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‘Everything from scratch’: Australian chef opening new Victoria restaurant

The restaurant will open on Yates Street
Tom Moore sitting in the newly renovated Tombo kitchen. (Ella Matte/News Staff)

Chef Tom Moore is creating a restaurant in downtown Victoria that consists of the familiar motto of local, local, local.

Moore’s dream will soon come to life in January 2024 when he opens his new restaurant Tombo.

Victorians who were a fan of the eateries Agrius and Fol Epi are in luck as Tombo will occupy the space at 732 Yates St.

“The food is going to be very locally driven,” said Moore. “My passion is all about good seasonal local food. So the idea with this place is since we have such a big kitchen, we’re gonna really utilize that and make everything from scratch. We can tell you exactly what’s in it and who made it. Then we go one step further and make salami here that goes on the sandwich.”

Not only will Tombo have a bakery in the kitchen to make the bread fresh for different daily sandwiches, but they will also have a charcuterie kitchen led by chef Paul van Trigt who, according to Moore, “has established a solid reputation as one of the best charcuterie guys in B.C.”

Moore also wants the beverages at Tombo to remain local.

“We’ve been really studying local wine and beer for the last little while as well, which has been fun because we get to taste it,” Moore chuckled. “But we’ve got a phenomenal wine list put together with some really great B.C. wines. Some of them are sort of the lower alcohol ones as well so that people can come here for lunch and get a lower alcohol wine, a zero alcohol beer, which is really popular at the moment.”

For the lunch crowd, Moore is going to sell several grab-and-go items that will be on a part of the restaurant called Tombo To-Go.

“There’s pastries, sandwiches, soup, pizza, salads, and yummy lunch stuff for all the sort of downtowner every day.”

The chef opened and ran restaurants in Australia for more than 20 years before moving to Canada. Moore specialized in doing farm-to-table food.

“We had a restaurant there that was a rural restaurant where we’d grow our own veggies and we had 50 chickens and a dozen ducks and two acres of garden and orchards. It was very produce-driven,” said Moore.

Moore also had a fine dining restaurant which he said “won lots of awards nationally in Australia.” Then Moore had children and decided he did not want to work late until midnight every night. That’s when he changed course and decided to start a bakery in Australia.

Once Moore moved to Canada, he decided to stay with the bakery trend and open Victoria’s beloved Crust Bakery. Now Moore is diving back into the lunch and dinner dining scene.

The interior of the eatery will be designed by Sarah Donald from Hansenbuilt Design, who also designed Crust Bakery. “She did such a wonderful job on the flow of Crust that I want to sort of bring the same philosophy here,” said Moore.

Before getting to design the space, Moore and his team ran into a few roadblocks that delayed getting permits.

Due to this delay, Moore is going to have a Tombo pop-up. They’ll be selling some of the food from Tombo To-Go on Government Street at the end of Trout Alley. On Nov. 16, the pop-up will launch and foodies can get a taste of Tombo.

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About the Author: Ella Matte

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