Ladies, I think I’ve just found your newest spot for pre-night out dinner! Now there definitely isn’t a shortage of restaurants around LKF, but if you’re looking the ultimate spot to eat, drink and be merry – come take a trip to The Bellbrook, the newest creation from Shanghai-based Aussie chef David Laris, which has taken over the spot of his previous more fine dining-focused venture, Laris.
Be prepared for a night of rustic and hearty food – the bistro-style menu here at The Bellbrook is literally a melting pot of cultures and flavours. If you can, try to snag a table by window – it’s the place to watch the buzz and crowds gather on Wyndham as the night settles in – and while waiting for your food to arrive, have fun with the pot of crayons and chalk on your table and release all your creative energy on the paper tablecloths and chalkboard pillars in the restaurant!
The drinks menu is full of similarly fun options and I settled for the Bellbrook lemonade – a boozy lemonade with plenty of grapefruit and lime juice to pack a punch! Given that I was starving even before I had arrived, the homemade bread and butter smelled extra heavenly when it arrived. The cute little potted plant of butter was a yummy mixture of butter, mustard seeds and nuts – delish!
To truly get the complete dining experience at the Bellbrook, the key is to share. Looking around other diners, it was clear that the smaller table bites proved most popular… and I can’t imagine anyone saying no to Bellbrook’s almighty “twisties” (essentially, potato crisps on a stick!), which were very moreish.
Usually I’m not a big fan of steak tartare (something about the look of a raw burger patty sitting in front of me just doesn’t cut it!) but steak tartare the Bellbrook way definitely made me a fan. This Aussie steak served on the bone and mixed in with Japanese mayonnaise was lovely and flavourful, with a great chunky texture.
The first few table bites were great, but my two picks of the night were the potted chicken liver paté and the black pork Scotch egg. It isn’t often you’re able to find quality Scotch eggs in the 852 but The Bellbrook’s version, with a gorgeously gooey yolky centre and punchy moreish horseradish crème fraiche, totally hits the spot. Meanwhile, the paté was rich and divine – laying it thick on grilled bread makes for a great treat.
For the prettiest salad around town, the burrata is yet another must-order – you just can’t not eat this! The rustic flavours of fresh creamy burrata, smoky pine nuts and grilled eggplant were just irresistible.
As for our entree, this was probably the most unusual barramundi dish I’ve ever had; cooked in Aborigine paperbark and served in a large fish-shaped metal dish with scrummy charred carrots, the sour note of finger lime (think citrusy caviar) was surprisingly a great contrast to the smoky firm flavours of the fish itself.
If you’re thinking that after all this food, there’d be no room for dessert – you’re wrong! The “Cookie Monster” is exactly as it sounds – two large chocolate cookies with vanilla ice cream sandwiched in between. Add in a drizzling of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of sea salt, and what’s not to love?!
Believe it or not though, it was completely outshined by The Bellbrook’s sticky date pudding. The marriage of uber moist spongey pudding and a pool of unctuous sweet brandy caramel sauce is literally the picture of sticky perfection – and talk about a generous portion size too!
With so many new restaurants constantly opening near LKF, it’s hard to pick which ones to try – but The Bellbrook caught me by surprise and should most definitely be on your “must-try” list of the year! Prices are reasonable for the quality (around $80-150 for table bites and $150-200 for entrees), the food was simply delicious and I will no doubt be back soon for more tasty table bites and desserts. With the restaurant fully booked on weekdays already, be sure to pick up the phone to call and make a reservation ASAP!
The Bellbrook Bistro Oz by Laris 2/F, Carfield Building, 77 Wyndham Street Central
2530 1600 www.diningconcepts.com/…