Mobile phones or cameras, everyone was taking photos at WLG Wellington pop-up restaurant in Sydney last night. Why shouldn’t we? It was a fantastic night filled with scrumptious food, friendly crowd, and great vibe that definitely worth a few photos to take home as memories.
The Pom and I were joining a table for food bloggers and social media experts for the second night of pop-up restaurant. They have done a great job transforming the long abandoned Bayswater Brasserie in Kings Cross into an intimate yet casual restaurant with lots to boast about. Especially when they told us how horrible the place was when they had an inspection few months back before leasing it, dirty clothes were still in the laundry and unwashed plates were piled up in the kitchen sink. But don’t fret, everything was newly bought and clean for the pop-up restaurant, including the table and chairs.
For next two weeks, four renowned Wellington chefs will take turns to in charge of the kitchen and come up with four different menus to tantalise your tastebuds. Jacob Brown from The Larder is the first chef of the relay and last night was his last service, and today will be Shaun Clouston from Logan Brown who will taking over the kitchen for the next 4 days.
I was lucky and had tried Jacob Brown’s pop-up restaurant menu while in Wellington, so was good to see how the menu has evolved a month later. We started off with a shared tasting plate of crispy West Coast New Zealand white bait, Lot 8 spiced olives, venison rillettes with spiced pear and watercress, fried goat’s cheese balls with Manuka honey and kiwi chutney (instead of feijoa chutney we had in Wellington) and also citrus-cured Regal King Salmon gravlax with New Zealand wasabi panna cotta.
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The Pom went for the Venison Wellington, a short venison loin is wrapped in puff pastry with portobello mushrooms, smoked bacon, sage and peppercorn sauce.
Minh had the snapper. A generous fillet of Snapper is grilled and served with Cloudy Bay Diamond Clams, baby peas, fennel, crayfish butter and chervil. I’d sampled this dish in Wellington but with groper instead of snapper, and it was a good dish.
My portobello mushrooms and swiss chard baked in filo with braised fennel, olives, goats’ curd and green lentils was surprisingly the best dish of the evening. The flaky filo crumbled away when I sank my knife into the delicate skin, revealing chunks of portobello mushrooms and strong goats’ curd inside. The flavour is intense, nicely balance with a bed of lentils.
( BILLY’S FAVOURITE )
A set dessert of classic bomb Alaska sure won some hearts over. Encased inside the spiky snow dome was a rich globe of Whittaker’s chocolate ganache ice cream and Mojo coffee praline, floating in raspberry consomme.
The innard shot… oh yeah… baby…..
Sadly Jacob’s menu finished last night and Shaun Clouston from Logan Brown who will taking over the kitchen tonight and the next 3 days. Tom Hutchison from Capitol will be the third contender in the relay from 20-23 September, while bigger than life Rex Morgan from Boulcott St Bistro will wrap up the event from 24-26 September.
For $29 per person for three courses with a good selection of New Zealand wines priced at $7 per glass, I am very tempted to go back again and again just to see (and taste) what other chefs have up their sleeves.
WLG Wellington Pop-Up Restaurant Location: 32 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross Open from Tuesday 14 to Sunday 26 September (closed Mondays)
[ ATFT and The Pom dined at the Wellington pop-up restaurant as a guest of Positively Wellington Tourism ]