Great Newcomer – Little Hunter

My Dearest Readers, I have a complaint to make today and that is…I am sick of my family and friends in HK always asking and telling me “How do you find living and working in Melbourne? Are you really bored? Nothing to do at night? So boring that’s why I like HK and Asia more”. *ROAR* Stop ask me these silly questions :P Because you are all wrong! Melbourne is a fantastic city, I’ve grown up here and I LOVE IT! Don’t forget we have been labelled as the most ‘Liveable city in the world’. Sorry for being so narky but it really bothers me when they keep asking me these questions…even though I understand why they would think that…shopping centres here only close late on Thursday and Fridays, restaurants generally close at 10pm and yes it’s hard to get a good decent bowl of wonton noodles at 2am hahaha but still there is so much more Melbourne has to offer especially the FOOD CULTURE :D

Little Hunter

Little Hunter

I don’t think I will ever get bored of the food scene here in Melbourne, because there is always something new for me to try and I seriously can barely keep up ~ I try my very best to try new places every time I go out to hopefully get through my ‘To-Eat’ list :) A new restaurant called the ‘Little Hunter’ recently caught my attention and I have been waiting patiently for it to open, it attracted me for a couple of reasons, firstly because of the Chef Gavin Baker and also because of the Pastry Chefs Shaun Quades and Ross Magnaye (who I personally know of) ~ Gavin Baker is an American chef who has an impressive resume such as being the Sous Chef at The Fat Duck in London as I’m sure most of you will know is Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant. Shaun Quades is an amazing pastry chef who has worked at Quay (Sydney). On the other hand, Ross was previously working for Darren Purchese at Burch and Purchese in Melbourne and we have met through a charity event and have kept in touch since ;) But that’s not it! There’s one more person behind Little Hunter and that is Pete Evans the chef who is currently the host and judge on the Australian show ‘My Kitchen Rules’ ;)

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After reading all this, I simply knew I had to make a booking and try it out as soon as possible :) They opened a couple of weeks ago but I wanted for about a fortnight before going as I don’t particularly going to restaurants whenthey first open hehe I went to Little Hunter with Kirk and Ashley (I’m So Hungree), it was slightly weird combination as they have only met once at another dessert event but good food is able to connect everyone together.

Little ducky on the wine glass

Little ducky on the wine glass

We got there pretty early on a Tuesday night at around 6:30pm, there was only another table dining there. I knew the restaurant was going to be dark as it was in the basement…but my worse nightmare happened when I realised they used super orange tungsten lights…meaning my photos weren’t going to turn out very nice :( so my apologies for the ugly photos, I tried my best to edit them ~

Complimentary bread with chicken skin butter

Complimentary bread with chicken skin butter

Being avid foodies all three of us had already had a look at the menu and also consulted Catherine (Petit Miamx) who dined here the week before we were pretty much ready to order immediately, but we started off with the complimentary bread which was warm and soft infused with dried herbs and also chicken skin butter. Let me repeat that chicken skin butter! I repeated it twice when the waiter told us because hahaha I have never thought of putting chicken skin into butter that’s so oily and rich! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it…but once spread on the bread, we all looked at each other and smiled :) We really liked it! It wasn’t just chicken skin mixed into the butter, it was like roast chicken skin, tasted more like really thick gravy with a buttery flavoury.

Pork crackings, paprika, white cheddar apple sauce $6

Pork crackings, paprika, white cheddar apple sauce $6

The pork cracking was an immediate hit for us :) It was super crispy and so loud that the table sitting across us turned around and looked at us while we were munching on the cracking that was seasoned with paprika and white cheddar, I also liked the sweetness from the apple sauce.

Cured Kingfish seasoned roe, roasted peppers, bay oil $14

Cured Kingfish seasoned roe, roasted peppers, bay oil $14

Then it was Kirk’s favourite lol cured Kingfish…he basically orders this whenever it’s on the menu, I have to agree though it was very nice with the fish being fresh and complemented very well by the huge salmon roe and roasted peppers ~ Mr Bao said he wants to come and try just because of the salmon roe lol

"Beef on Toast" chicken liver parfait, dressed chives $15

“Beef on Toast” chicken liver parfait, dressed chives $15

I’m not really sure why it’s called “Beef on Toast’ but I guess it’s because it had some very thin slices of beef at the bottom and then topped with chicken liver parfait and chives. Ash can be named the ‘Queen of Chicken Liver Parfait’ and she approved this.

