"Only time will tell if we stand the test of time,” as Van Halen so poignantly put it back in 1986. Time tells you everything you need to know about Topolino’s, a St Kilda institution for some 45 years. Even more impressive is the fact that this family-friendly restaurant has plenty of competition, located on the busy Fitzroy Street strip.
While traditionally known for their pizzas, Topolino’s boasts an enormous menu bound to tempt your tastebuds. The tricky part is settling on just one thing – the pizza selection alone accounts for two full pages, divided into original and tantalising gourmet options. Their range of seafood is extensive, too. Should you order from it, you’ll discover exactly why seafood is regarded as one of the restaurant’s specialties.
But before you hastily rush to review the mains, you can’t go past Topolino’s exquisite selection of starters. Highlights include the Sicilian polpette, tender pork and veal meatballs tossed in a napoli and basil sugo, as well as the chilli calamari, tender strips of squid grilled and marinated with chilli and garlic. Of course, it’s recommended that these dishes are shared, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll want to, such is the quality of Topolino’s cuisine. Finding your favourite is a lot of fun and the friendly staff will be more than happy to help you out.
It’s worth mentioning here that the portions are incredibly generous and there’s no question of value, only eyes-to-belly-size ratio. Here’s a tip, though: be sure to leave enough room for the divine chocolate cake, a slice of heaven that truly lives up to its title.
Even setting the extensive menu aside, Topolino’s really do it all, specialising in hosting large groups and functions, with live music on Saturdays. They’re also open until late every night and even deliver. Topolino’s aims to be the complete package and succeeds as such.
Ultimately, as a restaurant, you don’t notch up 45 years by accident. You’ve got to be exceptional. See for yourself why St Kilda locals are incredibly lucky to have Topolino’s on their doorstep.
Words by Nick Mason