Restaurant Review: Vicinity in Alexandria, NSW

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Amidst the factory clearance outlets, the bathroom showrooms and the food warehouses that define the inner city suburb of Alexandria sits an unlikely location for a fresh, innovative restaurant that has captivated the attention of locals and out-of-town diners alike.  When the sun goes down and the horde of shoppers, factory workers and transit vans depart, the comforting golden lights of Vicinity come alive creating a buzz that cannot be ignored.

The cleverly lit corner of Bourke Road and Collins Street means Vicinity is immediately noticeable to passers driving by but once up close on foot it’s the size of this stylish and popular eatery that becomes apparent. Make no mistake Vicinity is a large restaurant. Not to the point of overwhelming or being unfamiliar to its clientele but it’s a size that Sydney diners aren’t familiar with. It is entirely possible sitting on the large wooden verandah deck to imagine you’re in another Australian city like Brisbane or Darwin where the size of real estate isn’t so bitterly contested. This spacious restaurant could comfortably seat an entire football team, their entourage, a sizeable amount of fans and still have room leftover. None of which would make the diner feel any less special – and they’re spoilt for choice on where to sit. You can hold a romantic dinner on a small table for two, a catch-up with friends on a table of four, hold a get-together on a larger sized banquet table, or disappear into one of the leather couches in the lounge area. If you’d prefer something more private you can hold an intimate conversation on a small table with tall backed chairs styled on those found in London’s upmarket gentlemen clubs. And once seated on your furniture of choice you’re confronted with a menu which reflects the eclectic mix of style and design that this restaurant embodies.

Vicinity boasts a custom designed spit rotisserie and a wood fried grill which launches a mouthwatering selection of meat and seafood dishes that are succulent and worth the wait. With Italian, Spanish, Asian and a modern Australian take on old-school favourites, this restaurant is a melting pot of cuisines from around the globe. The Vicinity prawn cocktail towers all the way out of its cocktail glass and packs a punch with sharp bursts of tangy flavours nicely contrasted to the pan seared chorizo that is served with a side of apple cider sauce and thankfully a generous helping of fresh bread to mop up with.  

A chicken liver parfait is served bush-style in rustic jars, with sourdough lightly toasted to add a superb texture.

Hand-cut chips nestled in a handmade cylindrical cup arrive with mayonnaise and two salts; one pink and one green reveals the attention to detail that comes from this large and impressive kitchen. Determining the precise taste of each salt is no easy feat given how quickly they disappear. The chips are a must-have accompaniment to the mains which always advertise a catch of the day – our night presents a beautifully poached snapper on a velvety cream sauce with a hint of star anise and chili – highly recommended. The grilled sirloin at three hundred and fifty grams, like all things on the menu at Vicinity represents good value and competes with anything from the grills of Sydney’s leading steakhouses. Meanwhile, even the simplest of dishes – like the roasted vine tomatoes with black garlic, sorrel, feta and grilled sourdough – are exquisite to the taste and presented as though for royalty.

On the subject of decadence – to sweets. Five desserts include one clever reinvention. No fashionable self-respecting restaurant in Australia or the UK could overlook the Knickerbocker Glory that delighted diners of all ages in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Now its back in Alexandria, given the Vicinity overhaul with a scrumptious mango sorbet and the playful addition of coconut crumble. Offering some competition to any sweet-toothed connoisseur are the lemon curd meringue lollipops or the wickedly spiced profiteroles with cardamom, ginger ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Service at Vicinity is unhurried and unpretentious, allowing you patrons to enjoy a first-rate dining experience. A tempting menu with something for everyone in a spacious and original interior environment is all the reason you need to give this eatery a try. It’s the perfect place to take that special someone to sample a new-look neighbourhood even if you think you already know it. Google ‘Vicinity’ and you’ll be met with an array of fitting synonyms and definitions. Given the unique location of this restaurant, its title is one well chosen.


Vicinity is situated at 90-96 Bourke Road, Alexandria, NSW.

Bookings and enquiries on (02) 9002 1333.