For about five years, Joey Kellock, the man behind Melbourne’s mysterious dial-for-delivery lasagne hotline, 1800 Lasagne, ran the business between other gigs, borrowing his mates’ restaurant kitchens to prep.
Kellock would batch-bake bechamel-y bolognaise and vego lasagnes, announce delivery suburbs for the week on Instagram, take orders, then drop them off in ’91 Holden Barina adorned with 1800-Lasagne decals.
Now the Fitzroy local, who has Italian heritage, has opened a kitchen and bar of his own. And the Barina has pride of place out front.
The dark and moody diner – still called 1800 Lasagne – has space for 50 people across a front bar, dining room, rear courtyard and laneway area. Striking brick archways are a feature, framing the windows on the facade and the doorways within. And the fit-out plays on those curves, with a radius bar top made from white oak; hand-blown, spherical glass light fixtures by Mark Douglass; and soft, rounded edges throughout.
The tight menu revolves, of course, around lasagne. Both versions made famous by Kellock’s delivery service will be available: a meaty bolognaise (of minced beef and pork) in a wine-spiked tomato sauce layered with bechamel, and a vegetarian version with eggplant. There are also a few snackier items: salumi from Donati’s in Carlton; gardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables); buttery garlic bread; plus a handful of salads for those seeking a cheese reprieve.
To drink, there are all the classic spritzes (Aperol, Campari, Cynar); a few juicy Italian drops by the bottle; and Italian prosecco and Yarra Valley sangiovese and rosé on tap.