Sit down. Relax. Tipico’s got this.
It’s raining heavily as we step into the new Italian restaurant on High St, Windsor and we’re immediately soothed into the stylish Milan comfort that is Tipico. I don’t know if it’s the staff, or the design, or the menu, but it’s evident they know what they’re doing – and quite frankly this calms me and is an unexpected delight in a new establishment.
But then again when you bring Andrea da Como (DOC, The Lucas Group, McConnell Group) and Marco Scalisi (Ti Amo, Swillhouse Group, Tokyo Tina) together you kind of expect that quality and experience to pay off.
I’ve immediately decided to go purist, so I sit at the stunning chunky terrazzo bar and order Campari to start, just like a Milanese local would do. The cocktail menu is simple and confident in a way that you don’t always see in new restaurants, where too often they try to impress you with the weird and wonderful. I’m tired of making risky choices in a sea of options that are way more intelligent than me. At Tipico I can actually sit down, relax and enjoy a drink that I know and I love.
For dinner we start with pasta, of course. The spinach, ricotta and saffron hand made ravioli is generously sized and the sweet butter saffron sauce is silky and light. The 9-hour pappardelle braised beef ragu doesn’t try to punch me in the mouth but confidently delivers what I need. It comforts me without the weight of too much richness. We sip Dolcetto and Chianti, recommended by the Italian waiters from the impressive wine list which is not too extensive. It’s quality over quantity here.
I have a crumbed veal cutlet problem – an intervention could be in order if this behavior doesn’t end soon – but where it does serve me well is that I’m a self confessed expert. Tipico’s Cotoletta is to die for. It’s absolutely perfectly cooked; moist, tender and medium rare with light golden crunchy crumbs taking the flavor to another level; served honestly sliced on a wooden board with a bowl of pickled veggies and fruit. Side note: pickled vegetables are brilliant and are typical of how this dish would be served in Italy. How have I not discovered this before? It’s wonderful as it balances out the fat and acid perfectly and quite frankly makes post-carnivorous indulgences digest nicely, leaving room for more…
It would be wrong to walk out of a place like Tipico without giving the pizza a go. Made with 72-hour yeast, we select the funghi and speck with fior di latte, forest mushroom, speck, thyme and brie. Again, it’s not heavy. It’s light enough to enjoy as lunch with a glass of wine and a catch up with friends. I think I’ll come back again just for that.
Even though I’ve consumed a gluttonous amount of food, at this point dolce is in order. While the chocolate mouse is a bit more intense than I expected – it feels like the wild child in the menu – the pannacotta with buffalo milk and chamomile sprinkled with toasted almond and drizzled with honey is so delicious, it feels like coming home.
It ties off a meal that is in fact surprisingly lighter than you expected from an Italian restaurant. And in that way, Tipico is not typical at all. Whilst set in a modern sophisticated design I can see why they say they also have a relaxed neighborhood vibe; I could eat here multiple times mid-week and not feel guilty, but instead feel nourished.
Tipico is confidently sitting in the modern. It feels present and relevant and reliable. It feels like both Melbourne and Milan at once. It feels like it’s always been there and that you can just sit down and relax. Welcome to your new Melbourne staple, I have a feeling it’s here to stay.