If you know me well, you know that I am my father’s daughter. I’m exactly like him in more ways than one. We have the same likes and dislikes, the same quirks and the same temperament. So when daddy and I get to spend some quality time together it’s always nice but when we get to spend that time over some good food and drink it’s even better!
Vicinia meaning neighbourhood joint or meeting place in Italian or Latin is a relatively new restaurant that has replaced the old Subway outlet at Kemps Corner. It’s just down the road from home and neither dad nor I had been here before so it turned out to be the perfect place to try.
Vicinia is a cosy, black and white themed restaurant that has a colourful and well stocked bar downstairs along with comfortable couch tables along with a mezzanine section with more seating. There are pretty black and white photographs from around the city and even has a small display of goodies that you can buy.
There is enough to choose from their bar menu but I tried one of their signature cocktails called ‘ Star Wars’ which is gin based and flavoured with star anise and cinnamon. It’s actually a really tasty cocktail. It gets its name from the star anise but its very different from the fruity ones I seem to always order.
The mushroom and truffle crostini is exactly that- mushrooms finely diced mixed with garlic and some truffle salsa. I love mushroom so this was a great pick for me but I can’t help question if it really needs the truffle. This is the problem I have with most truffle dishes across the city, because it’s so expensive and used in small quantities I can never identify the flavour exclusively and can’t help wondering if they really need to use it because the other mushrooms work just fine.
The prawn and calamari ajilo is one of my favourite dishes. This Spanish styled simple tapas dish is basically prawn and calamari cooked in a spicy garlic filled broth and it’s delicious. A lot of places that serve this dish tend to make it too salty because they don’t estimate the saltiness from the prawn but Vicinia got it just right. I just wish restaurants would start serving this as a main instead of a starter.
The lamb balls in arabiata sauce are a starter that takes ages to prepare. The staff will warn you that it takes a minimum of twenty minutes and one must be patient in order to sample soft tender delicious lamb. Unfortunately i asked them to speed it up, a mistake I will never repeat with dishes that need time and my lamb balls turned out a tad bit chewy.
Eggs Benedict is a favourite I’m very partial to so if it’s on the menu it’s very hard for me to not try them. I asked for one with smoked ham and one with bacon. The eggs were cooked perfectly and as always it was the hollandaise sauce that made the dish delicious. I much prefer the smoked salmon to the bacon option but that’s a personal preference. I did however feel that the eggs could use a side of hash browns to complete the dish.
The tenderloin steak was served with some grilled vegetables and a portion of creamy mash potatoes which were all delicious. Dad is a meat and potatoes kinda guy so if he gets that right he’s a happy camper.
Dessert was a rather large slice of apple pie with ice cream and that is about all we could manage. Our meal stretched over two hours with Dad and me bonding over food and the dishes he wants to cook at home. We had a lovely meal at Vicinia, but next time I’m going to do justice to their breakfast menu. If the eggs re anything to go by, I think I’m going to really enjoy breakfast here!