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Mantis Kane


A few months back you might have witnessed the scene pictured. A crane winching a large object over Acland Street’s rooftops. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a brazen daylight heist, the kind of clumsy old-school robbery of black & white movies, planned by intimidating men with anchor tattoos and getaway cars. You may have even reminisced of a time when crime was romantic, tangible and noble, rather than today’s digital criminals, with their greasy hair, spots and gluten intolerances, invisibly terrorising the wireless underground.


Sorry to burst that nostalgic bubble; it was just a daydream; your minds have roamed too far again. That wasn’t a safe full of loot swinging precariously above St Kilda, but a pizza oven, and a bloody large one.


Rococo Pizza Restaurant shipped a four tonne Morello Forni Wood Fire Pizza Oven all the way from Genoa, the biggest ever to grace Melbourne’s shores. Transiting it from Italy was the easy part – getting it into the building was another matter. An ordeal that involved removing part of the roof and lowering it in via an elaborate network of pulleys and cables.


Slightly behind schedule, but fully functional, it’s now pride-of-place in Rococo. You might ask: Was it really worth all the fuss? Well, that’ll be answered next month, when St Kilda News puts the oven through its paces. But Shannon, the venue manager, assures us there’s nothing to compete with the heat, flavouring and sheer capacity of this freestanding wood fire oven.


Stay tuned.


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