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What is Vanilla Room, exactly? If first impressions are anything to go by, the narrow and dimly-lit downstairs area presents as a sexy cocktail bar with endless shades of chocolate, vanilla and caramel adding warmth and atmosphere. Folding windows at the front of the bar open up to let the outside in and give the Norton Street foot traffic a chance to take a peep at the good-looking show inside. But move on up the stairs and you'll discover where all the serious wining and dining goes on at Vanilla Room.
An intimate dining room lies in wait with a private balcony overlooking the street-scape below; easily the best seat in the house on balmy evenings. The menu is a concise study in modern Australian fare with a touch of the Mediterranean thrown in. Tasting plates for two cover the traditional antipasto spectrum with grilled chorizo, tuna carpaccio and salami making appreciated appearances. Crispy-based pizzas can be enjoyed at the downstairs bar with a cocktail from the smashing and brilliantly priced cocktail list. For mains you can take your pick from oven baked lamb rump with sautéed spinach and crushed chat potatoes; or roasted chicken breast with prosciutto, grilled zucchini, asparagus and a light cream sauce, to name a few. The option of BYO wine is a welcome gesture considering the fully licensed bar downstairs. Weekends turn the Vanilla Room into a funked up destination when a DJ gets thrown into the mix among the top-notch food and decadent cocktails.