Well this is a little awkward! You must’ve assumed I’d converted to the world of ex-food-blogger-Instagram-poster by now. Fret not, friends, I’m still alive and kicking. Shhh, it’s a figure of speech.
I’m here to revive your appetite for my outlandish way of writing about food. And you, you’re going to inspire me to keep writing by tuning in, hitting like or subscribing! I kid, but follow me on Instagram okay? Just so I can live my childhood dream of having Allen’s, Kraft or Arnott’s post me ample supplies of junk food in cute packaging.
Let’s not dawdle, shall we? Let’s talk about Butcher and the Farmer’s new lead chefs and menu curators Will and Steve (a.k.a My Kitchen Rules‘ 2015 winners!). They’re the poms you always wanted to have met on your U.K. travels – at once charming and funny, professional yet approachable. Basically, they rock and I’ve spotted them throughout the years while they made a name for themselves in a cutthroat industry. Well done, chaps.
I was invited to the launch of their new menu in the the lovely Tramsheds surroundings. The event was beautifully executed with servers handing out smooth liquor and refreshing cocktails and guests bustling about in raucous laughter. The long blonde wood tables were decorated with green-hued glass tumblers, white baby’s breath flowers in miniature vases and pastel tones of ceramic plateware. This is literally my dream colour palette!
The first dishes that were brought out were the Kingfish, citrus miso, coconut cream, red grapes, pickled baby cucumber, micro coriander, the miniature Pea and Parmesan Croquettes, hazelnut, truffled mayonnaise and Chorizito, corn, pretzel.
Visually, the chorizito was quite playful to look at, they almost looked hotdog-like (kawaiiii). And the flavour hit the mark – the smoky, spicy chorizito cut through with the creamy corn and crunchy, salty pretzel. Yum! I wasn’t a huge fan of the kingfish, I prefer way more dressing but it was fresh nevertheless.
Next up was a heap of main dishes, all being served out one after the other, as a sort of symphony where one instrument is joined and complimented by the other. What they had in common was flavours we all love paired with beautifully cooked, quality meat.
The Crispy Skin Salmon, white bean and coriander purée, balsamic beets, fried bread and dill was pretty close to perfect. The salmon fillet’s skin a shard of crunch and well seasoned with the creamy purée and earthy beets a fantastic pairing.
My favourite dish of the night was by far the Duck Breast, pumpkin hummus, pickled cauliflower, seeds, orange and star anise syrup. That duck breast OH MY OH MY, it was juicy and rich, with a gelatinous, golden skin. Unforgettable.
A close second was the silky smooth 12-Hour Wood Smoked Brisket, pickled cucumber, jalapeno cream. That beef was so tender, you could literally eat it with a spoon (if you are so inclined). I love when chefs get the balance of textures and flavours – the beef pull-apart soft and fatty, the pickles crisp and tangy and the cream enveloping all of it in one glorious mouthful. I need a moment…
The sides were a nice counterpart to the mains, but the only noteworthy ones were the Blackened Broccolini, sweet tahini, barley, almonds with its dramatically darkened edges and a nutty sauce and the Sweet Potato, thyme, truffle pecorino (because, um, who doesn’t love a dessert potato?! Who?!).
It was as if Will and Steve wanted you to know that the Rolled Porchetta, raw fennel salad, apple caramel was the star of this meat-heavy show. And it so was. A couple of people on my table mentioned it was quite intense so I was hesitant but I’m so glad I took a bite. The meat was exactly what I imagined it to be looking at it – soft, unctuous and subtle in flavour. I loved the idea of pairing it with a vinegary salad and a sweet sauce.
By this stage, we were tipsy on wine and various liquors that were designed to match the menu and deliriously full. But here comes dessert! Luckily for me, a range of intolerances meant I only took a few bites out of the Earl Grey and Chocolate, vanilla mascarpone. Wowwww. So sultry, so smooth with an exceptional earl grey flavour. Butternut squash, Maple and Sea Salt Tart, sour yoghurt, sweet dukkah didn’t get too much praise for its overt tartness and lack of sweetness, but these things will all be adjusted in time I’m sure.
Overall, I absolutely loved the new menu, the ambience was warm and inviting and I can’t wait to go again with friends and explore more deliciousness by the MKR boys.
The Hungry Plum dined as a guest of Butcher and the Farmer. All opinions expressed are my own.