Every year Dimmi has a special restaurant promotion in July where certain restaurants are 30-50% off! I had to take advantage of this and decided to try SaltVine for my birthday. I don’t usually eat a lot of Lebanese food so I was excited to try something different. SaltVine is located in Surry Hills and they serve tapas style dishes. Sorry some of the photos are a bit out of focus.
The first dish that I wanted to order were the Syrian String Cheese Cigars. I had seen photos of the cheesy goodness before on Instagram and it looked fabulous. This is like a mozzarella stick taken to the next level. The cheese is wrapped in a crispy pastry and served with nigella seeds, coriander and tomato harissa. I loved the texture of the crispy pastry shell in contrast with the soft stringy cheese inside. The sauce was just slightly sweet but tangy as well and it helped cut through the richness of the dish.
Next we had the Chargrilled Lamb Shoulder. I imagined this to be falling off the bone and super tender and it did not disappoint. The lamb came with a roast onion labneh but for some reason it was pink so I assume there was some beet juice mixed in there as well? Either way it was delicious and the lamb was so flavourful and tender! It had the right amount of fat in it as well and the portion was generous. It would’ve been nice to incorporate a few more pickled beets in the dish to give it more crunch but maybe that’s just because I really like beets.
The Samkhe Harra is a chargrilled barramundi dish served with tahini dressing, walnut butter, pickled chilli and coriander. This was another outstanding dish as well and the fish was flaky with a crispy and flavourful skin. I wouldn’t think of pairing a tahini dressing with this but it went surprisingly well together.
Lastly I managed to squeeze in room for dessert (obviously). The Baklava Ice Cream is a deconstructed modern version of baklava. Featuring pistachio ice cream, baklava puff pastry, barberry and nuts, the first taste of the ice cream had a mild rose syrup flavour to it but that quickly dissipated for me as the crunch from the pistachios and sweetness from the barberries took over. I didn’t read the menu carefully and thought the barberries were just dried cranberries. I had to Google what a barberry was as I was writing this. The dessert isn’t as sweet as a traditional baklava would be and was texturally very interesting. It was creamy, nutty, crispy, and chewy all at the same time. If you don’t like pistachios then don’t order this as there are quite a lot of them.
The 50% off discount is such an amazing deal for SaltVine and everything we tried exceeded our expectations. I would highly recommend taking advantage of the offer! There were a few other dishes I wanted to try like the roasted cauliflower and scotch meshwi!