Friday lunch is exciting enough normally but Grand Final eve Friday is one of the most exciting of the year. Richmond has a certain buzz the entire weekend being so close to the MCG. Lunch with a group on the hop could be difficult.
While Baby is normally busy, it is relatively easy to get a table for lunch before 12.30pm. As a result, the atmosphere at lunch builds from quiet contemplation of the menu, to atmospheric and noisy (in a good way).
Baby is part of the Chin Chin and Kong trilogy. It is without any doubt, the most standard of the three. However, there is nothing wrong with offering good Italian food, focussing on pizza, that is reasonably priced, in a convivial setting that is extremely popular.
My take on the pizza is that it is several times better than the chains, better than most standard Italian restaurants and cafes, but not as good as the upper echelon of pizza joints around Melbourne such as D.O.C. as an example. I have eaten pizza here, and have taken it away, around ten times. It has never been doughy or overcooked and has always featured good quality ingredients. Today’s Capricciosa is great with prosciutto, olives, mushrooms and stringy artichoke. I think the fior di latte cheese could be a little more generous, but that is only a tiny criticism.
On previous occasions I’ve had good desserts here, nice breakfasts (along with good coffee), and I’ve never had to wait an obscene amount of time for a table at dinner. The take away pizzas are often ready in less than 20 minutes. I particularly liked the price of coffee in the first few months of opening at $2.20!
For years this address was one of the stars of Melbourne’s restaurant scene. Pearl is gone, but quality persists here without the price tag.