Lil Franky

Jackie McMillan
28th May 2023

Lil Franky oozes hospitality, with brothers Franky and Mattia a big part of the attraction at this new Tempe pizzeria. The first thing I noticed while driving down the Princes Highway was the sign’s clever font work. Intrigued enough to look them up online, I saw nicely blistered, wood-fired pizza bases, and resolved to pay them a visit. As a starter, Lil Franky’s fluffy clouds ($18/3)—or gnocco fritto—are fried golden pillows of lard-enriched dough. They come with three different toppings: San Marzano tomatoes with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, smoked cheese and prosciutto, and—my favourite—truffled ricotta and marinated eggplant. 

Team them with your favourite tipple from a succinct booze list boasting three cocktails, one red, one white and one pink wine, and a couple of beers. The Negroni ($18) and the pinot grigio ($12/glass) were both affable pizza companions. So is a super simple salad of fresh creamy burrata, tomatoes and basil ($18). 

While Southern Italians are best known for pizza rosse (red-based pizza) the single page menu does offer up three pizza bianche (white-based pizza). I bucked tradition for a 13-inch Don Mario ($29) that teamed thin slices of porchetta, smoked cheese and wafer-thin rosemary potatoes on a well-charred base that was both puffy and light. Heeding Francesco’s recommendation, we teamed a single shared pizza with homemade gnocchi ($31) where six plump potato dumplings stuffed with truffle paste came dressed only in fresh basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. Lil Franky is a spot where simple food made with love and delivered with genuine hospitality really shines.