There’s just something about Italian food, that makes it the perfect girlfriend catch up food. I’ve always found my guy friends and I will catch up over Asian, but for the girls? It’s always Italian.
However Emily and my visit to Tipo 00, was surprisingly the first time we had ever caught up for Italian, which is a bit surprisingly especially considering her love for the cuisine (although I guess we both eat just about everything though…)
Although Tipo 00 would have usually just sat low on my list, to be visited some other time, as it came highly recommended by a few friends, it wasn’t hard to convince me to check it out a bit sooner.
Located on Little Bourke Street, Tipo 00 is an intimate and cosy space, the aromas from the open kitchen you welcoming you the second you step in through the door. Service is friendly and relaxed from the get go, easing you into the evening.
Although Tipo 00 is a pasta bar, the menu offers much more with starters such as grilled ox tongue, or calamari, although we instead opt for some polenta fritta to start, golden, crunchy with a touch of rosemary.
Although a braised baby goat dish is a tempting main, especially on a lightly drizzly Melbourne night, Emily and I opt for dishes from the pasta and risotto section of the menu. Gnocchi di patate for Em with braised duck, with porcini mushrooms and pecorino pepato. Fluffy, pillowy bites, rich and warming. The balance is lovely, the gnocchi nicely flavoured by the braised duck, but not overwhelmed by it.
I choose the risotto special, a squid ink risotto with whitebait and salmon roe. You would think that black would be quite an off-putting colour, but Tipo 00 has made it quite beautiful, with the lightly fried whitebait and salmon roe making it look like some abstract piece of art. I loved the ‘just done’ texture of the risotto, and the contrasting texture of the whitebait. The salty bursts from the salmon roe was also a fun little surprise as well.
The comfortably filling portions of pasta mean there’s definitely just enough room for dessert, where we went one classic, a pannacotta with honey, almond and berries, and one contemporary, the ‘Torta del giorno’ of the day, which consisted of a peanut butter mousse, chocolate ice-cream and sponge cake (amongst other things).
The pannacotta is just the thing for finishing the night on if you need something refreshing, the berries were so juicy and lovely and the texture of the pannacotta itself so immensely smooth.
As always though, the peanut butter and chocolate combo is much more my thing, and although it sounds rich and heavy, it wasn’t at all. The peanut butter mousse was light as air, more of a foam. Just enough to satiate a big sweet tooth, just like mine, but not weigh down the tummy after a pasta meal.
Tipo 00 certainly lived up to expectations for me, providing a casual dining space, with well executed, contemporary, but also very familiar flavours. An easy choice for a lazy date night, or like us, a catch up with the girls (and a couple glasses of vino).
361 Little Bourke Street