New kid on the block: Frankie’s Pizza Joint

 

“Casual, chic, disco, fun,” is how owner of Frankie’s Pizza Joint, Alana Matthews, sums up the new Darwin City restaurant/bar.

Located in the Smith Street Mall (the old Viva’s bar), a stone’s throw away from PM Eat & Drink, the tapas restaurant Alana and husband Ji opened to acclaim in 2016, Frankie’s is very much the couple’s “second child”. Quite literally.

As well as the pair’s second business, Frankie is also the name picked out for a potential second child.

Inside this new kid on the foodie block, the first thing you notice is the shiny disco ball hanging from the ceiling complete with neon pink lights. It sets the mood from the moment you walk in the door.

“We wanted to create a place that was really casual and fun where you could be sitting with friends drinking wine and having a great time and then you look at the time and realise its 1:30am,” says Ji.

Like the décor, the wine list is also a point of difference to PM. It’s noticeably cheaper. And deliberately so.

Alana and Ji make no secret Frankie’s is targeting a younger crowd with disco beats and a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights.

Speaking of wine, of course they’re all Italian, much like the two chefs in the kitchen who hail from Milan and Venice and make all the pizza dough, pasta and bread on site everyday from scratch.

And it shows. The gnocchi was the best we’ve ever had.

Five stars also goes to the venue’s signature cocktail, Frankie’s Sweet Heart.

In keeping with the blush colour palette of the interiors, it’s a sweeter, “pink” take on the traditional Aperol Spritz with Limoncello and cranberry added.

Which brings us to the pizza. And yes we saved the best for last.

As Ji says: “They’re light and fresh and won’t leave you with a food coma.”

We had the FFPJ, the pizza named after the venue, with prosciutto, cherry tomato, rocket, fior di latte (Italian mozzarella) and oregano.

But wait, we hear you say, what does the extra F stand for?

Well, after spending months pouring blood, sweat and tears into the new business, Ji says the name evolved into something else… F*cking Frankie’s Pizza Joint – FFPJ see?

As for our verdict on the new place?

It’s F*cking awesome.

 

Frankie’s Pizza Joint

Paspalis Building, Smith Street Mall (the old Viva’s bar)

Open:

Tues-Thurs 12pm-10pm

Fri-Sat 12pm-2am

More information here.

Eat Local Dinner @ Wharf One

When you say the word “hump” a few things might spring to mind…but we bet a mouth-watering serve of beef isn’t one of them.

But, that’s exactly what was served up at Wharf One’s ‘Eat Local Dinner’ prepared by former MasterChef contestant, Lynton Tapp as part of the inaugural Territory Taste Festival last week.

The special four-course dinner with matching wines featured produce sourced locally (think fresh seafood like prawns, ah-mazing barramundi, mackerel, kangaroo, citrus flavours and damper) with Lynton basically serving up his idea of the Northern Territory on a plate.

And, having grown up on a remote cattle farm, the Territory chef made the bold choice of plating up Brahman Hump.

For the non-Territorians out there, Brahman cattle is often considered the poor cousin to the Angus steak you normally carve up at your fav restaurant but you might not know that this tasty cow is actually our main cattle exported overseas.

The Brahman is easily identified by it’s stand-out “hump” over the withers at the back of their necks. Apparently, it helps the animal survive in hot, arid conditions ie. the Northern Territory.

Now, we’re not going to lie.. there were a few raised eyebrows on our table after it was revealed the Brahman Hump was on the menu and yes, a few verses of the Black Eyed Peas were sung at various points during the night…

But, it was absolutely delicious! Everyone was genuinely surprised at how tender the meat was comparing it to pulled pork. The Hump was served with blackened cucumber and fermented chilli and was hands-down our fav dish of the night.

But enough about the food … what about the wine?!

As part of the dinner, the winemakers up from down south for the Territory Taste Festival talked about each wine presented, which as you can imagine involved a fair few LOL’s (these guys do drink for a living after all). Our fav drops were the Salome Tempranillo Rosé and the Woodstock Chardonnay.

Quote of the night went to the winemaker who said he “feels naked without a Chardonnay in his hand”…

All we can say to that is… Welcome to the Northern Territory. We’ve got no beef with that here.

 

Restaurant: Wharf One Food & Wine

Chef: Lynton Tapp

More information about the Territory Taste Festival here.

Cocktails At CHOW

Popular Darwin Vietnamese restaurant CHOW has long been on our speed dial for takeaway Pad Thai and Laksa’s but we’ve recently discovered their cocktails are just as delicious as their menu.

On Saturday night we ventured to the Waterfront hot-spot for dinner but ended up seated at the bar as the restaurant was fully booked (NOTE TO SELF: Must book table at CHOW earlyyyyyy).

But, this turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise – it gave us a front row seat as CHOW’S cocktail masters Dan and Jordi put on a show turning out the most amazing cocktails using the freshest ingredients; think limes, lemons, eggs, even ginger – CRAY!! but yummy.

Our favs were the Metropolitan (the pink drink in the pictures above) – which comes with a kinda slushie-like lychee “ice sphere” and as you can imagine goes down pretty damn well on a hot Darwin night, and also the Chow Ca Phe Martini (CHOW-Style Espresso Martini) – which comes with ice-cream…. umm tick!

To eat, we had a few small plates including our hands-down fav item on the menu – the DIY Pork Pancakes.

Oh and we never leave CHOW without asking for a fortune cookie (just ask your waitress) because that’s CHOW.

Weird, wacky and all kinds of wonderful.

For more info go to: http://www.chowdarwin.com.au

Blue dress: Yeojin Bae