Monella is quickly building a reputation as one of the best places to get pizza in Neukölln.
That being said, we were curious to get in amongst the action and find out what’s making everyone talk about them. Monella is also taking part in True Italian Pizza Week, a week-long celebration of all things pizza, so with that in mind we thought we’d pay them a visit.
Neapolitan Pizza meets Neukölln ambience
Ask any Italian, and they’ll gush enthusiastically about Monella. Italians know. And Italians talk. Most of my friends from Italy have cast their critical eye over this cosy restaurant’s array of pizzas. Most say it’s absolutely essential to make a visit.
Monella is a hip place. It’s typically Neukölln – haircuts, hats and black clothing. But these hipsters know a good thing when they see it, and Monella buzzes with pizza lovers.
Monella’s pizzas are born inside a disco ball
The first thing you notice as you step into Monella is the gigantic disco glitter ball. It’s Monella’s pizza oven, and it’s a 1.5-ton glitter ball that can cook a pizza in 90 seconds. Which is great, because I really hate waiting for food to cook.
That’s Antonio above, he’s the Pizzaiolo.
Monella is named after a late-’90s Italian erotic-comedy
Monella’s pizzas are as sexy as you’d expect from a place named after one of Italy’s most notoriously sleazy films.
Much like the film’s protagonist, Lola, Monella teases you constantly with smells, sights and sounds. That Neapolitan crust is deliciously soft, fluffy and blackened… just enough… by that huge fiery oven. The pizza base is seriously thin yet satisfyingly chewy and, like Lola herself, isn’t as wholesome as it first seems as it’s laden with a world of delicious toppings. The Pizza Tropea, one of the pizzas for True Italian Pizza Week, is loaded with caramelised onions and topped with rocket – it’s a porno.
Monella keeps things simple. All their ingredients come, like the chef, from Naples, so there’s no worries regarding authenticity. As well as traditional Neapolitan pizzas, they also serve a deep-fried pizza that showcases the quality of their tomato sauce.
Monella is run by Sebastièn and Kate. Passionate pizza lovers, they’ve made it their mission to bring good, Neapolitan pizza to Berlin. They’ve certainly succeeded at this, and they’ve coupled it with an ambiance that fits the neighbourhood. Monella doesn’t in the least way feel like a traditional Italian pizza restaurant, and it’s the better for it.
Kate hosted us for the evening, telling us all about how Monella started and what goes into making a great restaurant. Amongst other things, we learned about that pizza oven, and how the building’s structure couldn’t physically handle one any bigger. It’s one hell of an oven. She plied us with drinks and even got us to try a few cocktails from the menu. She’s got a mean cocktail maker behind the bar and was eager to show him off. We weren’t going to say no.
True Italian Pizza Week
So why not check out Monella for yourself? True Italian Pizza Week runs from the 12th of April until the 18th of April. 29 ‘True Italian’ pizzerias are participating around Berlin, and during the week you can get a pizza with a glass of wine, a beer or a soft drink for just 10€. It’s pizza heaven.
Visit their website here.
Camera: Canon EOS 6D