Baby Octopus ($19)

OSTERIA ILARIA

Rarely has a restaurant impressed me on the first visit the way Tipo00 did. Their meticulously hand-crafted pasta dishes were melt-in-the-mouth scrumptious, and each subsequent visit has been similarly astounding, and well worth the ridiculous wait times. So when the geniuses behind Tipo opened Osteria Ilaria a couple years later, all of Melbourne were waiting with bated breath to see if it lived up to [...]
Breakfast Pasta ($21.5)

SMALL AXE KITCHEN

Growing up Chinese, I’ve never been one to shy away from a sizable breakfast. In most parts of Asia, it is considered perfectly normal to start your day with a bowl of noodles, a plate of meat buns, or even leftovers from dinner the night before. In fact, one of my all-time favourite breakfasts is my grandma’s wide rice noodles, cooked in soup with minced [...]
No. 5 ($14.9)/Hawker ($13.9)

PEZZO

Ever since eating the fabulous food at Miznon, I’ve been obsessed with anything that’s pita-pocket-esque. I’ve always thought the sandwich to be one of the greatest inventions in food history, and pita pockets are basically sandwiches 2.0 – served warm, and often armed to the hilt with ingredients worthy of a sit-down dinner. And although the pockets at Pezzo are made with 48-hour fermented sourdough [...]
Bacio ($4.5) with Melted Nutella ($1)

PIDAPIPO

For the longest time, my go-to place for good gelato is Gelato Messina. Between their 40-odd flavours and half a dozen decadent specials that rotate on a weekly basis, I saw no need to ever go anywhere else. But after a few people have told me that Pidapipo is even better than Messina, there was nothing for it but to try it out. Having previously [...]
Pisci ‘mpanattu ($30)

BAR IDDA

I have a co-worker I’m rather jealous of. She lives in Brunswick, which means she has her choice of Deliveroo/Ubereats from any of the surrounding suburbs, and that includes everything from 400 Gradi to Jimmy Grants, as well as Kumo Izakaya and Mankoushe. And amongst her list of favourite restaurants to order from is Bar Idda, an unpretentious little Italian eatery at the top end [...]
Spaccatelli Carbonara ($19)

UMBERTO ESPRESSO BAR

My mum is an excellent cook. She can make braised pork belly better than any restaurant, pleat dumplings with the best of them, and once she made a perfect beef rendang, from scratch, on her first go. But with all that said, every now and then I do wish that she knew how to cook like an Italian nonna. Incredibly ungrateful of me I know, [...]