fino vino

go straight to the review

82 Flinders Street
South Australia 5000

Tuesday from 5.30 pm
Wednesday – Friday from midday
Saturday from 5.30 pm
CLOSED : Sunday and Monday

Apperitivo Happy Hour ……Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm

reservations : click here 
telephone : 61 8 8232 7919

email :
facebook : click here 
Instagram : click here 

owners : Sharon Romeo and David Swain
chef : David Swain
front of house and sommelier : Sharon Romeo

AO 24 March 2024



vino perfecto

Before anyone calls nepotism, I have this to say. Since starting, a loss leder determined to help my industry in 2017 I have resisted reviewing my friends and colleagues’ restaurants, however, I am going to review them all in the coming months. For very good reasons, these handful of restaurants deliver in a way that few others in Adelaide do…they deserve a review that counts. A review that is written by someone, who not only knows how a restaurant is run, but, how a wine list is developed, and how produce is sourced, what is in season and how it can be treated with respect and perfectly cooked.

Last Friday, grumpy in kranky old-woman mode I decided I needed cheering up and went to Fino Vino for lunch. I left restored but also in wonderment that restaurateurs and chef owners still work so hard. Such long hours with so much financial stress and for so little reward. However, these are the restaurants, that in my humble opinion deliver the goods unlike many of the corporate restaurants we are now seeing do not. They may have the glitz but they mainly fail to deliver a dining experience to match the décor.

David Swain was my first apprentice in the early 80s at the beginning of Mistress Augustine’s Restaurant and his long-term partner Sarah Munn worked with Shirley Vfellegari at the front of house. We have an enduring closeness, and I am so proud of the fact that in both Fino Vino and Fino Seppeltsfield there is the element of the Mistress Augustine’s mantra…fresh seasonal food, sourced from people we know and treated with respect.

So, after the happiness of seeing each other and whilst I would have enjoyed watching the kitchen I chose the scrum. I love eating by myself, and I especially love eaves dropping on the comments of diners and observing the service. Just feed me was the request. Romeo, knowing my love of Champagne poured a glass of the Brice Champagne Brice, ‘Heritage XX’ Brut NV, imported by Charleston Cellars Pty. Ltd. [akka Kate Laurie Deviation Road]. Beautiful balance I am rather fond of a brut blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay


gazander farm

Two oysters, swimming in their ‘just opened’ salty ocean juice, a wedge of just cut glistening lemon, praise be no pips. Pepper is provided on request….sublime. I have to admit I was a bit surprised that oysters were a choice having tasted oysters from Coffin Bay from another seller a couple of days prior and decided even though I was eager to start the 24 season they were a long way from being ready in my opinion. These perfect oysters came from Gazander Farm, Little Douglas Bay South Australia.

Then came ‘Kingfish, tomato, sage oil’….kingfish lightly cured, semi dried tomato [praise be no skin]. The balance was perfect. The tomato had the wonderful flavour of late summer tomatoes, rich and sweet without the acidity of raw tomato. Sage is a tricky herb, raw it is in my opinion inedible, fried to crispy in good EVO delicious and this sage oil was perfectly balanced, starting with quality olive oil, no bitterness a restrained delicious sage flavour a smattering of chive…heaven!

I detest the style of service that feels the need to waste my eating time telling me in minutae what is on the plate…mercifully there is none of this rubbish at Fino Vino or for that matter Fino Seppeltsfield, their sibling restaurant in the Barossa Valley. I especially noted it was not just me who enjoyed this bliss but every one of the four tables in close proximity to me.

Next ‘Tea Smoked Quail’ I did not have a menu but realised later that the menu mentioned Kahlrobi was instead a new season Granny minus the Remoulade but perfect. The quail, exquisitely succulent was picked up with the hands gobbled, and gnawed from the bone. So, so good! I especially liked that the quail was not embellished with other flavours and was equally delighted to hear the groans of pleasure from the table of four to my left, who also picked up the quail with the hands and got stuck right in. No finger bowl, which I suspect is something that shows my age, but a cloth serviette did the trick.


Then a memory so very sweet. ‘Merguez sausage, chickpeas, capsicum, romesco’. We made our own sausages at Mistress Augustine’s and the fact that house-made was not mentioned on the menu was yet another nod to the humility of this restaurant. I did have to wonder, apart from myself, how many diners would assume the sausage was made in house. I suspect I received a full portion from their so terrific share All Day Express $55 per person plus a glass of wine. Today most sausages lack sufficient fat to keep them moist, this was of course perfection, and such a tasty perfectly seasoned accompaniment.

I could not manage dessert, but, Fino Vino is one of only two places in Adelaide where I order a coffee …no surprise it is D’Angelo…I detest the Perruci brown sugar even though I know it is expensive it wrecks the coffee tainting it with a mollasses taste that I find unpalatable…some times when you’re a moaner it goes unnoticed because you are so annoying..but the fact that white sugar appeared from the kitchen without having to ask is another tick from me.

an excellent


Wine service
When you have someone with Sharon Romeo’s depth of wine knowledge at your service the very wise thing is to put yourself in her hands., give her a price point and go from there. Never be embarrassed about the price point all good lists have both modest and expensive and plenty of choice in between. The table of four next to me did just that. A Riesling to start and then a Gamay…not a common choice but recommended by Romeo. The table thanked Romeo for her help and she replied ‘thank you for choosing something different.’ This was touching in so many ways. It can be so frustrating for a sommelier to watch guests not seek their advice stick with the brands they know, when any good sommelier will have spent hours of hard work compiling their list with interest and excellence and importantly price points from modest to expensive.

Fino Vino opened to be shut down a couple of weeks later with the first of COVID closures…an absolute nightmare. To their credit they have survived by working their arses off, staying focused and never giving in to despair…plus a kind landlord. The restaurant is beautiful in the most restrained aesthetic way. Uncluttered the walls spasmodically graced with the beautiful paintings of the late Bridget Ohlsson who died way to young a fact that makes her exquisite still lifes all the more precious.

And, before you start to moan about parking…aren’t you going to enjoy yourself?? Get a f…cking Uber or Didi and make the most of what is a really fantastic wine list.

Author’s Note :  I was not happy with some of my pictures and prevailed on Fino Vino, who post excellent pics to their social media to provide some…their copyright is indicated.



love your local

autumn lunch
fino seppeltsfield

April is one of the most beautiful months, weather wise in South Australia. Generally lovely sunny days and cool nights. Lunch in the outside area of Fino Seppeltsfield is about as good as it comes…..bookings are advised click here


We have 42 years history at the highest level
in the food and wine industry and the passion for our craft remains undiminished…
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