Vacanza in the Hills
414 Bourke St
Surry Hills, Sydney

Vacanza means vacation in Italian and this restaurant lives up to this name with a homey relaxed atmosphere. It's comfortable and inviting with both indoor and outdoor seating. Vacanza in the Hills is the new sister restaurant of Vacanza Bronte Rd.

Owner Nick Gilbert spent a considerable amount of time in Italy learning the trade and then brought staff back with him. The pizza chef Giovanna is the real deal and once you try the pizzas here you'll appreciate the skill that goes in to making them. Everything here is authentic from the ingredients, the techniques, the equipment, right through to the chef and the staff. It's this attention to detail that also shows through in every aspect of your meal.

Vacanza has a lovely light and sunny outlook and as it was a nice day Alessio - the manager - suggested a spritzer to start our meal.

It turned out to be a great idea - we repeatedly learned throughout the meal to listen to Alessio! 

It was a lovely looking drink that tasted great and was so refreshing. 

Of course there's plenty of other options here. The wine list isn't long but it has good variety and quality. You can have Australian wines or of course Italian. 

There are also house carafes of white and red wine available as well which is so typically Italian.

We then moved on to some of the amazing starters. 

First we had some delicious Parma proscuitto that had been freshly sliced accompanied by buffalo mozzarella that was fantastic. 

To top it off we also had some wonderful focaccia al rosmarino - house baked focaccia with fresh rosemary, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. 

It all went so well together. Vacanza prides itself on quality ingredients and this is apparent right from the start of your meal. 

The combination here went brilliantly but it was the quality of the ingredients that shone through so brightly.

As Vacanza is famous for its pizzas it seemed logical to head for these on our visit. 

The real test of how good a pizza is for any place is invariably the margherita. The best we'd ever had was in Italy but after trying this it was hard to say which one was better. 

The "Brandi" bufalina margherita uses San Marzano tomatoes, Compania Garofalo buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. 

It's that simple and it was amazing. The Italian flour and light thin base was delicious and the tomato was sweet and tasty. 

This is actually one of their signature dishes and its easy to see why. 

Our second pizza was a more complex one. I love anything with truffles or truffle oil so the "Il Capitano" caught my eye.

It was again the same lovely base covered in San Marzano tomatoes - but this time with Italian fior di latte, goats cheese Swiss roasted mushroom and Italian pork and fennel sausage.

It was an interesting combination that had both subtlety and good flavours. The truffle oil wasn't spared and this came through well. The sausage was in small pieces to again not overpower the rest of the flavours.

Again, while the topping was great it was the base and tomato that set the scene for this wonderful pizza.

Vacanza is a class act. It relies on simple purity of ingredients that are expertly prepared. It's a lovely relaxed atmosphere that is both licenced or BYO. Service is excellent and it's somewhere that people will return to once they have tried it. We certainly will!

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Vacanza.

The Vacanza in the Hills Team

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