Roasted Yams chimichurri $7

Roasted Yams chimichurri $7

As soon as I saw this on the menu, I immediately wanted to order it because I love all things ‘Yam/Taro’ but turns out they were sweet potatoes lol I tweeted Little Hunter and they replied saying that it’s because Chef Gavin is American and apparently that’s what they call it there. It was such a simple side but I loved how soft they were and gave it an Argentinian twist with the chimichurri.

Chatham Island Blue Cod native sea grasses, leeks, brown butter $32

Chatham Island Blue Cod native sea grasses, leeks, brown butter $32

Fish isn’t usually what I order when I go out for dinner, but a couple of days ago I had a very meaty Argentinian meal so I felt like something a bit lighter ~ I ordered the Blue Cod with native sea grasses and leeks as my main. I was very impressed as the blue cod had a very well seasoned and crispy fish skin while the flesh as still soft.

Blackmore Wagyu 9+ Flank avocado, cajun flavours $44

Blackmore Wagyu 9+ Flank avocado, cajun flavours $44

Kirk is definitely a huge meat-eater and as usual got the steak ~ it was a Wagyu 9+ Flank cut which is more of a cheaper cut, but we were all impressed by the quality of the meat, it was soft and had good flavour. It was slightly unusual to have an avocado as the side, but it surprisingly worked and now I’m inspired to do that at home next time, given that I find a good avocado that’s not too ripe or had :)

Veal Sweetbreads sherried veal jus, parsnip, onions $26

Veal Sweetbreads sherried veal jus, parsnip, onions $26

Ash ordered the Veal Sweetbreads with sherried veal jus, parsnip and onions, I’ve had sweetbreads before but didn’t know that it was called the thymus/pancreas area of a cow hehe ~ It was fried in a soft batter and had a very velvety texture. I was also addicted to that white mash not sure if it was parsnip or potato, it was so smooth and creamy!

Double Chocolate Mousse Noble one reduction, cacao nib brittle $14

Double Chocolate Mousse Noble one reduction, cacao nib brittle $14

Thank gosh I was dining with people who had a sweet tooth, well kind of obvious since Kirk is a pastry chef and Ash definitely likes her sweets YAY! There were 4 desserts on the menu but we were so full that we only got 3! Gosh fail hehe oh wells doesn’t matter another excuse to go back :P Starting with the Double Chocolate Mousse with Noble one reduction and cacao nib brittle. I don’t think I’ve had Noble One wine before but know it’s a sweet white wine ~ and the reduction was PHENOMENAL! It didn’t say but I’m pretty sure it was a white chocolate mouse base with the second layer was dark chocolate, it was smooth and rich. While the cacao nibs gave it a bittersweet flavour and crunchy texture ~

Frangipane meringue, passionfruit curd, whole peach sorbet $15

Frangipane meringue, passionfruit curd, whole peach sorbet $15

I saw this dessert on Catherine’s post and was intrigued because the dessert looked like an egg hehe but wasn’t sure if I was going to like it because I find frangipanes can sometimes be too moist or too dry. I was wrong! The frangipane had the perfect texture with crushed pistachios throughout it totally yum! I also liked the smooth merengue with the passionfruit curd and surprised it was a nice combination with the white peach sorbet and toasted coconut :) Highly recommend this dessert!

Fresh yoghurt, apple pie jam, basil granita, nugmeg $12

Fresh yoghurt, apple pie jam, basil granita, nugmeg $12

It was so hard to take a photo of this dessert! Sorry for the blurriness! It was interesting to see a fresh yoghurt dessert on the menu but was liked the idea of the apple pie jam. When I first tasted it, I wasn’t too sure if I liked it because the basil granita was too strong for me, but when I tried it again and made sure I had all the components it was actually quite nice especially with the tanginess of the fresh yoghurt and sweetness from the apple pie jam ~

I would described my first experience at Little Hunter as very pleasant :) Staff were friendly and helpful, even willing to help us split bills. Food was wonderful, everything was very well thought through and flavour combinations were good ~ The winner for me would have to be the blue cod and wagyu and surprising the roasted yams too! I don’t think I need to say much about desserts because they were all great especially the frangipane merengue! Little Hunter is definitely a great newcomer to the Melbourne food scene and I’m looking forward to returning with Mr Bao so he can also try it out :D

Little Hunter on Urbanspoon

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34 thoughts on “Great Newcomer – Little Hunter

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes March 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm Reply

    Ha ha – well, I don’t have the same problem re family, but I do feel sorry for you. Tell them to read your blog!

