Tag Archives: functions

Tazio Birraria Pizzeria & Cucina

Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to a large dinner for Weekendnotes writers at Tazio – an Italian restaurant located on the corner of Flinders Lane and Exhibition St.

Another writer volunteered to write the review on Weekendnotes, but I thought I’d love to add a few more non-Asian restaurant posts to my own personal blog. Did you know I’ve only ever posted one Italian place on my blog?

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The idea of the night was to showcase their large tables for functions. The table seated 24 people, thus 12 writers and their plus ones. It was great to meet some of the writers who you see post so often on Weekendnotes, and finally find yourself able to match faces to names.

With the function already catered for us, we were provided with a special Weekendnotes banquet menu (above). The good thing about Italian food is that it is perfect for sharing, thus the menu was designed for exactly that.

20140716_191938They also provided cocktails at a special price ($12.50), but as we were both driving, we chose to have mocktails – Safe Sex on the Beach and a No-jito ($9.50 – these were not included in the banquet). Service was great because we arrived a bit later and as we sat down, someone was already over to check what drinks we would like.

I enjoyed that you could have drinks similar to your usual cocktails but without the alcohol, as I’m not a big drinker anyway, it feels like you’re not left out and don’t miss out on the great flavours! 

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Whilst everyone arrived, chatted and settled in, the table was served with antipasto – including cured meats, feta, olives and herb bread. I guess I haven’t been exposed to antipasto much in my life to judge it, and found myself eating the usual meat and bread.

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Meanwhile, the chef came out to speak to us about Tazio’s concept of simple Italian food and talk us through our dinner menu and plan. He was a bit quiet and not loud-spoken, but we appreciated that he made the time to come out to talk to us at the start and end of the meal.

20140716_200153There was quite a break in between the entree and mains, which could be because they were allowing us time to get to know each other and chat, or also because they wanted to ensure everything came out at the same time.

Sides included patate fritte or chips with roast garlic aioli and salads – I don’t think you can go wrong with aioli but the chips were nothing special. Pictured below is the rucola – rocket, radicchio, parmesan and balsamic, a simple dish, usually $7.50, to lighten up your intake of pizza and pasta.
20140716_200258But this was only the beginning. After this our mains began to appear rapidly. Below is the classic margherita – I once heard someone say that it is best to judge an Italian restaurant on their margherita. These pizzas were thin and simple, herby and flavourful, but this was not the most memorable pizza.
20140716_200400The Della Mare – prawns, spinach, mozzarella (below) looked interesting, but I didn’t feel the prawns suited the pizza. I feel like there needs to be a little more topping to compliment it or something added to the sauce to make it work.
20140716_200503I did enjoy the last two pizzas more than the others, the Veneto – roast peppers, goats’ cheese, pancetta (Italian cured pork belly) and Treviso – crushed oven dried tomato, caramelised onion, basil.
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The Treviso felt like a more exciting vegetarian option than your classic margherita, with its extra dimension of flavour from their caramelised onion, feta and herbs.

The Veneto was also a simple meat option for a pizza, with a good amount of goat’s cheese. A suitable creation to represent an Italian restaurant with goats’ cheese and pancetta, a sort of Italian cured meat similar to bacon/ham.

20140716_201031Many people fell in love with the prawns, tomato and lemon zest risotto, but I have always found risotto tends to be too creamy for my liking, and this was one of them. Eating too much of a creamy or cheesy meal usually does not sit well with me after a while.
20140716_201102Meanwhile, the penne amatriciana – chicken, pancetta, chilli, garlic, napoli – did not seem that different from a similar dish my mum usually whips up at home. The sauce at Tazio does taste slightly different and more authentic, but still does not warrant any exclamations that it is the best dish.
20140716_201423Overall, the night was more for a good catch up and chat, full of getting to know people and enjoying food surrounded by people you usually aren’t surrounded by. The food was good, with some pizzas earning my tick of approval, but generally not outstanding.

Image taken from the official Weekendnotes write up by Nadine

It did, however, stick to the its concept of simple, Italian food. It is also a nice, classy atmosphere with good service, so drop in if you are after a sophisticated yet affordable Italian meal.
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Tazio is located at 66 Flinders Lane and is open 12pm-late weekdays and Saturdays from 5pm. Find their menu here and book online here.

