doc 295 drummond st carlton

Emma and Tom were in town, with their little tyke Sam. ‘Love to catch up – do you know any kid-friendly places where we could have dinner?’.

Gosh, very few of my Melburnian friends have children – kid-friendly restaurants has never been on my radar. But then I remembered DOC. It always seemed to be filled with kids. There must be a reason.

DOC stands for Denominazione d’Origine Controllata, a mark given to wines and foods from certain regions in Italy. So on one side of DOC’s paper menu there is an appealing list of starters, salads and a pizzas, while on the back is printed a map of Italy (excellent contender for colouring-in project) with indications of where particular items on the menu originate.

While DOC is a mozzarella bar as well as a pizza restaurant, none of us were really in the mood for hunks of cheese. So we shared four pizzas, a salad and a bottle of red wine from Abruzzi, basking in the fading spring sunshine on one of the pavement tables and keeping an eye on Sam, a rambunctious toddler who liked to throw stuff and knew how to use an iPhone. As the place became busier and the queues became longer (no bookings), the staff maintained their humour and friendliness and we never got the sense that we were being hurried out.

doc 295 drummond street Carlton

The best thing about DOC were the pizzas (from $18-23). The bases were all thin but not soggy, holding the variety of toppings with ease – from the fleshy richness of the porcini mushrooms, the kick of chilli in the tiger prawn pizza to the porky saltiness of San Daniele prosciutto. Our salad of rocket, pear and pecorino was a fitting contrast to the savoury flavours, as it was dressed with a tinge of honey.

Overall, a really enjoyable meal in an easy-going setting. And definitely child-friendly.

Here’s what others have said about DOC: The Age and Melbourne Gastronome. For other kid-friendly food options in the area, try Donnini’s.

Doc Pizza and Mozarella on Urbanspoon