I first heard of Vesta through my parents. While house-sitting (or making use of a free holiday), they preferred to eat out rather than wash dishes, and Vesta was quickly on their hit list. They raved.
Can you see why?
Of the seven mains available, all wintery options to match the fresh produce and weather, we chose the Venison Ragu ($29), and the Slow Braised Pork Fillet ($29). The ragu was divine, with juniper, clove and nutmeg perfectly matching the venison and joined by a fresh, al dente pasta, with a slurp-worthy sauce that will have you making use of the luxurious napkins.
Not quite hitting the stratospheric heights of the ragu, the braised pork still managed to be tasty winter comfort food. Braised in cider from Bilpin, with melty apple pieces, the dish needed the sides of potatoes and beans to round it into a meal.
Thankfully, the waitstaff were incredibly accommodating, and rather than make me order a dish of each, offered a combination of the two for $9, which ended up being the perfect amount for the two of us to hoe into.
While Vesta's emphasis seems to be on their savoury dishes, with no mention of desserts either on their website, or on the menu we were first offered, I had already conjured a plan b to satisfy my dessert stomach, before timidly asking about sweet options.
'Of course!' replied my attentive waiter, before warning us that the Banana Tarte Tatin ($11) would take 20 minutes. As you can see from the top photo, the 20 minutes didn't faze us, and it was definitely worth the wait. Caramelized bananas in a crispy base even had my banana-phobe boy leaning across the table. As I was eating, I could see some flakes of blackened base, which normally would cause me to pause, but the tarte was so crazy-delicious that it was of no consequence.
The lemon tart ($11), was all that it should be - good pastry, smooth lemon curd with the right proportion of tart to sweet, but somehow it just didn't enthuse boy. I enjoyed it, but of the two desserts, the tarte tatin was definitely the show-stopper.
The meal wasn't cheap, however the desserts, compared to Sydney standards, are very reasonably priced. The small space is sure to become more and more packed as their reputation for good food and service grows.
Vesta Bar and Bistro
33 Govetts Leap Road
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