TOP 100 QUEST: TIPO 00, Melbourne
And here’s my first Top 100 review from the newly released Gourmet Traveller 2017 list. Tipo 00. People usually look at me blankly when I mention the name, but Tipo means ‘type’ and Tipo 00 is a type of soft, fine Italian flour used to make pasta. Quite a fitting name for a self-proclaimed pasta bar. I’d read about this place and had heard really good things from my Melbourne friends… not only that, just last week it made the 2017 Gourmet Traveller Top 100 list! And why not? The team behind Tipo 00 has an impressive CV. Andreas Papadakis, co-owner and chef comes from Vue de Monde and head chef Alberto Fava, from Scusa Mi and Merchant. Luke Skidmore, co-owner and front of house, has also done time at Vue de Monde, but also other greats Saint Crispin and Estelle.
I was in Melbourne on a shopping/eating weekend with my girlfriend and after a long lunch at the legendary Flower Drum, we had a late Saturday night booking. When we arrived, it was super-busy – completely full and there was buzz a-plenty. But it didn’t feel frantic at all, in fact, the staff were calm and very welcoming.
We weren’t in the mood for decisions so we opted for the Chef’s Menu at $60pp. Out came what I’d describe as great unpretentious Italian food leaning more towards the modern and refined than the rustic. The menu started with beautifully crisp-coated Arancini, warm and crunchy Rosemary focaccia with ricotta, Mozarella, tomato and caper leaves, and then lemony and tender Grilled calamari with globe artichoke and fregola.
Then, the much-anticipated pasta. My friend and I share similar taste and we were both very keen for the Tagliolini al nero – squid ink pasta with finely cut calamari and bottarga. Silky pasta with a robust fishy stock with a light buttery creaminess. This was followed by the Gnocchi di patate with braised duck, porcini mushroom, pecorino pepato – rich in flavour yet still light. These dishes were accompanied by a fresh and bright radicchio, pear, rocket and balsamic salad. I love radicchio!
Thankfully we weren’t too full for desserts… out came a Pannacotta with citrus, honey and black sambucca. This looked pretty enough, but it didn’t do much for me (not my thing), unlike the Tipomisu which absolutely rocked my world! Not only did it look like a modern artwork, it was a sensual blend of coffee, rich chocolate brownie, creamy mascarpone and a salty chocolate caramel sauce. Texturally silky and chewy all in one. Definitely the most enjoyable and memorable dessert I’ve had in recent times.
I woudn’t hesitate in going back to Tipo 00. So many other dishes I’d like to try. I’m glad it’s made the Top 100 list.