News / Food & Drink

Review: Figlia makes welcome entrance to Brunswick fine dining scene

Although it is called a pizzeria, this new restaurant offers a whole lot more

Alicia Evans

SINCE the demise of Albert Street Food and Wine, Brunswick has struggled with the establishment of higher-end dining, with one or two exceptions.

However, now there is Figlia.

Although it is called a pizzeria that offers organic sourdough pizza, chargrilled snacks and minimal intervention wine, it’s a whole lot more.

Situated on the corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets, the décor, furniture and fittings are in the same league as some of the other fine-dining establishments in the inner-city, with modern clean lines and subdued high-quality furnishings.

My husband and I arrived without a booking on a Saturday night but although the restaurant was reasonably full, we were greeted and seated without delay.

Its website states that it is a casual venue where there is allocation for walk-in diners. We certainly found this to be the case.

The service was both prompt and accommodating to the individual diner. The restaurant aims to cater for both those who don’t want to spend a great deal of time or money there, and for those who do. We were in the latter category and the waiter who served us gave exceptional service. From what we observed, this was replicated throughout the restaurant.

Figlia (“daughter” in Italian) has two sister restaurants, both of which are in the city centre: Tipo 00 (opened in 2015) and Osteria Ilaria (opened in 2017). Figlia is their first venture by owners Luke Skidmore, Andreas Papadakis and Alberto Fava into the suburbs. However, the three restaurants share similar values rather than comprise a group. These are to be family-oriented and homely, so that they feel like family-owned businesses. Each restaurant is different and has its own unique approach.

The concept for Figlia, which opened in August last year, is to be a restaurant offering pizza and natural wines, with the wines chosen to complement the food.

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But they do offer more than pizza. On the night we dined there, the menu included appetizers (from $5-$12), antipasti (from $7-$26), main courses (though only two and priced at $44 and $46), pizza ($22-$32) and desserts (from $15-$16).

The food was delivered at a pace to suit us and was full of interesting flavours. We had antipasti of Anatra (duck mortadella, pistachio, blood orange mostarda) which was nice but not sensational and Calamari (grilled calamari, scapece, celery) which was sensational.

We then shared a pizza (Gamberoni — tiger prawns, heirloom zucchini, fennel) which was really delicious and one of the best pizzas we’d ever eaten.

Both the dessert (Torta — chocolate, cherries, fig leaf) and the cheese (Formaggio — selection of cheese, black apple, old pizza dough) were flavoursome and scrumptious.

The wine list was extensive but not familiar. We chose a bottle ourselves but were more satisfied when we asked our waiter for a recommendation.

Overall, a very pleasant dining experience. We will return to enjoy it again.

Figlia, 335 Lygon St, Brunswick East 3057. Monday, Wednesday-Friday Mon from 5pm; Saturday-Sunday from 12pm; closed Tuesday. Phone: 0402 349 327