Raymond Capaldi joins A25 Pizzeria, Melbourne

Raymond Capaldi & Remo Nicolini, A25 Pizzeria, Melbourne

Raymond Capaldi & Remo Nicolini, A25 Pizzeria, Melbourne

So what's Raymond Capaldi up to next? The question that was on Melbourne's lips when the Scottish-Italian chef closed the Hare & Grace at the Rialto early this month has been answered with news that his Rialto connections are taking him to South Yarra, where he's teaming up with Remo Nicolini at his Chapel Street pizzeria, A25.

The pair met when Nicolini was running Espressino at the Rialto, where Capaldi opened the forward-thinking Hare & Grace in 2010. The Joost Bakker-designed restaurant closed last month ahead of a food-driven redevelopment of the tower's forecourt announced by St Martins and Grollo groups.

While Capaldi signalled that the closing of Hare & Grace was also the end of his career as a hands-on chef running his own restaurants (his past accomplishments include Richmond's avant-garde Fenix and Fitzroy North café Marmalade & Soul), A25 represents something of a test-run for an ongoing partnership with Nicolini. The pair plan to open an Italian restaurant in the city "like an Italian Cumulus Inc", says Nicolini. To be named Primo Manifesto, in honour of Italian poet Filippo Marinetti's "Manifesto of Futurism", the menu will feature Capaldi experiments such as chinotto-braised lamb ribs, burnt-eggplant linguine and a pasta-free onion "carbonara".

"We've been offered a really good site at Southbank," says Nicolini, who is also on the lookout for a city haunt for another A25. "The Rialto was a small possibility but the lack of outdoor space would be a problem."

Capaldi's envelope-pushing food - he gave the world dishes such as an Eton mess of oysters, horseradish cream, passionfruit and beetroot meringue - might seem at odds with the largely doctrinaire world of pizza-making, but Nicolini, founder of Little Bourke Street's +39 and St Kilda's Itali.co and current owner of Docklands' Non Solo Pasta, is no stranger to experimentation. The present A25 menu includes the LSD pizza, featuring Berkshire sausage, cream of dates, liquorice dust, pecorino and radicchio, as well as a squid-ink pizza with a black-stained base. Stoking his mad-scientist reputation, Capaldi calls his approach to A25 "traderne" - traditional Italian taken in a new direction, as with the savoury bomboloni with beef ragù and pork floss that appeared on his new menu at the beginning of this week.

A25 Pizzeria, 720 Chapel St, South Yarra, Vic, (03) 9826 2233


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Donovan Cooke opens new restaurant Ryne in Melbourne
10.10.2017
KingFish opens, sampling poke, hip-hop and matcha treats
07.09.2017
Bridge Bon Appetit, the latest addition to Hubert, opens tonight
06.09.2017
Get to know Orana, Australia's Restaurant of the Year 2018
25.08.2017
Pinbone teams up with Merivale for a new pop-up
15.08.2017
Melbourne is now home to a Champagne vending machine
11.08.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2013

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurant news

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

What the hell is Gelinaz anyway, and why is it shuffling?

On the eve of the second outing of one of the world’s strang...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015

A mighty fine plate of beef short ribs with roast celery vin...

Dan Barber talks sustainable food

Farm-to-table is a neat catchcry but, argues Dan Barber, one...

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

You’ve just released your first cookbook, a tribute to Lomba...

The 2016 GT Restaurant Guide Top 100

Here's the list of our 2016 Restaurant Guide Top 100. How ma...

First look: 108 at Noma, Copenhagen

Rene Redzepi may be headed to Sydney next month, but he's ba...

Dear Sainte Eloise to open in Potts Point

Sydney’s new wine bar is going back to basics.

Party-starting playlists

Music is a key ingredient that can turn your party from good...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...