Tazio Birraria Pizzeria Cucina

Tazio is nestled away on Flinder’s Lane, the bar area populated by suits enjoying a casual after-work drink, but it also offers a nice spatially separated area to dine in. I first came to Tazio on my first anniversary with my boyfriend and was pleasantly surprised by the simple seasonal menu         and attentive service. It has since been a favourite spot of mine.

Freshly steamed mussels and clams w/ chili, garlic and tomato ($10)

Freshly steamed mussels and clams w/ chili, garlic and tomato ($10)

My boyfriend loves seafood and I wanted something light to start on so we went with this dish. The mussels were fresh, succulent and plump, however unfortunately the clams were overcooked and dry. I expected a refreshing mix of chili, tomato and garlic, but what I got was a mouthful of extra-virgin olive oil. It was certainly a high-quality olive oil, but I thought the kitchen was inappropriately heavy handed with it and its flavour ended up overpowering the dish.

Salsiccia - Italian sausage, black olives, mushrooms, basil and napoli ($21.50)

Salsiccia – Italian sausage, black olives, mushrooms, basil and napoli ($21.50)

Tazio seasonally offers a choice of two pastas. Though this didn’t taste bad, it was very ordinary and tasted very much like what I whisk up for a quick weekday dinner.

Pizza della mare - tomato, mozzarella, chili, garlic, prawns and fresh spinach - 10inch ($16)

Pizza della mare – tomato, mozzarella, chili, garlic, prawns and fresh spinach – 10inch ($16)

Tazio’s real specialty is pizza, boasting quite an extensive pizza menu. The pizza della mare was text book perfect. The edges addictively crispy, the prawns plump and juicy all tied together harmoniously with a wonderfully balanced tomato base.

Top deck mousse with homemade honeycomb ($9.50)

Top deck mousse with homemade honeycomb ($9.50)

On our very first visit, we had a lovely chocolate cheesecake as dessert, I will go as far as to say that it’s the best chocolate cheesecake I’ve ever tasted. When we had that cheesecake it was almost 4 years ago, but I’ve never seen it make a reappearance. I really do hope that Tazio can bring that chocolate cheesecake back for a season. Anyway, we had the top deck mousse instead.

The white chocolate mousse was creamy, sweet and smooth, lovely when offset by the fresh strawberry and the caramelized bitterness of the honeycomb.  However, when we dug our spoons into the milk chocolate layer we realised something was very wrong. It was so dense that we found it hard to push our spoons through. The texture of the mousse was very grainy, as if the mousse had been over-whipped. I don’t like making complaint, unless I feel absolutely furious with the restaurant. Why? It’s hard to explain. But, I think it has something to do with having had a restaurant in the family. Running a restaurant is hard-work and sometimes despite the best of intentions, some things still stuff up. So, I like giving restaurants the benefit of the doubt. However, I was really curious as to whether it was purposely done to create a chocolate brownie batter effect. It really did taste like an undercooked brownies mixture. So we asked the waitress about the strange texture of our “mousse” when she came to clear our table. Our attentive waitress seemed to be quite shocked and embarrassed about the texture of the mousse.  We told her that it was okay, but while apologising profusely she insisted on asking the kitchen about it. She came back from the kitchen and apologised again on behalf of the kitchen and told us that she would take it off the bill for us. We told her it wasn’t necessary, but she insisted it was the restaurant’s error so they should be responsible for it.

I think this is a prime example of when service can compensate for flaws in food. Sometimes, when a complaint is handled well, it not only appeases the customer, but it actually makes the restaurant as a whole look more professional and responsible. It’s certainly a plus in my books.

Despite the slightly disappointing quality of some of the dishes we ordered, we still had a very enjoyable night with one another. I will keep returning to Tazio, for the seasonal menu, for the wonderful service, for the romantic ambience and also very importantly for the sentiment we share over this establishment.

Tazio Birraria Pizzeria Cucina on Urbanspoon


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