Sydney harbours a plethora of amazing experiences.
Some are well-known, others are truly hidden away and known only by the initiated, and there are those in plain sight yet missed by most.
Vino e Cucina is a darling Italian restaurant, in a gorgeous terrace house, nestled in Paddington’s cosmopolitan Five Ways.
A favourite with locals, and a destination for anyone who loves good food, Vino e Cucina is a little treasure you owe yourself to discover and experience.
First we came for a date night, but the place is also excellent for groups and families as we found out later, with friendly staff and a truly relaxed and easy-going attitude which helps create a Mediterranean atmosphere that will completely take you away for a few hours …
The restaurant offers indoors, and al fresco seating both at the front if you prefer the bustle of Five Ways as the backdrop to your night out, or in a gorgeous courtyard.
Vino e Cucina is the loving creation of husband and wife team chef Michael Bengtsson and his wife Julia Walker-Bengtsson.
Our first visit was for a Saturday dinner, a busy time for any restaurant, and our experience on such a busy night can only be described as outstanding in every way. The food was exquisite, and the service friendly and professional.
The zucchini flowers with four Italian cheeses were a delicious, a crunchy and a cheesy melt in the mouth moment. The twice cooked WA octopus with roasted kipfler, smoked mascarpone and salmon roe was delectably tender, and served in an impressive style with a big chunk of tasty tentacles presented on a black slate. The beef carpaccio with roasted capsicum, truffle aioli, rocket and parmesan chips was also divine.
The homemade potato gnocchi with white wild boar ragu was an excellent combination of little fluffy clouds of gnocchi, complemented by a flavoursome boar ragu. The spaghetti carbonara with guanciale, eggs and pecorino was also a tenderly balanced combination of traditional flavours.
The matching wines recommended by our waitress were beautifully selected and contributed to the flow of conversation and the enjoyment of the food and the bustling atmosphere.
The Tagliere di Formaggi, a lovely selection of Italian cheeses was not just huge by Sydney standards, but was also filled by wonderful delicacies, served with a little ball of honey, was a little piece of heaven! Loved it.
The desserts, the chocolate and mascarpone mousse with strawberry and white chocolate pearl and the orange and poppy seed pudding with salted orange caramel and candied orange were also absolutely delicious and a lovely end to a meal much enjoyed.
The surprise limoncello finish was a lovely touch, poured semi-frozen like a fabulous alcoholic lemon slushy. As we watched it melt into a refreshing treat, we were flooded with fond memories of our last trip to Italy.
We returned a couple of weeks later for a weekend lunch with a group of thirteen, including three children from six months to eight years. Our wonderful waiter recommended their ‘Mamma Feast‘ designed for larger tables.
Yet again, the food was delicious and plentiful, from the salumi plate served with pickles to the garlic pizza, the arancini which are flavoursome crumbed rice balls stuffed with porcini and provolone plated with capsicum aioli, calamari fritti, pizza marinara, homemade, hand cut fresh pappardelle with Wagyu beef ragu, prawn risotto with saffron and zucchini, and more.
The service was excellent, the cocktails delicious, and we all had an outstanding time, so much so we didn’t finish lunch until almost five o’clock in the afternoon.
Vino e Cucina is a true Sydney treasure for lovers, friends and families alike.
Vino e Cucina
211 Glenmore Road
Paddington NSW 2021
Monday 5pm till 9pm
Tuesday 5pm till 10pm
Wednesday to Saturday 12pm till 10pm
Sunday 12pm till 9pm
Phone: +61 (0)2 9331 7389