Sometimes, very occasionally, you get a day like this. A day at work so pleasure-filled, it’s not really fair to call it… “a day at work” at all. Today was one such day as we lurched down Reservoir Street, a little shady from the night before, to meet with Chef Tommy at the café to sample and discuss what he and his crack team of food slingers have cooked up for the Spring season.
First things first, breakfast – and a cure for the indiscretions of the night before. Quick as a flash, Tommy’s onto it, “ ’Soldiers with spears’ is probably my favourite dish on the new brekky menu… it’s so simple & seasonal using great produce simply prepared!” he says.
The asparagus has been quickly blanched before grilling; the egg is a perfectly cooked biodynamic 62.5-degree egg finished with Maldon sea salt and organic Sonoma sourdough with Pepe Saya’s butter. The controlled cooking of the egg has meant that the protein in the both the egg’s white and yolk are consistent and velvety – perfect for the dipping of asparagus spears and mopping up with buttery toast. Sorted.
After breakfast and a couple of brews in the Spring sunshine, what do you know? It’s lunchtime!
Tommy looks excited and places down another beautiful looking dish that screams of the season.
“This one’s lovely, we’re getting in whole fish straight from market. We break ‘em down and soak ‘em in an aniseed brine for fourteen hours; this lightly cures the fillet and leaves it really succulent with a light liquoricey note. They’re then wrapped in fennel fronds and citrus and cooked at 47 degrees in the immersion circulator. We then roast the skin to make salmon crackling, this adds a great textural counter point to unctuous flesh”.
Suffice to say, it’s ridiculously delicious. It’s served with a fennel puree that picks up the aniseed in the brine and a clean apple and kaffir lime salad to cut the richness of the fish. Simple at first glance but with loads of thoughtful layers beneath.
We tell him we can’t eat another thing, but after not a lot of arm-twisting, we agree to sample the sous vide beef. He’s cooked the rump cap at 55.6 degrees for 2 and half hours under the pressure of twenty litres of water, ghetto sous vide style! This is served on sautéed green beans and little kipflers baked with Pepe Saya crème fraiche and tomato reduction.
So satisfied… a little guilty… oh such a perfect day.
See the full menu here.