Is this Southbank’s best pizza?
Southbank’s best pizza may just be hiding in plain sight.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Southbank Promenade, but still barely 100 metres from the Yarra River you’ll find DOC Pizza and Mozzarella Bar Southbank.
Opening in 2019, DOC Southbank became the first city-based venture south of the Yarra for the DOC Group – the team behind three institutional Carlton venues, and others in Mornington, and in Surry Hills, Sydney.
In that time, DOC Southbank has quietly achieved a cult following among residents, workers and even interstate visitors, for its unwaveringly authentic pizzas; ones that lay claim as the best in postcode 3006.
DOC Southbank showcases the finest imported Italian ingredients, from DOP (Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta) tomatoes to the country’s finest, cloud-like mozzarella.
Bestowed with the responsibility and privilege of bringing those ingredients to life on your plate is head chef Francesco Chiappalone.
“We haven’t really ever marketed DOC Southbank too much, we have just grown organically through the word of mouth,” he said.
People obviously love the food, they love the pizza, mozzarella, and our Italian wines, but they also love the environment we have created between our staff and customers.
“We have a great bond with our customers. They love to have a look into the exposed kitchen and ask us questions about their food or ingredients. It’s not enough just to have great quality food, there are lots of places in Melbourne with great food, you need to create an experience that people won’t forget.”
Mr Chiappalone told Southbank News that while you need to “try everything on the menu”, there are a few dishes that you just cannot miss.
First, DOC’s signature pizza. It’s a traditional Margherita topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh DOP buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
Other crowd favourites include the Pizza Soppressa, with mozzarella, mild salami, provolone, pesto di casa and Ligurian olives; and their Degustation of Mozzarella which features a selection: Fior Di Latte, DOP Italian buffalo mozzarella, and Australian Scamorza (lightly smoked Fior Di Latte).
For the sweet tooth in you, manager Noemi Frediani said it is impossible to go past the sweet goat’s cheese tiramisu with traditional savoiardi and montenegro.
“The goat’s cheese is a game changer, it just adds something special,” she explained.
“We are very proud of what we have created at DOC Southbank. We love to chat with our customers over our beautiful marble bar top, understand what they like and dislike, and sometimes offer them something outside of the box.”
“Yes, we aren’t as exposed as other venues in Southbank, it means that we make sure everything we do is exceptional and focused on the satisfaction of our customers.”
It may not seat more than 200 people, it may not boast river views, and it may not receive the hype like other venues in the area, but the team at DOC Southbank are okay with that.
What they have created, however, is a trail of happy and loyal customers devoted to their little slice of Italy, in Southbank. •