I hadn’t seen my friend O for quite some time, so decided to call him up and try to see him before the festive season kicked in good and proper. Both of us work near our old uni (Melbourne Uni), so it seemed perfectly natural that we meet in nearby Lygon Street for dinner after work.
Neither of us were really fussed about what to have but I mentioned I had a craving for Italian, and Lygon Street is definitely the place for that. We settled on Tiamo 2.
Tiamo is a bit of a Carlton institution. I’d be pretty surprised to hear of anyone going to Melbourne Uni and not having been there, either for coffee or for their simple pasta dishes. Tiamo 2 is newer, and I’d not been there since the renovation.
We both started with garlic focaccia to share, a very flat, crispy garlic-laden pizza. O chose a special from the board – the quail with assorted vegetables and blocks of polenta. O did remark during the meal that he was left with a larger mass than what he started with, due to the amazing amount of bones the quail had. I cannot help but think this would detract from the dining experience though it was an inspired offering to have.
I ordered a standard item from the menu – the tortellini in a cream sauce with truffle and mushrooms. It was divine and I must confess to gobbling it up very quickly. The sauce was not too rich and it was a pleasure to slather my massive slices of field mushrooms in it. Oh, okay, I scooped up as much sauce was as allowed in polite company…
After dinner, both of us had coffee and if I hadn’t been so poor, I would definitely have had dessert (I noticed that they had panna cotta on the menu) and to be honest, some wine to go with my main. I confess I looked on in horror as a fellow diner left a Little Creatures beer unfinished on his table! For shame.
Tiamo 2 is not a super-fancy place, but that is one of the things I love about it. Despite it being a Monday evening, it was very noisy (I sometimes strained to hear O when we were chatting) and I recommend it for a casual, laid-back meal but probably not if you wanted an intimate dining experience. I’m sure I’ll be frequenting it again next year when I return to uni. The menu is pretty limited, but it’s the specials boards that provide the variety – there was one for regular mains, and one for devoted to pizzas.