Tazio Birraria Pizzeria Cucina on Urbanspoon

Mon’s Adventures was invited for a complimentary banquet with eleven other Weekendnotes writers and friends – all to promote their function table.

Jam and Cream

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Ever since my little sister had her birthday here, I have been meaning to drop by at Jam and Cream.

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I finally found the time to drop by the other day and my friends were amazed at the degree of cuteness and the girly, vintage design. There is even a little makeshift “photo booth” at the front, with a basket of props if you want to strike a pose.

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It’s everything a hipster would want to discover but also a popular place for couples, families and older women to catch up.

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It’s packed on weekends due to its individuality in what it has to offer and its small dining space. It’s extremely popular for their variety of scones, baked freshly when ordered.

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Due to this, you will need to allow some time for the wait. We arrived towards the end of closing hours on a Sunday and were still warned the scones would take half an hour. I’m not sure how related this was to how much we ordered, but I did overhear some ladies telling the counter lady to cancel their food as they had somewhere they needed to go.

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There’s also some seating along the side of the place and at the back – where you will find some knitted blankets, cushions, children’s stools, a small animal pen, and an adorable pink caravan! Phew!
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This place has a lot going on, so despite the long waits, the atmosphere is really something different. The caravan is what my sister hired out for her birthday – great for a small group of girl friends!
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The menu offers some savoury options and quite a few drinks as well. We ordered some tea and coffee to start off, whilst I ordered an iced chocolate after seeing some impressive looking photos of their drinks. Our waitress didn’t seem to know what the house blend of tea was, but did at least venture to find out for us.

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The iced chocolate looked great presentation-wise but wasn’t great practicality-wise. They attempted to disperse the chocolate syrup throughout the drink and create an artistic composition. But the syrup gathered mostly at the bottom of the drink.

The striped paper straws do not suck up the thick drink very well and only drew out the syrup from the bottom. This caused an overwhelmingly sweet taste and proves difficult to enjoy the drink. I ended up having to drink it from the glass.

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As we were in for a snack, we thought we couldn’t miss the scones after hearing so much about them. The different types of sweet scones are named with old-fashioned sounding names like Gertrude and Bertha, whilst the savoury selection have male names such as Montgomery.
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We were recommended the Nanna’s Platter, a miscellaneous collection of ten scones as opposed to ordering many different serves (they come in sets of two, $13.95 each, including tea/coffee). This was evidently better value than our initial plan at only $28.
20140622_155611We weren’t entirely sure what each scone was, but definitely preferred the sweet ones. The one pair of savoury scones caused quite a lot of confusion to our taste buds, not necessarily a bad thing. At times, it almost tasted like a pizza shape to me (for international readers, Shapes are an Australian line of savoury biscuits)!

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We also ordered an extra serve of the Florence, as these caramel and espresso scones sounded too interesting to miss out on.
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We definitely didn’t regret it as the sauce had a strong espresso flavour and tasted great drizzled on the decadent serve of scones. Our only regret would probably be ordering too much and struggling to finish all the food.

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I would definitely recommend this place, although when we first arrived, the lady at the counter seemed a little blunt and uncaring when she told us we couldn’t get a table inside.

As it was also so busy, when we tried to snag an outside table, there were still a lot of dirty dishes yet to be cleared. The lady’s attitude was a bit more warming when we came back to pay and there were less people left in the shop.

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They get quite busy for a small place but the experience of the entire destination makes up for the lack of attention. The place is decorated wonderfully with homely antiques, toys that bring out your inner child, and handmade crafts that would be found in your nanna’s house.

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Jam and Cream is located unexpectedly near a normal suburban block of houses and is a gem on this side of town. I’d say to go solely for the scones and experience, but service and speed might be a little lacking.

Jam and Cream is located at 1 Orr St, Heidelberg Heights. They are open Tue-Fri 8.30am-4pm and Sat-Sun 9.30am-5pm.

Jam & Cream on Urbanspoon