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1800 Lasagne

  • Restaurants
  • Thornbury
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. The exterior of a brick restaurant with red umbrellas.
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. A slab of lasagne on a white plate.
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. The interior of a crowded Italian restaurant.
    Photograph: Supplied
  4. The interior of a crowded Italian restaurant.
    Photograph: SuppliedA bowl of pasta and a glass of wine on a table.
  5. The interior of a crowded Italian restaurant with people sitting at a bar.
    Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Who you gonna call when you need a hearty serving of the sauciest slabs in town? 1800 Lasagne, of course

Cast your mind back to the dark days of Melbourne’s lockdown (we know, we know – it wasn’t a good time for any of us, but play along for a moment), when our every waking moment revolved around daily press conferences, Covid-19 case updates and pondering the significance of premier Daniel Andrews wearing his North Face puffer jacket.

It was in this time of absolute despair that a beacon of light appeared, and it came in the form of a humble delivery service that went by the name of 1800 Lasagne. Suddenly, we had something to live for again; our stomachs growled and our cravings went through the roof. Saucy slabs of piping-hot lasagne accompanied by loaves of the most heavenly garlic bread to ever exist were being delivered straight to our doors – if you were lucky enough to have a highlight from the pandemic, it was likely this.

It’s with fond memories of those old-school delivery days – when you would frantically check Instagram to see which suburbs made the cut for the weekly drop-off – that I enter 1800 Lasagne’s actual brick-and-mortar venue on High Street in Thornbury. Just like if you walked into the retro Italian restaurant of your nonna’s dreams (seriously, I was surprised not to find my husband’s Trieste-born grandparents sitting at one of the tables in the back dining section), you'll discover a glorious mish-mash of wood panelling, terrazzo floors and exposed brick archways. Throw in a couple of glowing pendant lights, fabulous art and a DJ spinning an eclectic Italo jazz-disco mix, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a delightfully playful and relaxed dining experience.

On a Sunday night in the depths of winter it’s packed, and we’re seated at the bar – the ideal spot for watching the bartenders do their thing. Set against a neon-lit backdrop of row upon row of liquor bottles, the staff put on a show, slinging Spritzes, Negronis and Americanos like they’re going out of fashion. Everyone working here is cool. Like, really cool – they’re the types of people who you just know are watching/reading/listening to all the stuff everyone else will discover in a year’s time. But they’re friendly, too, and more than helpful. When tossing up between ordering the mafalde (pork and fennel sausage, chilli, olives, cavolo nero, and salsa rosso) or the gnocchi (perfect pillowy clouds of goodness with napoli, stracciatella and basil), our bartender is happy to lean over and cast a confident vote for the former.

With an Aperol Spritz and a glass of ‘Casa Scarpa’ Barbera d’Asti DOCG on the way (the extensive wine list is made up exclusively of Italian drops, aside from a Tassie riesling and a semillon from France) we await the main event – and boy oh boy, it doesn’t disappoint.

1800 Lasagne’s lasagne is, without doubt, a triumph. A mix of pork and beef, the thick bechamel layer is creamy and melts in your mouth, while the sauce is rich yet still vibrant. And the pasta sheets that bind this dish together are silky and only slightly chewy, but in the best way. This is death row, last meal on Earth vibes – if you go out with a chunk of this in your belly, you’ve done pretty well for yourself. 

The aforementioned mafalde is an honourable support act, with just the right amount of spicy kick to balance the lasagne. The squiggly, ribbon-shaped pasta is an interesting and welcome reprieve from the oodles of pappardelle and tagliatelle that seem to dominate many Italian menus in Melbourne. It’s a sin not to have the garlic bread, which is punchy and slathered in unholy amounts of butter and garlic. Sure, you can share with your dining partner, but do yourselves both a favour and go one each – that’s what I’ll be doing next time, for sure.

To make ourselves feel slightly healthier, we also order the mixed dressed leaves – a light, bright and zesty bowl of greens that somehow manage to elevate the whole meal. After all that decadence, it’s a lovely note to finish on.

Owner and mastermind of this lasagne empire, Joey Kellock, sure does have one helluva establishment on his hands – fun, flavoursome and bloody good bang for your buck. It’s safe to say we’ve got 1800 Lasagne on speed dial, and we’re not mad about it.

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Leah Glynn
Written by
Leah Glynn


653 High St
Opening hours:
Wed-Thur 5-11pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-12am; Sun 4-11pm
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