Meet the Italian restaurant on Lygon Street you won’t want to bypass

This lively Sicilian joint, where the music pumps and the snacks come out thick and fast, has fast become a Lygon Street favourite. You’ll want to book nice and early – there’s not a day Bar Idda isn’t packed. You’ll find this cosy neighbourhood trattoria on the old Rumi site (Rumi have moved to, uh, roomier digs).

For a crash course on Sicilian food, turn your menu over – Bar Idda, along with sketching out a map of the region, have provided an illustrated timeline. Find out when fruits such as oranges, lemons and melons were introduced (827 AD) and when chocolate and tomatoes first made an appearance (1487 AD). Handy!

Don’t bother with the small-planet-sized arancino (a rice ball filled with ragu, cheese, boiled egg and peas) unless that’s all you’re eating. Instead, head straight for the purpetti dolci – beef meatballs fragrant with cinnamon and covered in a thick tomato sauce. And make sure to try the mulinciani – a sort of eggplant bake layered with pecorino, tomato and basil. It’s excellent with a side of lenticchia d’estate – a dish of fresh peas, lentils, ricotta and mint – and a refreshing salad of salted cucumber and onion.

The chicken caponata – chicken leg, cooked with bitter chocolate, capers, green olives and tomato – isn’t available on our visit, but we’ll be back for it. Big ups, too, for the all-Italian beer list including Menabrea, Ichnusa and Moretti. Want wine? Order a litre of ‘Bar Idda red’ or ‘Bar Idda white’ for $20.

Bar Idda is a great night out – it’s inexpensive, it’s tasty and it’s fun.

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First published on . Updated on .

By Myffy Rigby   |   Photos by Peter Tarasiuk   |  

Bar Idda details

132 Lygon St

Brunswick East 3057

Telephone 03 9380 5339

Price per person including drinks Up to $50

Bookings recommended

Open Mon-Sat 6-10pm

Bar Idda website

Brunswick East area guide

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