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Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar, Darlinghurst

Being a mother of two toddlers, my friend opted to celebrate her 30th by having a quiet lunch somewhere close to home with family and close friends.

When she mentioned that she was holding it at Tastevin, I perked up having been there for a special 13-course provincial French Christmas lunch a year ago. She had never been there before and was relieved to hear that I had nothing but good things to say about the restaurant/bar.

Tastevin

Tastevin

I remember gushing over the look of Tastevin’s menu – a year later and I still find myself falling in love again with it (lame I know… but it’s the little things right?).

My friends ordered some bread for the table, but I didn’t dare to eat any, as I was sure my dish choices would really fill me up; I was told that it was pretty nice though.

Terrine de Campagne and Smoked Salmon

Terrine de Campagne and Smoked Salmon

E ordered the Terrine de Campagne with Cornichons and Grilled Baguette ($15), which a deliciously meaty and hardly had any of that strong aftertaste you’d sometimes get from terrines and pates. I’m still baffled why there is never enough bread to go with such a dish – is it a conspiracy?!

M had the Smoked Salmon with Beetroot, Horseradish and Chive Chantilly ($15). I was throwing envious looks her way at the gorgeous colours on her plate – it didn’t help when she said the salmon was really fresh and tasted divine.

I think she took pity on me and let me have a bit of a taste. It was as good as it looked and was delicately well-balanced.

Tastevin's Gnocchi a la Parisienne ($15)

Tastevin’s Gnocchi a la Parisienne ($15)

This is partially the reason why I had “saved” some stomach space – I know gnocchi is fairly filling and I wasn’t sure how big the entree size was.

I was surprised to see that it was actually a gnocchi bake (something I’ve never seen before), but I definitely wouldn’t say no to it. I adored the mild cheesiness of the dish and super soft pillows of gnocchi that simply dissolved in the mouth.

The dish was deceptively small looking; I was already a little full from it!

Seasonal Greens and Pommes Frites ($7 each)

Seasonal Greens and Pommes Frites ($7 each)

We ordered some seasonal greens and a bowl filled to the brim with super crispy shoe-string fries for sides to our main course.

The broccoli with bread crumbs was amazing in its simplicity.

Confit Duck Leg ($25)

Confit Duck Leg ($25)

The confit duck leg was accompanied with parsnip puree, red cabbage choucroute and ju gras. I have to be honest: I can’t remember what my friend said about this dish, but I’m sure it was really delicious as when I looked again, his plate was clean empty.

Beef Burgundy Pie ($25)

Beef Burgundy Pie ($25)

I think was I too enamoured with his fiancée’s pie: it was another domed pie!! That and I was waiting for her to cut into it to see what was inside.

The flaky-encrusted pie had a porcini pomme mousseline on top of all that scrumptiously super tender beef; absolutely brilliant.

Kingfish Fillet a la Provencale ($25)

Kingfish Fillet a la Provencale ($25)

My main dish was the Kingfish fillet a la provencale with a ratatouille aumoniere. I must confess, I mostly ordered this because of the ratatouille as it reminded me of that sweet Pixar movie.

The dish was more than I expected. I loved the warm, vibrant colours, the freshness of the ingredients and the well-seasoned, well-cooked kingfish. I was surprised just how home-y it felt – that it was cooked with a lot of love and I revelled in it like a cat in a field of catnip.

Despite my fullness, I had planned to order a chocolate dessert when I was advised that perhaps I should save some room for the birthday cake. Oops, I kind of forgot about it when I saw the dessert list.

Tastevin is a pretty cosy restaurant that’s totally family-friendly with a great relaxed atmosphere. The food was fantastic – so fresh and wonderfully packed with flavour – and I think the food is actually better than what we had last year.

I feel like I had underestimated the restaurant last time I was here and am definitely dragging anyone willing (or not) along for another delicious feast (complete with their desserts!).

Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar
Level 1 292 – 294 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010
Ph: (02) 9356 3429
Web: http://www.tastevin.com.au/

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