To quench my recently developed thirst for Italian food, I voted to dine at an Italian restaurant last Friday. I was researching reputable establishments that were walking distance from West End, typing addresses into Google Maps and calculating routes to Paddington, New Farm and the likes. Then, I remembered La Via, which is right near us in South Bank. Definitely walkable. Sorted!
La Via is a relatively small restaurant but every time I've passed it, it's been packed. Friday night was no exception. I'm glad we made a reservation.
The menu has a list of entrees, many varieties of pizza, some mains and each day, a new pasta or risotto special. It was boiling hot so we weren't in the mood for pasta. The plan was to pick an entree plus a couple of pizzas.
To compliment our pizza and the humid weather, we went for some chilled Italian beers. There are a few on the menu but because Marc and I didn't know one from another, we literally started at the top of the list and worked our way down.
Beetroot gnocchi - with seered scallops, goats curd and pea tendrils
Our starter was the beetroot gnocchi. I suppose this is more of an entree than a shared starter but we managed to pick it apart. I commented that this was exactly my type of dish. At home, I'm all about goats cheese - I put it on almost everything. I just love the stuff. It happens to work really well with beetroot. The beetroot gnocchi weren't as gluggy as many potato gnocchis I've tried. The scallops were a surprisingly good match too. I thought this dish was very tasty though I'm not sure about the pea tendrils (other than for cute decorative purpose).
Pizza with wagyu bresaola, roast garlic, truffle oil and parmesan
For our pizzas, we went for the prawn and proscuitto and the wagyu bresaola. I don't know if it's just that we were lazy and ended up picking off the pizza nearest to us but Marc mostly ended up eating the prawn pizza that was placed in front of him and I ate most of the wagyu. In my case, it was a matter of preference.
Close-up of slice
I thought the wagyu pizza was AMAZING. It wasn't so much the meat but the distinct tinge of truffle flavoring that carried throughout the topping. Truffle, garlic and parmesan is a winning combination.
Pizza with prawn, san daniele proscuitto, sage and asiago
The prawn pizza wasn't bad either. The prawns were small but there were big slices of proscuitto for flavor. It was nice and simple but my favorite was very much the wagyu so I stuck to it. The bases for both were thin and slightly puffy with a bit of crunch and chewiness. In other words, my idea of a perfect pizza base.
We were probably pushing ourselves with 2 large pizzas. They were big but also absolutely delicious so we unashamedly devoured both and waddled home. When it comes to pizza, I almost exclusively eat the more 'authentic' style with thin bases and toppings that whilst are minimal, are good quality, well matched and full of flavor. La Via's pizzas are my kind of pizza and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Our waitress was nice too. The only issue I had was that the restaurant was so small but busy that the noise level was quite high but I suppose it's not their fault they're so popular.