Cellar door style wine bar Sella Vinoteca, cult Instagramable ice-cream bar Gelato Messina and crowd (and tastebud) pleaser Dumplings & Beer have launched in the next wave of eateries at Newmarket Dining at Randwick – with the first phase having opened January.
The modern food precinct and large adjoining park space are crowded and bustling with young families and hungry individuals. Arriving at the new Sella Vinoteca (with views of the park alongside it) rows of shelves bursting with wares from both iconic international and tasty local wineries. So-far-so-delicious. The resplendent interior – courtesy of Tim Leveson Interiors – is sleek and bold with unique hand picked mosaic marble terrazzo flooring, steel archways and raw beams. The not-to-be-missed finer details further enchanting guests : with deep blue leather, refined oak panelling and joinery, light dusty blue brickwork and pops of bold mustard carrying through to the adjoining bottle store.
Sella Vinoteca meaning ‘saddle wine shop’, named in tribute to the historical Inglis family stables which resided at the precinct from the 1800s. Born and raised in the heartland of the Sardinian winery regions, owner Fabio Dore is bringing a nostalgic taste of his childhood to the launch of Sella Vinoteca. Time spent working/helping at his uncle’s vineyard, Fabio’s love for wine is evident in all aspects of the venues – a unique marrying of a Mediterranean tapas restaurant, cellar door style wine bar and boutique bottle shop. Guests are spoiled for choice – Stella Vinoteca stocking close to 350 international, lesser known and local varieties of wine. Their warm unique cellar door hospitality honed on that of traditional European vineyards – which is close to Dore’s heart. “I wanted to re-create that special experience of being invited into a home and experiencing a tasting with the owner that you only really find on old family vineyards in Europe. You taste and learn so much about the land, the family and the passion that went into producing that glass of wine,” he said.
Chef Marco Masotti (former head chef of A Tavola) heads up the kitchen with strong Mediterranean influences found in his menus. Share plate highlights are the raw tuna smoked beef tartare with drizzling of wasabi mayo, buttery Harvey Bay scallops with ginger beurre noisette and chives and a delicately fresh lime and chilli cured trout with heirloom carrots, spicy tomato. The special for the evening was a duck lollipop with rich plum sauce – the tart sauce working back expertly with the delectable crumbed duck. Next for something a little heartier we tuck into their salty muscle filled squid ink ravioli, with creamy beurre blanc bottarga. To finish – a naughty sweet treat – their dark chocolate mousse with beetroot namelaka – the beetroot creating an incredible texture combined with the light but flavour filled mouse.
Now – for the wines! May we just say, #oooooft. Matched back to each dish Fabio expertly chose each drop for us to compliment their share plates. Starting with an incredible Muscat De Bellevue from the Loire Valley – bright, satiny on the palate and mineral finishing. A delightful start. Next came a pretty pink coloured ‘white’, the A la reverie Chateau de Montfrin, an elegant floral bouquet and subtly woody. Next, Fabio pours us a Tutti I Giorni Bianco – a delicious blend of Trebbiano, Vermentino, and Ansonica with pear aromatics, light stone fruit skin tannins and punchy lemongrass notes – a smashable drop! On to a 2018 Friulano ‘San Pietro’ Friuli Colli Oriental DOC – finely aromatic with an almost smoky finish. Yum. Moving onto the reds we then tackle a 2019 Pietro Caciorgna ‘Ciauria’ Etna Rosso DOC. 100% Nerello Mascalese from 70-110 year old vines in the most prestigious area of the Etna DOC. Fresh and energetic fruits combined with 6 months in second-fill oak barrels for a little texture and spice – this red was a sure fire crowd pleaser worked back with the squid ink ravioli. Last but by NO means least we are lucky enough to try the Patrice Colin Coteaux Du Vendomois 2017. A subtle blend of Pineau d’Aunis, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. After a long maceration of 60 days, this incredible wine (and this writer’s particular favourite) was aged for 8 months in barrels, without yeast or chaptalization. An explosion of fresh fruits and spice complimented by a zippy acidity and velvety mouthfeel – this drop is a definite standout.
The new trio of venues join meat-lovers’ favourite Ribs & Burgers, hatted Italian restaurant Baccomatto Osteria, cold-pressed juice pioneers Cali Press, ramen eatery Ra Ra Randwick, Café Mckenzie, and unisex barbershop Barber Signature. No matter the mood or craving, Newmarket seems to have all foodie (and instagram) bases covered.
PLEASE NOTE : AT THE TIME OF THE REVIEW NSW WAS COVID FREE.