It's been a pretty good year for me, both personally and professionally. Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to have travelled to Singapore to compete in the World Contact Centre Awards, where my business did very well. More recently, I was able to represent this great state in National Awards for my business, where we also did pretty well.... So yeah, its been a good year. Whenever I travel, I always make it my business to try to check out the local restaurant scene, which included some amazing restaurants in Singapore (see posts here). One of my favourite places to travel to, especially for the food, is Melbourne, so I used my time recently to continue to check out some amazing restaurants.
My flight into Melbourne saw me arrive at the hotel right on lunch time, so it was only natural that I sought out decent spot to have a quick lunch. I'd initially thought that the Nobu lunchtime special would be the way to go, but as I was walking through Crown, I'd recalled that a very special new restaurant had opened. I couldn't remember the name, just that it was a pizza place and that it had only just opened. It only took me a few seconds to 'Google' the parameters to come up with the name Gradi and as luck would have it, I was only a few meters away.
You might be wondering why I was so keen to check out a pizza place and why it might have left such an impression on me, and it's a good question. Gradi is not just any old pizza restaurant, it's actually the new restaurant from Johnny Di Francesco 'VPN', who apart from his family hailing from home of pizza in Naples, is also the guy who took out the 2014 title for 'world's best' pizza. In fact, Johnny is the first Australian ever trained in Naples to the 'Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana VPN' rules and he's the association's Australasian principal, travelling the region ensuring pizzerias are of the highest standard before officially inducting them into the Association. Quite an honour.