Last week we had the pleasure of trying out the relatively newly opened Vesta. Located in the busy Darling Quarter area, the restaurant blends in well with the modern and “airy” surroundings with it’s glass panels and open spacing. The food and service though is what sets the restaurant apart. Whilst we’ve all had our fair share of average made dishes and above average priced meals at the Darling Quarter; the food at Vesta was well executed, priced fairly and presented handsomely. On top of all this, you’ve got the very friendly and charismatic owner and manager Kaz ensuring all his diners are happily fed.
For starters M and I chose the calamari and the seared scallops. The calamari was coated with a thin and lightly flavoured flour coating that was deep fried to a golden crispy state and served with a side of creamy herb mayo. I loved the generous serve of calamari tentacles in the mix which were crispy and addictive.
The seared scallops was next and head chef Kenji’s Japanese influence (who had previously worked at Toko) can be seen working its magic in the plating and intricate flavours of this dish. Everything was portioned evenly in the dish, with just enough of the creamy cauliflower puree, squid ink and lemon crumble for each seared scallop.
For mains we ordered the smokey pork ribs and the tagliatelle bolognese. Although technically the pork ribs comes under the “small plates” section of the menu, the decent portion size was enough for us to be passed in as a “main”. Whilst the meat was as tender as those ribs at Hurricane’s, each rib was well marinaded and coated with a balsamic and honey glaze before being topped with roasted sesame seeds and a dash of lime juice.
The simple Tagliatelle Bolognese dish though is what I’ll be coming back for. Wonderfully al dente tagliatelle is coated with a simple and rich slow cooked Bolognese sauce. Actually I should probably say it swims in this sauce – but in a good way. I adore sauce but especially when it’s this good quality, thick sauce that can come from a traditional slow reduction cooking method. Kaz offers us some bread to soak up all the sauce, and whilst I’m generally not one to say no to bread (especially bread with a bowl of rich oozing bolognese sauce) but we’ve been trying to practice “moderation” lately so we can safely fit into our wedding gowns.
… and to further highlight our mission of “moderation” we ordered the very healthy and tasty side of sauteed greens. These had a nice chilli and garlic kick in them.
Finally for dessert we shared their daily special panna cotta, which on the night was a creamy vanilla panna cotta topped with strawberries and crumble. The vanilla panna cotta was rich and creamy, and the flavours went well with the slightly tart and sweet strawberry and buttery crumble toppings. However the strawberries were made in a “granita-style” form which did let the dessert down since when the granita started to melt a little, the watery-ness of the granita took away some of the creaminess of the panna cotta.
All in all it was an enjoyable night with great food, good cocktails (had the sangria) and equally lovely service. Would definitely recommend the scallops and the tagliatelle bolognese, and would have to come back to try out the strawberry & rhubarb pizza that we were eying from our neighbouring table!
Disclaimer: PlanMB dined as guests of Vesta with thanks to Lauren from Folke Army
Shop 15, 1-25 Harbour St
02 9267 9644
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