MELBOURNE | Tippy-Tay is the recently opened restaurant inside Garden State Hotel. I recently visited on behalf of What’s On Melbourne to take a look. The restaurant occupies the space that was home to the Garden Grill dining room, towards the back. It’s a cute fitout, with a floral and fun Wes Anderson-like aesthetic. A DJ spins vinyl live, from the centre of the dining room.
The menu at Tippy-Tay takes inspiration from Florence, the Amalfi Coast, Calabria and Naples. There’s a strong focus on freshly caught local seafood, as well as pizza and pasta, and an assortment of other dishes. Simple food, designed to share with family and friends.
I opted for the “feed me” menu, which gets you a selection of the restaurant’s signature antipasti, pasta, mains, pizza, and sides for $65 a person. The calamari fritti with lemon is perfect for summer, as is the linguine with lemon and basil. You can’t go wrong with the Margherita pizza, topped with San Marzano, fior di latte, and basil. My favourite thing to eat here is the pork cotoletta. It’s a juicy golden crumb fried pork cutlet severd with mustard sauce and Tuscan slaw.
For dessert, an airline tray, reminiscent of the one at Attica’s Summer Camp pop-up last year, is rolled out to the table, filled with assorted desserts, amari, and digestifs. Think favourites like ricotta cannoli and tiramisu. You can’t go wrong with a serve of the tiramisu and a nip of Amaro Nonino on the side.
The drinks menu continues the theme, with a wine list focused on Italian wines, and local versions of Italian varietals. Cocktails are similarly Italian themed. The signature feature, however, is the Negroni button at each booth. Press it, and a few moments later a fountain of between 500ml and 1.5litres of Negroni is placed on the table with ice filled glasses and orange wedges. Dispense at your pleasure.
Garden State has always been a solid ‘crowd pleaser’ option of mine when looking for a good drink and reliable feed. Tippy-Tay does a great job of adding another string to the venue’s bow. And yes, you can still get quality pub meals at Garden State.
101 Flinders Lane
Tue: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Wed – Thu: 12:00pm to 3:00pm; 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Fri – Sun: 12:00pm to 10:00pm