    Awesome pictures. I am SALIVATING :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:12 am Reply

      Thank you for understanding :) it’s very annoying when my family and friends do that to me all the time ~ oh wells! It was definitely a great meal!

  2. The Hangry Bitch March 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm Reply

    AHHH!! everything looks so good and sinful!! another to add onto my ever-expanding wishlist!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:13 am Reply

      Hahha we should exchange lists mine is growing everyday!!! But you have to try out Little Hunter soon :)

  3. viveka March 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm Reply

    Daisy, you should email your post to the restaurant … that’s what I do with my reviews – not many comes back to you, but some does … I heard so much about the food in Sydney and Melbourne, and love fusion food … chef myself. Take the best from all over the world and put in one dish.
    When I do my review I use photos from the restaurants or the hotels website – because I personal don’t like when people take photo when I’m eating my dinner and also a bad photo can damage the restaurant more than do it good. So I use professional photos. I’m only a happy armature.
    I love this place and your choice of dishes had been mine too – a pity I’m so far away, otherwise I will visit this week. Great post and photos not that bad.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:16 am Reply

      Thank you Viveka :) I don’t usually email the restaurants but I do tag them on Twitter ~ I haven’t use photos from the restaurant or hotels as I’m not sure if it is a breach to use their photos without permission and I quite enjoy taking the photos of food and my family and friends are quite use to it to now :)

  4. Bam's Kitchen (@bamskitchen) March 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm Reply

    Great restaurant overview. Enjoy wherever your at and the moment. Life is too short. Take care, BAM

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:17 am Reply

      Thank you Bam :) I agree that life is too short just gonna enjoy when I Can hehe !

  5. liannelow March 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm Reply

    Yum! EVerything looks so so good!!! And your photos look good! Don’t worry! hehe how cute is the duck on the glass? hehe Definitely putting this on my to-go list! hehe xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:18 am Reply

      Thank you dear! Was super worried about the photos hahaha seriously hard to take when lighting was soooo bad LOL hope you try Little Hunter soon it’s good :D xox

  6. Trisha March 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm Reply

    The bread! The crackling! The dip! And those were just entrees… Soooo good!

  7. Peach March 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm Reply

    Why did I even look at this blog post? I’m gonna cry! It looks amazing! Hahahha

    Oh man, all the dishes look amazing.

    Ok – added to my to go list. >.<

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:44 am Reply

      Awww sorry to make you cry :P Or was it more like ‘hungry’ late at night hehe

      Definitely have to put it on your ‘to-go’ list, I was quite impressed :D

  8. hotlyspiced March 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm Reply

    I’m really pleased I live in a city where things actually shut down. Why does everything have to be open 24/7? How does that make for a better city? I think it only makes things worse as businesses have no time off and staff are expected to work around the clock. I grew up in a time when shops had to close at 12md on a Saturday and nothing was open on a Sunday. And lifestyles were better than they are today. They were more casual and certainly more relaxed and everyone had a day of rest. That has been eroded with ‘advancement’. How are you surviving the heat? I hear you’re expecting a long overdue cool change this evening xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:46 am Reply

      Hi Charlie :) i’m not really surviving in the heat very well >_< I much prefer the cold, give me snow any day hahha rather it being so hot! I agree with you that not everything has to be 24/7 and sometimes it's nice to just be with family and friends and not have to go out and do things all the time. Having said that I really do understand why they think cities like HK is more convenient but it's just very annoying when they keep asking me :( oh wells xox

  9. MoMo & Coco March 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm Reply

    What a coincidence! We just reviewed Little Hunter too — more dessert-focused though, of course! It’s a great place, isn’t it? We loved the chocolate mousse dessert best, how about you?

