Admittedly I was mortified at the thought of Vini growing up and expanding. It felt like a sell out, because I loved the shoebox intimacy of the space when it first opened, which allowed eavesdropping into conversations when yours got boring.
But just like Sally Fletcher, it’s retained the heart, integrity and sensual Italian enoteca I remember. Wine lovers won’t be disappointed with the interesting, largest pound for pound wine list scrawled on one blackboard, the essence of Italian cuisine clearly shines on the other.
Simple joys on crostini with toppings of roasted white fish, capers, lemon and parsley, buffalo mozzarella, eggplant and chilli but it’s the fresh fig, salami and ricotta balancing sweetness, heat and texture that’s the pick of the bunch. The only fault of the spaghetti with blue swimmer crab, chilli and cherry tomatoes is that it could have done with a bit more of the crustacean. Otherwise a clean, well executed pasta. Beautiful in season peppers and zucchini are roasted and form a bed for the chargrilled, well seasoned sirloin steak.
Must finish the meal with dolce, the pannacotta as it should be, creamy custardy yet slightly firm smothered in an espresso caramel and chopped almonds, of similar texture the vanilla semifreddo, light and creamy with fresh strawberries an upgraded twist on a classic.
Just like the coming of age of Kate Ritchie, Vini has allowed success get to its head and is essentially the same little girl we remember. Thank goodness for that.
4 / 5 yums!
Where? 3/118 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, NSW
What? Entrees $10, Mains $25, Desserts $10