Os Kitchen and Wine Bar
Laneway cool, with an Italian accent, migrates to Hampton
A tiny piece of Italy has wedged itself firmly into the sleepy (until now) Bayside suburb of Hampton. Os Kitchen and Wine Bar, a little bistro that wouldn’t be out of place on a CBD laneway, is capturing the attention of local residents hungry for a nearby slice of sophisticated fare.
Os (rhymes with floss) has a fantastic pedigree. Owner Alastair Dobbs is a passionate sommelier who hails from Church St Enoteca. His well-edited wine list is heavily skewed to Europe, with a focus on boutique wines that aren’t readily available on the wider market.
Chef Rachael Ginty joins the team from Cicciolina, and has created an impeccably simple, clean Italian menu. Her orecchiette puttanesca with calamari is delicate and delicious: minuscule olives and capers provide bursts of flavour along with chilli and garlic. Heartier fare includes a rich-looking veal ragu papardelle, and a pork belly with Waldorf salad.
The corner shop has been remodelled and is all dark wood and marble counter tops, retaining the charming, original stained glass windows for a touch of nostalgia. Robust tins of Italian tomatoes preside over the dining room, keeping company with artisan bread and lovely olive oils. Black-and-white photographs from a local artist, taken in Italy, put the finishing touches on the décor.
Dominating the front counter is a large shiny meat slicer, promising melt-in-your mouth charcuterie, hand-sliced to order.
Look out for upcoming wine tasting events and wine flights. If you’re heading there for dinner, you may want to call ahead to make a booking; we hear they’re already quite busy, despite only being open a week. After that, get ready for the friendly greetings of Al and his wife Marie, who make you feel like family right away.
Where: 531 Hampton St, Hampton
When: Lunch, Tue–Sat | Dinner, Wed–Sat
Phone: (03) 9533 1922