A favourite of the young foodie crowd that inhabits Surry Hills, Vini shows exactly what Sydney has to offer and screams what Italian food was always meant to be.
Ambling down Devonshire Street, you might find yourself considering a pre-dinner beer. Duck into Vini first and add your name to the list, then head to the pub and wait for your patience to pay off. There's no booking most nights, except on Tuesday evenings for their regional dinner nights. Book well enough in advance and you'll get a prized seat. At fifty dollars for a four course meal, plus wines, it's a great option for the wallet conscious. Tonight's region: Piedmonte. Already my favourite region for wine, so I was eager to see if I'd like the food too. It didn't disappoint.
While I'd prefer to avoid quoting Jamie Oliver, he's onto something with 'letting the ingredients shine'. This is exactly what Vini does, with traditional dishes that centre around key ingredients. On tonight's menu is bagna cauda, a warm anchovy dip, plus rabbit ravioli and braised beef cheeks. The food is delicate, tasty and filling. I also manage to pick up that the humble Grissini was born in this region. If you've ever wanted to travel to Italy for the food but haven't had the chance, my advice is don't bother: Vini brings an authentic taste of regional Italy direct to Sydney.
Yet Vini is not just a place for foodies. As the name suggests, wine lovers are well catered for. After a few glasses, however, you might find your memory of the meal becomes a little hazy. With this in mind, I'd suggest the wine flight, which includes four sample sized glasses plus prosecco.
The intimate, cosy atmosphere of Vini makes you feel as if you're dropping into your local. With consistently good service and food that satisfies all your senses, a wait in the pub is well worthwhile.