There’s a consistent, palpable scent of sizzling grilled sausages and handmade pizzas baking in the woodfire oven wafting out of this little eatery tucked in the middle of an unassuming block of shop lots. Paninni is no run-of-the-mill takeaway joint, as its larger-than-life Sarajevo-born proprietor will proudly tell you so. Service can be a tad slow when it gets busy; it is entirely run by a husband and wife team with no hired hands, though they do try their best to look after everyone. Most pizzas are available small (9 inches) or large (15 inches). You’ll find a good variety of toppings with the Quattro stagione pizza, which would feed a small family more than adequately.
The Pizza di Funghi while simpler in concept is particularly delicious with the intensely intermingled aromas of garlic, mushrooms, chives and a mixture of cheeses. My personal favourites are the Balkan specialties, which in my opinion are the real stars of the menu. Much of this cuisine reflects a mixture of Turkish and Central European influences and flavours due to historical reasons.
The cevapi in particular is utterly sublime: you get several smoky, juicy skinless sausages crammed into lepinja, a type of Balkan-style flatbread which tastes like a denser version of Turkish bread, and accompanied with chopped raw onion and sour cream. There’s also Pljeskavica, the Balkan equivalent of a hamburger patty, albeit supersized and always served with lepinja and a killer capsicum relish called ajvar. Other options include Bosnian-style borek pies which are sold by weight, German sausages, Austrian-style Wiener Schnitzel, and their take on Hungarian goulash which is perfect for the colder months.
The sole option for dessert is a slice of homemade torte cake built in layers not unlike tiramisu, and is best paired with a mean cup of coffee made by the owner.
Paninni Woodfired Pizza
28 Carrara Street, Mt Gravatt East T: 3343 3618 W: http://www.paninni.com.au/
Closed Tue. Open Wed – Mon 9:30am to 8pm
EFTPOS, BYO alcohol (no corkage)