15 September 2010

WLG: Wellington's pop up restaurant in Sydney, Kings Cross (14 Sept 2010)

32 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross NSW 2011

Wellington pops up in Sydney

The old site of Bayswater Brassiere has been brought back to life for 2 weeks with Wellington's WLG pop up restaurant now in full swing creating a buzzing atmosphere. Chef Jacob Brown who used to be the Tour De Force of Tabou starts off the menu for 14-15 September and is the owner of supposedly one of the hottest new restaurants in Wellington, The Larder. For only $29 you're treated to an entree share platter, main course, dessert and coffee with glasses of wine for $7. There's five items on the entree shared tasting plate including the delightful melty Fried goat's cheese balls with Manuka honey and Kiwi chutney which was probably my favourite. The Lot Eight Spiced Olives had a lovely flavour and the Citrus cured Regal King Salmon gravalax is melt-in-your-mouth quality which goes well with the silky smooth NZ wasabi panna cotta that packs a wicked heat kick. Crispy West Coast NZ white bait wasn't as crispy as hoped but the grilled asparagus was perfectly cooked. A rustic style Venison rillettes had nice texture matched with spiced pear although I wished it came with a few cornichons and perhaps toasted bread rather than plain like at Emmilou. For mains the Snapper fillet seemed to be a popular choice amongst diners which was matched with decent sized and flavoursome Cloudy Bay Diamond Clams. I enjoyed the broth but wished the snapper came with a crispy skin. Just as popular was the Venison Wellington which had quite a meaty liver taste. The matching portobello mushrooms, smoked bacon, sage and peppercorn sauce added a nice depth of flavour to the dish although I wondered if the meat could have possibly been cooked slightly more rare for my liking. I didn't get to try the Portobello mushrooms but it looked well presented and sounded very nice.

Everyone received the same dessert of Whittaker's Chocolate and Mojo Coffee praline bombe Alaska which was generous in size — perhaps too generous because after 5 mouthfuls I was reaching sugar overload. The biscuit base was pretty hard so difficult to cut through and I was hoping the meringue shell was going to be slightly crunchy but was all very soft. It matched well with the raspberry consommé although if it was smaller I would have then had some room to try a platter of Whitestone Cheese. Four wines were on offer so of course I had to try them all. The Doctor's Riesling Marlborough 2009 ($7) had a nice sweet fruity taste. The Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborugh 2009 ($7) had a lovely fruity bouquet and was fairly smooth of the palate. The Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($7) was nicely balanced with a nice bouquet and the Giesen Marlbrough Pinto Noir 2008 ($7) went well with the Venison Wellington. I also tried the very hoppy cloudy wheat Tuatara Bavarian Hefe beer ($7) which is supposed to have flavours of ripe banana, vanilla and a hint of clove but my beer taste buds aren't that refined although it was enjoyable. To finish Whittaker's chocolate squares were provided with my short black Mojo Coffee which was strong although too bitter for my non-coffee palate. I much preferred the Shott Chai Latte which had lovely flavours and aroma. The Shott Lemon Honey and Ginger sounds good and I probably should have tried this instead.

It's very rare for me to give full marks for any dining experience but this one would come pretty close in terms of quality, service and value. There's only a few small quibbles I have with seat spacing and preferred dish cooking expectations but I'm sure if this pop up restaurant became a permanent fixture it would quickly be one of Sydney's number one spots to dine — sadly it's only around for 2 weeks so check it out while it lasts. Our long moustache waiter Lorenzo Bresolin was very friendly and given half the chance is up for a witty banter — I wish all the Sydney service was like this. I soon learnt he part owns three restaurants in Wellington, Duke Carvell's, Crazy Horse The Steakhouse and Scopa — I hope to visit them one day.

Other blog reviews:

PROS: Good value, Interesting dishes, Reasonably priced wine, Friendly and professional service
CONS: Just about booked out, Seating at the back is a little bit cosy, Communal tables aren't for everyone, Only goes for 2 weeks
MUST TRY: Shott Chai Latte, Everything on the menu

Menu 3 courses including coffee for $29 by Jacob Brown

Tastes of Wellington shared tasting plate: Lot Eight Spiced Olives, Citrus cured Regal King Salmon gravalax with NZ wasabi panna cotta, Fried goat's cheese balls with Manuka honey and Kiwi chutney, Crispy West Coast NZ white bait and grilled asparagus with chopped egg and caper mayo, Venison rillettes with spiced pear and watercress

Snapper fillet with Cloudy Bay Diamond Clams, baby peas, fennel, crayfish butter and chervil

Venison Wellington: Venison short loin in puff pastry with portobello mushrooms, smoked bacon, sage and peppercorn sauce

Portobello mushrooms and swiss chard baked in filo with braised fennel, olives, goats' curd and green lentils

Whittaker's Chocolate and Mojo Coffee praline bombe Alaska with raspberry consommé

Mojo Coffee and Shott Chai Latte

Whittaker's chocolate squares and sugar

The Doctor's Riesling Marlborough 2009 ($7)

Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborugh 2009 ($7)

Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($7)

Giesen Marlbrough Pinto Noir 2008 ($7)

Tuatara Bavarian Hefe beer ($7)

Chef Jacob Brown in the kitchen — First night success

Kitchen and preparation area


Front dining room

Middle dining rooms

Back dining room

Outside entrance

WLG dates

Table number and billing card

Table cutlery

Buzzy Bee kids toy, Whittaker's chocolates and bill

NZ produce stand

Nice stain glass window divider

WLG 'big' pencil

Even the liquid soap is from New Zealand

Water bottles and mini NZ decorations

Producers and suppliers

Goodie bag from Brad (WellingtonNZ): Soprano Lemoncello, Shott Cranberry & Lime fruit syrup, The Doctors' Riesling Marlborough 2009, Whittaker's Bittersweet 72% Cocoa Dark Ghana chocolate

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'WLG' Pop Up Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Tina said...

I could have had the rest of your bombe ;) Nah, not really, I was ready to explode.
Great night - lovely to see you again

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said...

Great review - bodes well for my dinner there tomorrow night!

Gummi Baby said...

I have many fond memories of the Bayswater having attended many industry functions there (one in particular which I refuse to discuss!) so good to see that the site still stands even if under new management. I particularly like the look of the mushroom in filo pastry. Love your work!

Anonymous said...

Had such a great dinner there. Excellent food, service and great atmosphere. Great for Wellington.

Simon Leong said...

hi tina, i was ready to explode like a bombe myself :-)

hi forager, hope your dinner goes well.

hi gummi baby, i believe Kingsleys has bought the site so a new restaurant will be in the planning now i'm sure.

hi anonymous, glad you enjoyed your meal as well. time to fly to wellington now :-)

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