I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t like tapas. Not the actual food itself, but the small plates thing. It bugs me. If there’s something on the menu I like then I want a plate of it. I don’t want lots of tiny plates of things I want and things I don’t that I then have to fight over or democratically only eat one mouthful of. So, you can imagine I wasn’t the most excited person to be reviewing Tozi in Victoria, which serves cicchetti — Venetian style small plates.
It’s important in life to admit when you’re wrong. My trepidation about Tozi was unfounded and I hereby admit that I was wrong. Tozi was amazing.
Tozi served us up some of the most delicious cured meats and seafood I have had in a long time. From wild boar salsiccia to calamari to melt-in-the-mouth bresaolo. The highlight for me was undoubtedly the salami piccante sour-dough pizza – rich and flavoursome I could have eaten it over and over again. The only thing that came close to something so tasty was the tiramisu, but given it’s an Italian dish in an Italian restaurant you’d expect these two to be stand out.
To accompany the food, you’d have to expect some pretty spectacular cocktails and Tozi really doesn’t disappoint. For the summer they’re pushing some floral cocktails — made using seasonal ingredients and garnished with edible blooms.. Be warned, they are very pungent and very drinkable, so handle with care or you’ll wake up fuzzy headed and feeling like you drank a pint of Febreeze.
If you’re more inclined towards a stronger drink — the kind of thing that makes you feel like James Bond and is basically made of alcohol that’s been gently waved in the direction of a non-alcoholic ingredient then poured over ice — you’re in luck. They serve a take on the old fashioned that will blow you away. Glenfiddich whisky, orange bitters and essence of barbeque over ice and served with a side of bacon. Yup, you read that right. They take alcohol, mix it with the flavour of fire, and serve it up with roasted meat. Find me a more primal and manly drink than that and I will eat my hat. It’s strong and more than two will probably render you incapable of functioning, but it’s worth the trip to Tozi for one of these alone. Ten out of ten.
Final verdict? Even for a tapas hater like me, it was superb. If you’re a tapas/small plates fan then you won’t find better. And did I mention the great cocktails?