“It’s the best pasta in Melbourne” said the young guy at the table next to me as he slurped down his spaghetti affumicati. It’s a big call to make but Tipo 00 certainly seems to take its pasta seriously. Even the name is a giveaway, referencing the finely milled Italian flour which makes the best pasta.
Occupying a small shopfront on Little Bourke street we went there to celebrate my birthday last night (happy birthday to me!) and the place was packed even for a wintery Tuesday evening. It’s a simple fit out – tables crammed in elbow to jowl alongside the semi open kitchen with a clever geometric painted pattern on the floor giving the appearance of well worn tiles. The restaurant has only been open for seven months but already looks like it’s been in Melbourne for years.
House made focaccia is provided to every table to start along with some creamy ricotta. It’s good bread: crunchy and salty and is an indication of the sense of hospitality at Tipo 00. The menu is a simple one pager but while there’s plenty of good things on there we found ourselves taking advantage of the specials list a lot.
To start, burnished juicy pan fried scallops braised with warm lettuce and slivers of paper thin pancetta all in a light sauce which our waitress thankfully brought more of the focaccia to mop up.
Then onto the pasta which lived up to the high expectations we had. Silky smooth folds of it punctuated with meaty mushrooms and slices of wagyu bresaola adding a little kick.
Tipo’s gnocchi is perhaps the ultimate comfort dish. Soft balls of buttery gnocchi ($26) topped with a rich slow cooked duck ragu and shards of parmesan.
There are only a couple of desserts on offer. I’ve heard the tipomiso is sensational (Tipo 00’s take on a tiramisu) but opted instead for the crespella ($14), warm pancakes rolled and filled with fluffy ricotta and toasted pistachios with a scoop of gelati on the side. It’s classic food pulled off exceedingly well. I came to Tipo 00 for the pasta but learnt there was a lot else to love about this simple trattoria.
Details: Tipo 00, 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne CBD (Ph 03 9942 3946). Be warned they do the annoying two shift seating here thing here at dinner time. You can eat at 6pm or 8.30pm.
Damage: Reasonable. Our bill came to $130 for two with wine.