The Farmed Table
So I've never really considered myself a foodie. I may or may not have mistaken cucumber for zucchini when cooking pasta as a bachelor. I had also convinced myself in my teens that I had no sense of taste, and enjoyed food for texture. Imagine V's shock to find my kitchen lacking your most basic culinary staples, salt and pepper.
The last few years have been quite the food journey for me. V has proven to me time and time again, I do have a sense of taste. There is a place for salt, pepper, spices and homemade sauces. And most importantly, cucumber does not belong in spaghetti. But don't get me wrong, I'm still a simple man deep down. Gimme meat and three veg, and the silence is deafening whilst I devour my meal.
A few weeks ago, V and I were invited to dine at The Farmed Table. A pop up restaurant concept based on a meal of multiple courses, designed and created entirely from the produce of a specific region. Created by Brendan Cato, this chef had spent his previous week foraging the best of the NSW Southern Highlands - and he did not disappoint. We gathered for an 8:30pm seating at the pop up currently at Bang Bang Cafe in Sydney's Surry Hills.
We started with a shared course: a fresh and zesty salad of fennel, rhubarb, wild sorrel and small cow farm rustic blue. The second share plate was Belanglo Forest mushrooms, served with smoked dutch crème potatoes, cavolo nero and salad burnet. Ingredients were alive and the mushrooms were amazing in every sense of the word, earthy and wonderfully textured. We were off to the perfect start.
Our main took my breath away. Now I love lamb… it’s the Australian way. But this was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Seriously, It had all of my attention, and I found myself being dragged back to reality when V told me off for exaggerating my reaction; closing my eyes to pinpoint my focus on every single flavour dancing in my mouth... I was not exaggerating. Various cuts of Katrina’s lamb were cooked to medium rare perfection, braised green peppers, kohlrabi and roasted garlic and mint garnishing the side. Even the way the food was styled on the plate looked dark and haunting. For me, it was truly the dish of the night.
We finished with a classic dessert, rhubarb. This was served with sabayon, chestnuts and Bousaade verjuice. Sweet, but not too sweet. Warm, but not burn your mouth steamy. We were so full from our meals but couldn’t let anything go to waste. It was a dinner to make even the simple man in me experience a foodie awakening.
Full props to Chef Brendan, he’s onto a good thing. In a day and age where we have everything we want, beyond the point of excess, it’s nice to take a step back in time to an age where we eat what’s immediately available, and in season. Where a dish is comprised of local herbs, spices, meats and vegetables. And that doesn’t mean going without, or skimping on flavour. If you’re looking for a new (yet age old) food experience, where authentic, sustainable and seasonal food is front and centre, check out the Farmed Table.
The cost per person is $55 or $80 to include wine with each course. To book, simply call 0422 101 146. Visit The Farmed Table on Facebook to keep up to date with what Brendan is planning for each week's menu!
Kevin and Viola of Project Sweet Stuff dined as guests of The Farmed Table