Ferdinand Wood Fired Pizza, Northcote
Food: Calamari, Tricolore Bruschetta, Zucca Pizza, Porcini Pizza, Mushroom Gnocchi, Pennette Bolognese, Rocket Salad
What first strikes you about Ferdinand is that the owners are just lovely, lovely people – so eager to please, wanting everyone to have a good time and just generally loving what they are doing. We were warmly welcomed and given a good sized table at the front of the restaurant.
The restaurant is split into several areas, so it feels intimate. I could see how the front area where we were seated could quickly become lively and noisy when busy, however, the back area seemed more chilled out. Being on that quieter end of Northcote’s High Street gave the restaurant more of a family vibe and a nice contrast from the typical trendy Northcote eateries.
We started with the calamari and bruschetta – which is served as a small round foccacia rather than the individual pieces you may imagine. The calamari looked beautiful and was well cooked with a nice flavour to the crumb. The bruschetta was generously topped and the combination of the rich cheese and the crisp tomato flavour was just perfect.
The pizzas have thin wood fired bases and are generously topped without feeling loaded. We loved the freshness of this pizza with the creamy pumpkin and crispy rocket – it’s kind of like pizza on a health kick! The Porcini, with its impeccably cooked mushrooms and drizzle of truffle oil makes your mouth water just thinking about it.
I always feel you can judge an Italian place by its bolognese, and this one didn’t last long at all – we almost licked the bowl clean. I know people say you can’t go wrong with a classic – but actually you really can – everyone has their own take on a classic, their own opinions and memories of the dish, so for this to be such an instant hit with our table is testament to what a great job Ferdinand did.
The gnocchi was also fab. It was so squishy and the touch of cream just added a nice heaviness to the sauce to give it a substantial flavour and provide an additional dimension to the mushroom. However, the winner of the night for us was the rocket salad: sharp goat’s cheese, the sweet balsamic dressing with the fresh rocket and juicy pear just refreshed your palate with every mouthful. Ordered at the last minute, as we just kind of fancied trying it, it was potentially the best accompaniment to an Italian meal we’ve ever eaten!
Address: 98/100 High Street, Northcote
Tue 5pm to 10pm
Wed 5pm to 10pm
Thu 5pm to 10pm
Fri 5pm to 10:30pm
Sat 5pm to 10:30pm
Parking: There’s a lot of permit zones nearby, but if you’re prepared to walk a few streets you will be able to find a place without too much difficult.
Getting here on PT: It’s on the 86 tram route – alight at High Street, or it’s an easy walk from Westgarth Station on the Hurstbridge line.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Ferdinand, Northcote. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.