15/1-25 Harbour St
Darling Quarter, Sydney

Vesta is one of the new indoor/outdoor venues that have sprung up in the booming Darling Quarter area that flows into the Darling Harbour precinct.

Time has really flown for this area - we remember it opening only yesterday yet Vesta has actually been here for two years.

It's a busy area with plenty of people traffic - everything around Darling Harbour is popular.

Vesta is open 7 days a week and for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As it's an indoor/outdoor venue it sits around 100 people on a fine day.

Kaz Derbas runs things here, and in such a friendly and efficient way you can just sit back and enjoy yourself - you're in great hands.

We arrived for an earlyish dinner and decided to start with a few drinks.

Mlady had a lovely refreshing cocktail called sbagliato de casa. This was made from Tanqueray gin, sweet vermouth, peach bitters and a splash of prosecco.

It came in a short glass with a sliver of lemon as a garnish. This was clearly a popular drink with quite a few on tables nearby and Mlady really enjoyed it.

I had a combination of rum, lime and coke in a tall glass.

I'd told our barman David I liked rum and left it to him to surprise me - and this tall glass was very refreshing as well - and very tasty.

So then we moved on to the food and started with arancini.

These were described in the Vesta menu as classic risotto balls filled with saffron peas and mozzarella,
served with a tomato coulis.

We love arancini and these big balls looked so appetising. They were nicely crisp on the outside and soft tender and tasty inside. Very moreish!

Our next starter was the seared scallops - which isn't unusual for us as we have scallops at so many of our meals. They were served with cauliflower puree and lemon crumble.

These were interestingly and appetisingly presented with the white puree and black sauce (tahini perhaps?) and as can be seen from the pictures they were plump and juicy.

Our next dish was prawn caponata which was sauteed prawns on a traditional caponata - which is an eggplant based mixture originating from Sicily.

This came with a few slices of charred sourdough.

This was so nicely presented with a stack of prawns nestled on top of the caponata and a sea of colours that looked so vibrant. It all combined so well and tasted great too!

Our final starter was octopus salad.

It was almost under-described in the menu as simply warm marinated octopus salad with olives and tomato.

It was a great combination again that was nicely plated to look lovely. The flavours went very well together and the use of potato with octopus was unusual but worked very well.

Mlady fancied a pasta dish for her main but was torn between two options. After almost choosing the pumpkin ravioli she chose the penne pomodoro e basilico - penne with Napoli sauce, cherry tomatoes, fresh ricotta and basil. Mlady loves penne which is usually (but not always) her pasta of choice.

She loved this dish. It had great flavours and the juicy cherry tomatoes added a burst of flavour. The dish also had a bit of a kick to it as well.

I asked Kaz what he'd recommend and he said to try a steak - so I did.

The 250gm grain-fed sirloin steak came grilled and served with chat potato, capers, watercress, seeded mustard and chilli dressing. It was thinly sliced, nicely cooked and piled high in a delicious stack.

The mustard seed dressing was tangy and tasty as well and I thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

Dessert is almost an essential part of any meal for us - and this evening there were a few options that caught our eye. We started with a strawberry and rhubarb pizza (which smelled and tasted great together) that was topped with vanilla custard, crumbed oats and ice cream. Just delish.

We couldn't resist grabbing a home made cannoli as well - filled with ricotta and chocolate chip. Yummo.

As if the previous two desserts weren't enough - and they were - we still had to try the affogato. Mlady loves Amaretto so when she saw it described as a shot of espresso with two scoops of ice cream and a shot of Amaretto, Frangelico or Nocello she had to have it. She tossed them all in the glass together and devoured this tasty combo!

Not to be outdone I grabbed a glass of sweet prosecco bubbles as a dessert drink because she didn't share much with me! Oink.

Vesta is in the busy bustling lively Darling Quarter precinct. It's the only Italian restaurant here and has a lovely indoor/outdoor feel to it. It's a very open, relaxed place where you can settle down for the evening and enjoy good food and drinks and watch the world go by.

We certainly enjoyed our visit and now hope to return to experience their breakfast menu when we can!

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Vesta. Special thanks to Vesta Manager Kaz for looking after us in such a friendly and helpful manner. Thanks also to owner Joanne for chatting with us. Special thanks also to Lauren Braid from Folke Army for arranging our visit.

Vesta on Urbanspoon