I’ve been curious about Iliana because of its close proximity to my residential shoebox and its impressive Urbanspoon %. Driving past, the front of the shop is not likely one to catch your eye. It sits on the Blyth St / Nicholson St junction, across the street from a Bottle-O and most commuters are either zooming by or running for the tram.
It was definitely only a matter of time before I tried their wares. Previously I had always done a quick pizza takeaways from Curly Joe’s but I think those days are numbered (unless I’m extremely drunk). On this lazy night, despite the absence of rain and with warmness in the air (relatively speaking of course by Melbourne standards), the only decent thing to do was to order in. I ended up placing an online order through their website (via menulog) with a request for pick-up at a later time (my only excuse to get out of the house really).
The family-sized Iliana’s special ($17.90) is ample for six hungry stomachs. It’s one of the more floppy pizza bases on first sight, not the thin crust styled ones. The tomato base spread is sufficient to give it the flavour rather than render it soggy. Thin slices of artichoke, eggplant and salami cover the pizza with a sprinkle of olives and capers. Overall, it was enjoyable to eat while watching the footy live on the telly.
I also thought to try the beef lasagna ($10.90) which turned out to be a decent portion of well-cooked pasta sheets, moderately rich beef sauce which was neither excessively sweet or salty. While this isn’t stellar lasagna, and I’d probably chuck it in the oven to crisp out the top layer on my own accord, it’s not something you can complain for the price. If you know of a better offering, I’d certainly love to hear of it.
Overall, Iliana is a good place to turn to for a takeaway pizza that doesn’t drop the ball for quality despite the casual prices that you’re paying. From my observations, the kitchen space in this small business is tidy and clean, and the ingredients look fresh. I have no qualms becoming a regular patron of this joint.