Tucked away in the heart of Annandale was an Italian restaurant which has recently seen a complete rebrand, refurbish and menu makeover. Introducing the relaunched Sede (pronounced ‘sed-eh’), previously known as Vicini, which is a two storey restaurant/bar. It’s characterised by a bright orange door which can be easily seen from a mile away.
Tonight we are celebrating their opening launch by sampling some of their menu items. We had a nice chat with the owners who tell us that the restaurant was renovated in one week (they should totally apply for ‘The Block’!) The lower level follows a more playful theme with a bright orange colour palette whilst the upper level is more elegant with earthy brown and cream colours. The two different types of decor seem to appeal to slightly different moods and audience and there’s even separate menus for both levels, so it’s sort of like a two-in-one restaurant. Thankfully, there is a full serviced bar on both floors.
Fresh oysters with eschalot red wine vinaigrette (not on the menu)
We start off the night downstairs with some oysters. These are delightfully fresh without a trace of fishy taste and go down well with the side of vinaigrette. I can’t help but eat several of these but am disappointed to discover later that they are not on the menu as I think these would be an instant hit.
Rockmelon, prosciutto and basil sticks
The next dish which comes out are bread sticks with rockmelon and basil wrapped in jamon (or prosciutto). I’m a bit sceptical of this as I’ve never had rockmelon in a savoury dish before and the combination sounds crazy! It is actually crazy good, which is a bit of a surprise; the basil leaf isn’t too strong and complements the sweet rockmelon and salty jamon. The only bad thing was the bread stick was too long and after I ate the earlier components, I ended up just eating a bread stick.
Char-grilled dry aged chorizo with housemade tomato chutney
Chorizos with tomato chutney made their way out shortly and you can’t go wrong with this combination. The chorizos are spicy and salty, offset by the sweet tomato chutney. I grabbed a couple of these as well because they were so darn good!
Polenta and thyme hand-cut chips with gorgonzola sauce
Next up were some polenta chips. These were thick cut and looked tasty but I was quite disappointed with them. There wasn’t that much flavour and the gorgonzola sauce was very mild.
Salt cod stuffed zucchini flowers, smoked caponata, olive tapenade and olive oil
After sampling some dishes on the lower level, we were taken to the elegant upper level to try some of their more gourmet menu items. First was the zucchini flower which had a nice assortment of layered flavours. I find the most prominent taste is the smoked caponata (similar to a capsicum verde) which carries all the flavour, and it is a winner. It brings the whole zucchini flower together so when eating this, make sure to lick the bottom of the spoon!
Saffron, blue swimmer crab, sweet corn risotto and dried chorizo crumbs
Our last savoury dish for the night is the risotto which is highly reminiscent of Milanese style thanks to the saffron used in it. It is light and not gluggy at all compared to a lot of risottos. There is a lot of crab flavour but I couldn’t find any crab meat on my spoon unfortunately.
Yoghurt pannacotta with honey toasted muesli and red wine poached pears
Now onto desserts! We’re served several desserts but only one of them is on the menu which is the yoghurt pannacotta. It is vanilla flavoured and very sweet and creamy. It has a breakfast feel thanks to the condiments and provides a lovely sweet end without me feeling too guilty about eating a dessert.
Although I’ve only had some samples from Sede, I will definitely return in the near future. The venue is absolutely beautiful (I can see many birthday parties happening here) with delicious food to match. The menu boasts other foods including 16 wood fired pizzas which will probably become a community favourite. If you’re looking for a trendy bar/restaurant that is far away from the busy CBD and it’s usual chaos, Sede is your venue of choice.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Sede.
37 Booth St, Annandale
Ph: (02) 9660 6600