As is to be expected when Sharon Romeo is in charge, the
service is attentive without being overbearing and each dish is introduced with
the respect it deserves. Questions about ingredients and processes are answered
immediately by our wonderfully knowledgeable server who is as intimate with
each dish’s preparation as anyone in the kitchen.
Plates are divided into three sizes, and red meat is absent from all but the largest. But when the main does arrive, I only have eyes for the side. Slabs of rich heirloom tomatoes the colour of ripe chillies are topped with delicate lilac stars of society garlic flowers and dressed with a surprisingly delicate bone marrow vinaigrette.
The tomatoes’ natural acidity is perfectly balanced with the fattiness of marrow that has been rendered and emulsified. The result is an exquisite dish that elevates each of the ingredients and serves as an ode to Fino’s producers.
So perfect is it that by the time I turn my eyes to the
protein, it has begun to lose shape. A central pyramid of golden potato
surrounded by bitter chicory stalks, crisped kale and forests of rich smoked
shimeji and oyster mushrooms is melting into the surrounding pool of sauce.
It’s the first hot dish of the night and the heartiest, but can’t help being upstaged
by its flawless support act.
To finish with, I opt for a single scoop of ice cream on a bed of crunchy honeycomb. The rich kefir ice cream is topped with stripes of chewy honey glazed kombu, and the inclusion of toasted black barley gives it an earthiness reminiscent of matcha. Like a number of dishes throughout the night, a great deal of thought and preparation has gone into it, but the final product emerges in an elegantly simple form.
This, ultimately, is the triumph of Fino Vino.
82 Flinders Street, Adelaide
Fino Vino’s long and winding road to inner-city Adelaide