Lygon Street, the heart of the Italian community in Melbourne, is a must visit area for people looking for cosy, authentic Italian restaurants close to the central city area.
There are quite a lot of places to choose from, with greeters from the restaurant cajoling you in charming Italian accents as you walk past....
(In fact, if you have a large enough group + desperate enough greeter, you may get offers of free wine to entice you to eat at their restaurant)
That night, we chose to dine at Tiamo 2, a popular restaurant at the quieter side of the street.
Tiamo2 (and it's sister restaurant, Tiamo, next door) is a small, casual restaurant serving traditional country style Italian food...
It's interior is normal (and rather cramped + noisy) but still, it's very cosy though probably not a good venue for a romantic date.
(Be warned: Do make bookings/ come early as this place is really popular and is packed at dinner time)
At Tiamo2, there is a decent variety of items on the regular menu and also an ever changing array of Daily Specials to keep you coming back.
Knowing how big Aussie helpings can be to the average Malaysian stomach, we skipped the appetizers and jumped straight to the mains. First up, the Daily Specials - the Roast Pork and the Baked Sea Bass:
Mmmm... oh Roast Pork, oh wonderful porcine goodness - so juicy and tender with that wonderful herb sauce. The Sea Bass was also fantastic - fresh and cooked juuuuust right, with the tender flesh sweet with natural juices, accentuated with a hint of lemon. If you ever see it available on the Daily Special when you go there, ORDER IT (Seriously! ... Do watch out for the bones, k? - I was greedily gobbling the fish and almost swallowed a few bones in the process).
Onwards to the regular items available on the menu - the Steak Diane, the Maccharoni Della Zia and the Lamb Shank:
The Steak Diane, served with a robust worcestershire, garlic and wine sauce, was tender and generally, ok.
(I am beginning to suspect that I am very hard to please when it comes to steaks)
The Maccharoni Della Zia was pretty good, pasta with meatballs and eggplant in a tart homemade tomato based sauce - wholesome and fulfilling, how a good Italian pasta should be.
The Lamb Shank was the best of these three, with the meat succulent from the time-consuming braising. It had a very delicate flavour though, akin to the traditional Italian style (This is a downside to me, because being Malaysian I love everything heavily spiced).
Don't ask me how, but being the gluttons that we are, we managed to fit in Tiramisu for dessert:
The tiramisu was really good - creamy and moist with just a hint of alcohol.
(Definately a great way to end the night)
So it's: Affordable, authentic Italian food near the Melbourne city center with friendly service (waiters not very attentive though - too busy) BUT cramped, noisy environment and limited wine selection .
Tiamo 2 @ Lygon Street
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : AUD$ 35/++ per person
Parking: Took Tram So Dunno
** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: (61) 03-2282 9923
Opening Hours: 11am - late
TAGS: Food, Blog, Weblog, Malaysia, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Tiamo, Lygon, Lygon Street, Tiamo 2, Tiamo2, Italian, Australia, Victoria, Melbourne, Carlton