Thursday night was a pretty special night for Black Bunny Kitchen. It was their first Wild Food and Wild Beer 8 course degustation.
Now, for those who missed out, I gave you plenty of warning, and you truly DID miss out! What a fabulous evening!
I hung out in the kitchen for the evening with some of the Black Bunny team Josh Collins, Aiden Matthews, and Nick Blake – Nick provided the inspiration for this evening’s magnificent dinner.
Nick is also the passion behind Wild Forage Australia, a wild food supplier who literally forages for premium wild ingredients from the sea and scape of the Sunshine Coast.
Black Bunny Kitchen is a funky space opposite the main beach at Alexandra Headland that is popular for its vast selection of international craft beers and smoking (literally) hot slow cooked BBQ and smoked meals, and cool tunes. This dinner was a little out of the Black Bunny norm, but having said that, it is also a great fit when you understand the progeny working away in the background that essentially makes the Black Bunny Kitchen tick.
The Wild Food and Wild Beer dinner was hosted by Ian Watson who is the head brewer of Slipstream Brewing Company and provided the back story to some of Belgium’s finest wild beers that complemented each of the courses.
Wild food, and wild ferment beers… that’s all I needed to hear… I was in…
I have to admit, I am partial to hanging out in the kitchen where it is all happening (sorry if I got in the way guys, I tried my best to be invisible). Nick – a great multi tasker – busily prepped the meals while entertaining me with background and insights to the wild food based dishes he and Aiden were preparing. Aiden would fill in the gaps – these guys have incredible knowledge. A lot of thought is placed into each and every flavour combination.
Josh added to the mix with his amazing understanding of craft beers, explaining the brewing process and the flavour profiles that led to the sometimes quite intriguing and unexpected match – I was blown away by the Rodenbach Caractere Rouge 2013 match to the smoked bone marrow and wagyu tartar – sensational. BTW the wagyu was Titania chestnut fed beef from Oberon that is quite a novelty in itself. Abalone from New Zealand, oysters from Tasmania, and the stars… wild foraged ingredients from the Sunshine Coast. Seaweed, lemon myrtle, beach mustard, native basil flowers, wood sorrel, warrigal greens, saltbush, ahhh… it was a good night.
Kudos to Black Bunny Kitchen. Great to see a venue thinking out of the square and presenting something different for Sunshine Coast diners, and beer enthusiasts to enjoy. Look forward to more to come.
Now read the menu and weep…
Dívus oysters w/yuzu jelly + beach mustard – w/iberico + lemon myrtle jelly, celeriac oil, sea celery
Beer match: 8 Wired Hippy Berliner Weisse.
Scallop tart w/taramasalata / guanciale / wood sorrel
Beer match: Rodenbach Gran Cru
Goats cheese beignets / fermented blueberry / artichoke
Beer match: Boon 2YO Unblended Lambic
BBQ warrigal greens / saltbush / whey cured horseradish, duck yolk, scallop katsumbushi, yuzu
Beer match: Cantillon Geuze
Smoked bone marrow / wagyu tartar / quail yolk / salt bush
Beer match: Rodenbach Caractere Rouge 2013
Miso glazed pork loin / pickled mustard, shiso radish / fermented feijoa + ginger dressing
Beer match: Boon Gueze
Confit abalone / shellfish broth / foraged herbs / rose oil
Beer match: Rodenbach Vintage 2013
Davidson Plum / roasted vanilla anglaise / Rodenbach jelly / mascarpone
Beer match: Holgate Beelzebub’s Jewels 2013
And just to give yo an understanding of the amount of thought, detail and inspiration goes into a dish here are some words from Nick about his oyster dish pictured above…
“The inspiration for this dish came from the restaurants close proximity to the beach and Queensland’s general love affair with the ocean. The wild beer match we were working with was a Berliner Weiss, a cloudy top fermented sour white beer. It has a refreshing tart, sour, acidic, lemony fruit sharpness with almost no bitterness. The beer also contains ca. 3% abv so drinks very much like a champagne in my mind. Decided for a complementing match for the 1st course accentuating the lemony characteristic of the beer with the yuzu jelly. The sea rocket also worked well as a component adding a touch of heat and a herbaceous flavour to the clean jelly. The second oyster was an iberico myrtle jelly with celeriac oil. The iberico was added to provide viscosity lengthening the delicate myrtle infused flavour. A celeriac leaf oil was added for body to ensure it stood up to the tart acidic match. Sea Celery was used to lift the seasoning of the jelly. To provide local context bowls were plated with edible local seaweeds bringing the story together.”
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This story was written by Petra Hughes – Pebbles + Pomegranate Seeds