Pizza is anything but standard at Figlia, the third restaurant of Tipo 00 and Osteria Ilaria

Type 00 was the pasta restaurant that Melbourne people didn’t know we needed. Handmade gnocchi? Squid ink taliolini? We had a lot of that in 2014, but with its indefinable charm, the Type crept into our hearts nonetheless. And it has remained ever since.

Figlia (“daughter” in Italian), the newest member of the Type-Ilaria family, opens tomorrow night and feels ready to do the same, but with pizza.

“We have always thought of [doing] a pizzeria,” says Luke Skidmore, who owns the three restaurants with chefs Andreas Papadakis and Alberto Fava. Years ago he visited the influential pizzeria Roberta’s in Brooklyn and never quite forgot it.

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“It seemed quite Melbourne to me,” he says. “That was the inspiration, a little bit, to open something outside the city and do something industrial and of very good quality and a little more fun and relaxed.”

“Out of town” is Lygon Street, Brunswick East, on a great corner site that the trio have drastically renovated. It is no longer recognizable as Cucina 333, the run-down pizzeria it once was.

“Industrial” means a rough aggregate concrete floor, plastered walls with dramatic uplighting, and a not-quite-transparent expanse of corrugated plexiglass that looks out over Grana, the next deli and cheese shop next door. Opposite is a roll-up door that will be raised in the summer and opens onto the side street. Bentwood chairs and soft banquettes add a comforting bistro touch to an otherwise stark room.

The “fun” comes from about 12 speakers hidden high in the shadows of the exposed ceiling, but loudly announcing themselves with disco, funk, and, on my visit, the catchy 1970s Afrobeat hit. I’m not noya, popularly remixed by Daphni in 2011. Is it a vibe? Yes, it is indeed a vibe.

The “relaxed” part? Figlia (the “G” is silent, by the way) isn’t on Little Bourke Street, which helps. The same goes for the spacious floor plan and the monolithic central bar, where you can sit down for a drink and a snack, with or without a reservation. Tipo and Ilaria always promised this in theory, but never really delivered in practice (too small, too busy, too formal).

And you will want to drink. Every page of the list is filled with little delights, from the Bloody “Madonna” made with basil-infused vodka to the list of well-priced natural Italian and Australian wines (if you drink by the glass, Il Farneto with skin-contact malvasia is a banger). There’s also a list of serious beers featuring wild-fermented hazy and tart IPAs, something even the best restaurants regularly neglect in 2022.

This list is a great company to nibble on (another thing you’ll want to do). And it’s here, before entrees like bistecca and porchetta, that Figlia really shows his lineage. Raw Kingfish with Vivid Tangerine and Spicy Colatura Fish Sauce? classical illaria. Duck mortadella with blood orange mustard? Same smoky, citrusy thrills as the Citrus Grilled Octopus Type main starter. Other options include grilled king prawns, a fairly simple cacio e pepe arancini, and vitello tonnato with smoked eel and capers.

But what about those pizzas? With whom this new restaurant will put us in the heart? They are the defining feature of Figlia and they improve quite a bit on the area’s already impressive pizza credentials.

The bases are a remarkably light sourdough, made from traditional wheat flour and baked in a gas-wood hybrid oven powered by head chef Flavio Argenio. Eventually, the cheeses will come from next door, where pastry chef-turned-cheesemaker Lucy Whitlow has about 80 wheels in motion. For now, you can try their products only for dessert.

Margherita is present and counts, but from there it is a sharp turn towards brave new ideas. Ideas like straciatella, fermented cavolo nero and chili. Or bologna, black shallots, taleggio and pistachio. Or Moreton Bay bug, heirloom tomato and marjoram.

It’s far from standard and could be just what Figlia needs to become the pizzeria Melbourne locals didn’t know we needed.

Figlia opens at 5pm on Wednesday August 24th.


331 Lygon Street, East Brunswick

(03) 9068 8278


Mon 5pm-afternoon

closed sea

Wed–Fri 5:00 pm–afternoon

Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 pm until late



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