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
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’ ;)
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.
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 ~
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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!
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 ~
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!
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