    Re HK vs Melbourne — every city is beautiful in its own way. I think the restaurant scene in Melbourne is a little more casualised, and HK can be polarised into dressy or cheap, but both are pretty diverse in terms of food offerings. Nothing beats the UK/NY food scenes though. :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:48 am Reply

      Definitely a coincidence :) I was definitely impressed with Little Hunter all their dishes ~ dessert wise I think my favourite was the frangipane even though the chocolate mousse was delicious.

      Hmmm I think I agree that in HK it’s very polarised and in Melbourne we have a greater variety to choose from ~ I would argue thought that the food scene in Melbourne is slowly catching up to the UK/NY :D Still love Melbourne hehe

  10. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 13, 2013 at 5:06 am Reply

    Hehe you had me at chicken skin butter! :P

  11. Ramen Raff March 13, 2013 at 6:53 am Reply

    So jealous of all you Melbournians! Your city has such an awesome food scene! OmG that crackling!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 11:11 am Reply

      Thanks for dropping by my blog :) I love the food scene here in Melbourne but then it’s also so fantastic in Sydney I can’t wait to plan another trip back hehe ~

  12. missemzyy March 13, 2013 at 7:19 am Reply

    I just found out that for my birthday later this year we are visiting the lovely Melbourne!!- there is no question that I will be begging to go to the fat duck, especially now that you mentioned Pete Evans!! wow all the food looks spectacular- chicken skin butter and pork crackling YUM!! and that frangipane meringue dessert looks incredible!! :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 13, 2013 at 9:50 am Reply

      Great to hear that you are coming to Melbourne :) please feel free to email me and i will be able to give you a list of places you can try ~ This isn’t really the “FAT DUCK” as such hahaha but worth coming because like you said it’s a Pete Evans’ project too hehe

  13. Iron Chef Shellie (@IronChefShellie) March 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm Reply

    Thank you for standing up for Melbourne! It is a brilliant place, and I’m glad the shops aren’t open so late, else I’d be broke as!

    Sigh, another place for me to try!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 14, 2013 at 10:14 am Reply

      Hhahaha I totally agree! I’m broke as it is now! I wouldn’t be able to save any money if they were open late every day and I just think it’s stupid for them to think Melbourne is boring :P

  14. Linda | The Urban Mrs March 14, 2013 at 8:03 am Reply

    I’ve never been to Melbourne, but now I can imagine how it looks like. :) Yum! those bread starters look wonderful, and that wagyu… I really need to visit Melbourne one of these days!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 14, 2013 at 10:17 am Reply

      I really hope you come and visit Melbourne one day because I will definitely take you around and I think you will really enjoy it! :D

  15. Amy Tong March 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm Reply

    I know…I don’t like taking pictures at dim lighting restaurants. But oh well, most restaurants are like that these days to “set the mood”. :) I still drool over all your pictures especially the chicken skin butter!!! and Beef on Toast!!! and Wagyu!!! and desserts….oh, they all look so delicious! Now, I really want that Chicken skin butter! I can’t get that off my mind.

  16. Sarah March 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm Reply

    Looks like a great spot! I can’t believe that a restaurant from Peter “activated almonds” Evans has such rich and decadent food! The chicken skin butter! The cracklings! Woah!!!

    I totally agree with you that Melbourne is awesome – and from your Instagrams/Tweets you’re certainly making the most of living in our fab city! :)

  17. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm Reply

    Such an interesting flavors and combination of food that it was very entertaining to read each dish! The bread with chicken skin butter? I eat chicken skin at Yakitori, but butter? WOW totally brand new concept!

  18. theragingcook March 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Oh I’m so comin here, crackling and chicken smin butter and that cured kingish and the desserts!

  19. Ashley March 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm Reply

    You got this up so quickly already! I’m still so far away to getting this post done! :( :(

    Your photos are looking great! I’m happy to meet for coffee sometime and bring my laptop and give you some ideas on how to reduce the yellow next time if you want :)

    I’m still raving about that noble reduction to everyone I can, even if I’ve already told them about it. Hehe!

  20. [...] with the Ho Clan for my birthday a few weeks back, I happened to read a post by Miss D’s post on Little Hunter and I knew instantly where I wanted to go! (: I have to say, Melbourne is full of [...]

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