Fun fact: 15,807 is the number of kilometres between Melbourne and Naples, Italy’s best-known pizza city.
And 15 is the number of kilometres between the CBD and Camberwell, where you can find Little Michael’s Pizzeria, one of only seven pizzerias in Melbourne with an AVPN accreditation from Naples. Spooky? We like to think so.
So what does AVPN stand for? We could tell you the really long (and kind of hard to pronounce) Italian name for the association but we’ll just give you the top-line version: it’s basically the most exclusive pizza club in the world, and you only get in when some old guys in Naples taste your pizza and nod mysteriously.
They don’t hand them out often, and when they do, it’s a big deal. Which is why Little Michael's Pizzeria is buzzing on a Wednesday night when we swing by.
So, Michael’s pizza—what’s the deal? The dough is hand-prepped and leavened for over six hours (layman’s terms, it’s going to be fluffy AF). The toppings are sourced from Italy’s Campania region and the pizzas are cooked for just 60-90 seconds in a blistering hot wood-fired oven.
The speed means you get a fantastic char on the crust—big black bubbles that are (for pizzas) like a badge of honour.
Little Michael's Pizzeria has had a décor and branding update recently (thanks to the new Mark Bouris TV show, The Mentor). It’s a homely, family-run restaurant with flexible pizza options. There’s your standard extras like olives, salami and mushroom, but it’s the cheese that really gets our nod: think Fior di Latte, Grana Padano, gorgonzola, goats cheese and Buffalo mozzarella. Fair warning—that gorgonzola packs a punch.
One last tip? You can’t leave without a plate of Michael’s famous twisted Italian doughnuts. Made by hand, dusted with sugar and oozing warm Nutella—they come served with vanilla ice-cream and a big smile.
Just the way we like it.
Image credit: Brennan Lukav (AKA Burgers Of Melbourne)