the mend thanks, Ali-K!

Aw Michael... the grappa digestivo is the best part!!

Peta said...

Yum! Now i am even more excited about my birthday dinner at Supermaxi next week!