2 May - By Alyssa Mittiga
A display of teamwork was on show at Town Square’s Glasshouse Kitchen during Monday night’s showcase dinner.
Three established chefs from diverse backgrounds found common ground through their delicate handling of protein and harmonised sweet and sour notes.
It happened in a truly original setting. Winter gloom on a wet night didn’t dim the bright appeal of the venue’s glass-paned dining rooms, each lined with a communal table dressed in polished cutlery. En route to their seats, the capacity crowd of 130 diners were casually greeted by the eager chefs Josh Niland (Saint Peter), Analiese Gregory (Bar Brose) and Karena Armstrong (The Salopian Inn), before neatly dressed waiters poured BK Petillant Naturel Chardonnay ($14 a glass), and presented with site-baked sourdough and Paris Creek butter to begin the show.
Seafood king Josh Niland’s inspiration shone in the first dish of rosy albacore. The raw appearance of the fish flesh fooled the mind. Sashimi? Think again. The 40-degree cooking method gave the gummy tuna a warm, beef-like essence. Josh even met the brief to include a charred element in the form of smoky radicchio. The crackle of a milling wheat chip introduced desirable crunch, while sweet native currants balanced a tangy sauce.
Conversation within the intimate glasshouse setting was silenced by the arrival of Analiese Gregory’s elegant pork jowl, smelling like a warm veggie garden full of fresh radishes. The pop of crisp mandarin from the suggested wine match (Ngeringa Viognier, $18 a glass) collaborated with a hint of salted caramel from the dish’s umeboshi syrup to counter the meat’s fattiness.
The diners’ appetites were truly satisfied by Karena Armstrong’s spongy noodle dough encasing rich kangaroo tail meat, drawing memories of moist cannelloni. The addition of roasted chilli oil heightened the comforting flavours. The availability of some additional bread would have hit the spot to soak up scrumptious juices.
Udder Delight’s Heysen blue cheese with Simon Bryant’s Dirt(y) Honey fashioned a lingering dessert, tying together the meal’s sweet and sour premise as a memorable final taste for an impressive, cohesive meal.
Glasshouse Kitchen will host a dinner each night during Tasting Australia (with prices varying from $95 to $275), each featuring leading chefs – including Marco Pierre White on Tuesday.