Italian flour is graded by the extraction rate from the grain. 00, or as the Italians say, doppio zero, is made from coarsely ground durum wheat. It has a finer grain than commercial plain flours and is perfect for making fresh, light and delicate pasta.
Naming a pasta bar after the renowned flour is serious business, but at Tipo 00, the team is set on making the best in Melbourne. Head Chefs, Andreas Papadakis and Alberto Fava, are co-owners with Sommelier, Luke Skidmore. All three have resumes that would impress the harshest of food critics, spending time working under the likes of Shannon Bennett and Scott Pickett at some of Melbourne’s greatest restaurants.
Sitting down at one of the 42 chairs, you’ll be greeted with fresh rosemary focaccia and a wedge of ricotta to keep your hunger pangs at bay while you peruse the menu. Start with Globe Artichokes, Parsnip And Pangrattato, or ease your way in with Grilled Calamari with cracked farro, saffron and pickled mussels.
Although deciding on a pasta might be the toughest thing you do all day, rest assured, you can’t go wrong. Try the Jet-Black Squid Ink Tagliolini with squid and bottarga, or the simple but delicious Paccheri with confit tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil. Secondi includes Market Fish with celeriac caponata, capers and olives; and Corn-Fed Chicken with Brussels sprouts and guanciale. Add a side of Crunchy Rosemary Polenta Chips, or a Rocket Salad with pear and balsamic.
The Tipomisu will change your opinion of tiramisu. Forget the heavy sponge fingers and rich, thick lashings of whipped cream. Andreas and Alberto’s version is intricate and a perfectly indulgent way to finish your meal. A dense chocolate brownie is filled with mascarpone cream, egg yolk and dark rum, and then topped with a disc of tempered dark chocolate. To top it all off, there’s a warm sauce of salted caramel, espresso and dark chocolate, transforming the Tipomisu into a self-saucing pudding that’s not too sweet – just how the Italians like it.
True to its roots, expect the wine list to consist of mostly Italian reds, whites and sparkling, as well as a few imported beers. If you’re after something fancier, order an Aperol spritz or the Amaretto sour with lemon, egg white and sugar. Once you’re ready for a digestivo, a nip of Amari, limoncello or grappa will do the trick.
Tipo 00’s interiors are minimal, making food the main focus. Polished wooden tables are paired with European-style cafe chairs and stools. A marble bar invites you to perch and peer in at the mastery at work or sit up for an evening espresso. At the back, a bookcase full of wine fills the wall and if you look closely enough, the floor is actually a cleverly designed geometric paint job – not the tiles you’d expect.