‘Vicinia’ which means the neighborhood in Latin is an all day eatery and bar located at Kemp’s corner. Split on two levels it has around 40 seats, a large screen and well decked bar with high seating in the lower level. They have been open for a year and half and they seemed to be doing well, at least by the number of people walking in on a Monday night. I was there for a degustation of their new menu which was organized by the FBAI.
A hardbound menu with food and cocktails and a spiral bound one for wine was brought out instantly. I must say the wine list; more than that the beer list (from lagers to IPA’s to Wits to stouts) was very respectable for the size of the place and so were the cocktail and the food menu in terms of the options. The menu is priced competitively, wines starting INR 300 a glass, cocktails at 400, beers at 200, starters at 225 and mains at 400. I started with a glass of Grover Viognier, the best wine in the Indian market for that variety. In food, the pimento cappuccino looked very picturesque but was a letdown in taste; frankly I could not taste anything but cream vis-à-vis the flavorsome mushroom soup, was perfect for the weather. The poached red wine pear, arugula and walnut salad was seasoned well but was too healthy for me, a few blobs of cream cheese would have been fabulous. The roasted red beet salad came as a surprise; beetroot chunks with orange segments and pine nuts placed on goat cheese and drizzled with a zesty and honeyed dressing. In the appetizers the goat cheese and cranberry crostini was the perfect salt and sweet combo and went well my aromatic viognier. The beetroot hummus with lavache tasted very classic with the tartness missing and the beetroot had to shout for acknowledgement. The vegetarian pizza was a no-brainer, easy and comforting, nothing exceptional and my Chilean Carmenere complimented it very well.
Everything till now was good but for the first soup and it only went downhill with the mains. The spinach ravioli was sloppy floating in béchamel with no flavour whatsoever, the generous sprinkling of saffron couldn’t save it too. The mushroom risotto with ‘saunf’ was dry enough to be made into arancinis, gladly they did justice to the potato roesti, it had a crunch to it and the vegetables in a creamy sauce enhanced the combination. I skipped the chocolate dessert and ended with a well shaken hazelnut shot.
Overall they have got their beverage formula correct, they had to; especially when one of their partners Gaurish Rangnekar is a trained mixologist from New York Bartending School and runs Barmobile. You can tell from the food menu that they have the resources but I strongly feel they need to pull up their socks to go up from a satisfactory to a wow food experience!