166 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay. Ph 376-5597.
Lunch Friday; dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
There’s a view that Herne Bay doesn’t deserve Vinnies, although it might equally be said that Vinnies doesn’t deserve Herne Bay. Owner/chef Geoff Scott is a dedicated fine-dining chef, which is to say he grows many of his herbs and vegetables and pays particular attention to the sourcing of the rest, has mastered the techniques of exquisite, formal flavour combinations, relishes the use of local (including Pasifika) flavours and serves plate after plate of simply beautiful food. He’s also got a sly wit: famously, savoury cones are offered as starters, with recent flavours including parfait of salmon with minted cucumber, and rock melon and chorizo. You can walk up and down the road from Vinnies and you’ll be spoilt for choice with more casual meals, but you could walk all over town before you found anyone who cared more than Scott about getting it just right. There are frequent special meals and events, and a set lunch menu (just $45).
A favourite dish: Cinnamon-pressed wild hare with jamon crumble, spinach, endive and PX sauce.
$$$$$ | FP | D | PR | G | B | GB what’s this?