Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 16, 2009: Bande A Part Pizza

December 31, 2012: Bande A Part is no longer trading.

Cindy and I have had some good meals at Pizza Meine Leibe in Northcote, but the place has a few problems: it's too far away for a lazy night out and you probably need to book to make sure you'll get a table. Problem solved! Bande a Part in North Carlton is a Meine Leibe's closer, emptier sister. We turned up with Mike and Jo on a Wednesday evening and had our pick of tables in the spacious and trendy interior.

The friendly staff quickly had us sipping our first beers and perusing the long and varied menu. After a brief power struggle, we agreed to order 4 vego pizzas to share, along with a couple of salads to give us the illusion of nutrition.

The first salad (Ms Pink, $9.50) was a delicious concoction of radicchio and green leaves, orange, beetroot and red onion, dressed in a red wine veaigrette. Despite the protestations of some at the table that fruit doesn't belong in salads, this was a hit - sweet and tangy enough to cut through all the delicious pizza grease.

The second salad, ordered for the Ms Pink naysayer, was a typical rocket and parmesan job. It was a generous plateful, and one we might not have ordered if we'd realised that one of our pizzas would look like this:

The field of dreams ($15) is a pretty standard vego pizza of mushroom, buffalo mozzarella and garlic, with a pile of rocket and parsley popped on top for some textural variety. As with all the pizzas, the base was perfectly cooked, and all the ingredients were tasty - but on the whole this was probably the least memorable of the four pizzas we ordered.

Next up was the eggplant pizza ($13) ,with roasted eggplant, tomato sauce, fio di latte, pesto and semi-dried tomatoes. This was an outstanding flavour combination - the slightly smokey eggplant working surprisingly well with the pesto and semi-dried tomatoes.

Working in the same genre as I Carusi's broccoli pizza is the Greenpeace ($13), although Bande a Part add tellegio and silverbeet to the mix while dropping off the chilli. Whether it quite measured up to the simpler broccoli, lemon and chilli combo of the Holmes Street pizzeria was contested, but the fact that we were even talking about them in the same breath is high praise indeed.

Finally, something a bit wacky: the blue velvet ($15), with mozzarella, bontazola blue cheese, potato and soused pear (Mike and Jo were kind enough to ask for the standard prosciutto from this pizza to be served on the side). This was probably the star of the show, with the pungent blue cheese applied with appropriate restraint and the sweet pears taking the edge off perfectly.

Bande A Part is not a cheap local pizzeria for evenings when cooking is too much hassle, it's targeting the same market as the I Carusis, Pizza Meine Leibes, DOCs and Oskars of the world, and it's delivering the goods impressively. It's fantastic to have a delicious pizza place nearby that you can basically walk into and get a table. The service is great and the pizzas are competitive with the places listed above. It's surprising that, despite being open for more than six months, this place has developed very little buzz (e.g. this is the only vaguely relevant web review I can find). Here's hoping they maintain a nice balance: successful enough to stay open, but not so successful that we can't just stroll up and start eating.

Address: 749 Nicholson Street, North Carlton
Ph: 9388 8950
Prices: Small vegie pizzas - $11-$15; large - $16-$20; salads - $8-$12


  1. You should defo try Bar Fred just a few doors up on Nicholson. They do large pizzas eat in our take away for $10. Also almost totally vego menu, with a couple with salmon. We are 2 vegos who live one block away from here which can be not a good thing! defo try it - I found Bande a Part pizza to be ok, but the staff were very rude.

  2. Interesting. Have been past this place pretty every day since it opened. Figured it must've been no good since it always looks very empty.

  3. Hi Claire! It's a shame you didn't have a better time at Bande a Part; we had a much more positive experience with the staff. Thanks for recommending Bar Fred, we'll give it a go sometime. :-)

    Hey Nick, I'd say it's worth at least one shot!

  4. I can't work out why the place is so quiet but when I've been there even on a Saturday night, the whole strip has been dead.

    I found the staff to be friendly and professional so not sure what the deal was when Claire was there. Not eating cheese or meat, pizza is never the first thing I think of hunting for when I eat out. While none of the pizzas on the menu fitted the bill they were happy to adapt them for us and I had one of the best pizzas ever.

  5. I actually went in there once having decided to give it a try despite there being absolutely no-one in there. We stood for several minutes with the staff seemingly ignoring us completely, then left.

    I guess that's why it's generally empty.

  6. Huh, sounds like the service is really hit and miss! Thanks for your contributions, AOF & Nick.

  7. the blue velvet looks yum! You should try out the vegie pizzas at Rococos in St Kilda or Hawthorn. They're so good

  8. Hi Adrian! Haven't heard of Rococo before, will have to pay them a visit sometime. :-)

  9. i've been supporting bande a part since they opened, sure they aren't busy yet, i think more reviews will help, but anyway...they create brilliant food and treat you like a friend...i've never walked out unsatisfied....go now before it gets crazy!!!!