361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne CBD
Have you guys met the lovely Terri from Little Wanderings?! I finally did over the weekend! Through a mutual love of Melbourne and donuts and travel, we connected via blogging and Instagram a while ago, and thought it was about time we actually caught up in the real world! Terri had been wanting to try Tipo 00 for a while, and so had I, so we had a lovely ladies night over some good (not so) old-fashioned pasta and wine : )
The term tipo 00 might be familiar to some of you; it’s the soft, powdery, extra-fine Italian flour used to make fresh pasta, which is what they specialise in here. The menu is refreshingly short and simple, which generally means that with fewer dishes on offer, they’re all going to be done magnificently well.
The service was wonderful right from the moment I first walked through the door; we were quickly handed menus and our glasses of wine arrived promptly thereafter, followed by a complimentary plate of fresh focaccia and ricotta cheese, drizzled with olive oil – so good!
As far as mains went, the stinging nettle risotto piqued my interest, but seeing as this is a pasta place, first and foremost, I went with the pappardelle with braised rabbit, marjoram and hazelnut, and I couldn’t have been happier with my choice. Rabbit is not something I eat often, because rarely is it done well, but they absolutely nailed it. The meat was soft and tender, falling apart at the touch, perfectly seasoned, and perfect with the hazelnuts. What made me happiest though, was the fact that the pasta was actually cooked so well; as per proper Italian pasta rules and regulations, slightly al dente (aka ever so slightly under cooked), happy days! As you can see a few photos above, Terri went with the tortelloni, filled with asparagus, swimming in a sage and parmesan sauce.
But, being the ladies that we are, dinner wasn’t done with dinner. Dessert stomachs were ready to go, and we decided on the Tipomisu and the special of the day – a cake and cream and walnut and fresh fig concoction, which was absolutely gorgeous! The fresh figs always get me, because they always remind me of the fresh figs I get from my grandfather’s fruit trees, though I’ve never had them with walnuts before – perfect match!
The Tipomisu was fantastic, quite a subtle coffee flavour, super rich chocolate which the mascarpone broke up nicely. It was the ultimate chocolate-lover dessert, and a great way to finish such a lovely meal!
It’s funny reading reviews of this place – quite a few people have commented that they felt it was overrated and over priced; personally, I loved it. The reason that I, as an Italian, rarely go out for Italian food is that it’s surprisingly hard to get good Italian anywhere other than the family dinner table! It’s even rarer that I order pasta, because I’ve grown up eating the pasta my Nonna has always made from scratch, and nothing’s ever been better. But I’ve gotta say, this was as good as I’ve had at a restaurant, and I’d have absolutely no hesitation spending the money visiting again. I like a good cheap eat as much as the next Melbournian, don’t get me wrong, but I also believe in paying for good quality food like the pasta at Tipo 00. I think even Nonna would approve!
As for the company over dinner – it was so lovely to meet another blogger with such a great love for food and travel, someone so down to earth, so easy to get along with and with great taste in dessert! It was really nice to talk about adventures past and planned, to talk about why we wrote and our experiences, the challenges and the rewards. It can be a little scary trying to make friends in the blogging world, particularly the Melbourne food blogging scene – it can be really daunting trying to get involved in such an established scene where people already seem to have their cliques and groups formed. But if you like someone’s style, if you get a good vibe, if you have that feeling you’re going to be kindred spirits, reach out and make a new friend! Thanks for a wonderful night, Terri!