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“Glories of Yesteryear”
Review of Tiamo

Ranked #221 of 4,360 Restaurants in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$22
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Lygon Street
Reviewed 21 June 2014

For around 15 years, Tiamo was a lunchtime haunt of mine on the isolated occasions I've visited Melbourne, offering good pasta dishes and an appealing rustic ambience. So after five years' absence from Melbourne I arranged to have lunch there on a Saturday following a week's eisteddfod adjudicating at Warrnambool.

Slogging my way through judging a million or so performances of Fur Elise, I sometimes allowed my mind to anticipate a Tiamo lunch. Just reward for my labours!

Stepping off the Warrnambool-to-Melbourne train at 10am I walked uptown to Lygon Street, pausing to visit the princely premises of King & Godfree to critically select a merlot. And then, armed with a bottle of Inigo 2012, I entered the cosy, busy Tiamo and located a table over by the far wall.

Yep, same layout as before. Same wall of fading posters promoting events by Chick Corea, Lily Allen, Gabriel Iglesias and Tumbleweed. Same rustic furnishings such as bare tables, same vista of cooks out the back bending over their pots and saucepans. Somehow the familiarity with past scenery world like a tonic on me, even before cranking open the Inigo.

The service is quick and friendly. I ordered Spaghetti Bologna and a Garden Salad. Mmmmm! Great wine, must go back and tell them. Place buzzing with young families tucking into pasta and pizzas, waiters bustling everywhere.

My spaghetti and salad arrived together, with a plate of buttered Vienna slices. Looked great!

Appearances can deceive. Yep, bread fresh and good. Yep, spaghetti fresh and not overcooked. Garden salad in a deep bowl looked inviting. But wait a minute, is there anything beneath the heaps of lettuce? Search, search. Aha! Three quarter slices of tomato, several slivers of cucumber, one or two other similar items.

At $10, an audacious ripoff.

Missing from the spaghetti was a meat sauce that ideally saturates the dish. It was OK in flavour, but not it outstanding in texture. At $16.90, hardly value for money.

The best part of this experience was revisiting the place's homely ambience and becoming, at least for an hour or two, part of a happy family scene.

If you visit Tiamo, arm yourself with a really good red. A least then there'll be a truly exceptional edge to your meal.

Regrettably, I think I shall now say farewell to Tiamo. Thanks for the memories!

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2  Thank Adrian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 June 2014

Tiamo has been a favorite of the lovers of all things Italian in Melbourne . Within a stones throw of Melbourne University ,three generations of graduates have been sitting out on the sidewalk enjoying not only the delights of great Italian food but the cafe Street scene in Carlton Melbourne's Italian district . I am always excited at the prospect of a great Carbonara and a glass of red followed by an excellent coffee. The magic of Melbourne.

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Thank Ray A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

We used to love this restaurant when we lived and worked in Carlton, so were excited to take our son there after a movie tonight. Told we couldn't book as there would be plenty of tables at 6.30 but had to wait for 20 minutes while others who had booked got seats, sat for ages and then had to ask for bread, received 2 of 3 meals ( eventually) and then had to ask where the third was after waiting for sometime so as not to appear impolite and the food, when received, was tasteless and over cooked. I am a firm believer that you are only disappointed if your expectations have not been met- so if you have few expectations, go to Tiamo, otherwise, you are spoilt for choice in Carlton, so go somewhere else.

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4  Thank Shelley R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

We have eaten there three times over the last couple of months, a mixture of dinners and lunches. There are many eateries along Lygon Street and this is 'at the other end' near Elgin Street. The food choices are not limited to pasta and pizza, with lots of veal, chicken, lamb to choose from. They are known for their home made gnocchi and there are a variety of sauces to select for all pasta dishes. It is BYO wine and there are two bottle shops nearby. House wine is also available. Overall very good food, value and service.

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Thank Roger R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014 via mobile

Food and drinks were brilliant. I can recommend the Aperol Spritz but service was a bit slow. Mains were brought out separately and I had to wait for mine for 10min.

But other than that good value and very authentic.

Va bene!

Thank Katie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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