Hellenic Republic Kew becomes Sardinian restaurant Vita

Malloreddus pasta with pork, fennel and ricotta.
Malloreddus pasta with pork, fennel and ricotta. Photo: Supplied

The Made Establishment has recruited its next hospitality heavy hitter. Longtime owner of Becco, Simon Hartley has come on board to captain the transformation of Hellenic Kew into Vita, a casual Sardinian restaurant reflecting head chef Nathaniel Destefano's roots.

Hartley will continue to operate Becco while applying his service and kitchen style, honed over 24 years at the CBD institution, to the Kew restaurant.

Vita had a quiet test-run in December prior to Hartley's appointment, so the final offering is still unfolding.

Bomboloni with Nutella.
Bomboloni with Nutella. Photo: Supplied

The wine list currently represents most of Italy, from Sicily to Piedmont, but Hartley says that will only deepen.

The Sardinian menu will mix the traditional (malloreddus, or Sardinian gnocchi, with fennel, pork and ricotta), the personal (Destefano's mum's lasagne with pulled, instead of minced, meat), and all-round bangers like a cheese-heavy antipasti selection, porchetta from the wood-fired oven, zucchini cacio e pepe and bombolini.

As with Hellenic Republic Brunswick East (now Crofter under Matt Wilkinson) and Hellenic Hotel (now Hotel Argentina), the makeover has been subtle.

Head chef Nathaniel Destefano (left) and Simon Hartley outside Vita in Kew.
Head chef┬áNathaniel┬áDestefano (left) and Simon Hartley outside Vita in Kew. Photo: Supplied

"Just whiter and brighter", says Hartley, "with a couple of new pizza ovens."

Two private dining rooms upstairs can also be joined for large functions.

In Becco news, Hartley is still looking at new CBD sites for when the city stalwart moves in July 2021 at the end of its Crossley Street lease.

Vita is now open daily noon-4pm and 4.30-9.30pm at 26 Cotham Road, Kew, 03 9207 7477