New restaurant alert! I always get excited when the Unlisted Collection launches a new concept, because I know that whether it’s ambience or food, it will be top-notch. And I certainly was not disappointed. Opened on 12 June, what used to be 5th Quarter at Hotel Vagabond has been relaunched to become Salted & Hung at their new location, Purvis Street. Serving up a contemporary Australian menu, Salted & Hung specialises in different techniques of curing, smoking, grilling and pickling. Led by award-winning Executive Chef Drew Nocente, you will be able to taste quality produce in a whole new manner. The menu is rather mind-boggling with a huge variety of dishes, where every single one sounded good. The portions are tapas-style, hence great for sharing.
[Roasted & Green] Crab, Uni & Asparagus ($15) – This was the first dish that was presented on our table and it certainly took me and my friend away with its intricate presentation. The amount of fresh crabmeat and uni was certainly generous for $15 and it was a very refreshing starter that gave a wonderful prelude of what was to come.
[Roasted & Green] Tomato, Burrata & Basil ($12) – Different tomato components made up this dish, including sundried tomatoes. You will be able to relish on the different textures, sweetness and saltiness of the same fruit. The burrata was divine to me – creamy, silky, fluid. Those chopped pine nuts definitely did a thing or two in creating crunchiness and fragrance within this dish.
[Smoked Brined Cured] Hamachi Collar, Soy & Lardo ($28) – Probably the most memorable dish of the night, this yellowtail collar is a must-order in my opinion. Perfectly, perfectly grilled (yes I had to emphasise that), the meat was tender yet firm and tasted of the epitome of freshness. The skin had a subtle aroma of miso and I could taste the sweetness of it. This was coupled with the hint of charcoal grill aroma. Having just googled what lardo is, I found out that it’s cured back fat… and I had mistaken it for coconut flesh. Two strips of them in my system now… But yes, try it, try it!
[Fermented Fried Braised] Pork Jowl, Apple & Abalone ($18) – Fans of pork belly, I have found something even better for you – presenting the pork jowl. Alright, I’ve just googled it again and found out it’s pork cheek! Wow, this must be some rare meat. Anyway, why I’d say that this is a premium substitution of pork belly is because of its high fat content. 75% of the slab of meat was tender flesh while the other 25% was some pretty firmed fats sitting at the edge. When you cut into the meat, you’ll be surprised at how little effort you would need. At the same time, the abalone was a dream to chew on.
[Grilled Seared Charred] Blackmore 9+ Wagyu Flank, Quinoa & Pomegranate ($42) – The only disappointing dish of the night. I won’t say that it tasted bad, but the portion was not worth the price tag to me. This was $10 for 1 mouthful of meat. Granted, the meat was extremely tender but it somehow lacked the Wagyu taste.
[Frozen Churned Baked] Chocolate Salami, Salted Caramel ($16) – Desserts time! They have 5 dessert creations in all and seriously, all of them sounded so good. But, we decided to just have 1 and save the rest for the next round! Something really interesting in this one – chocolate salami. It was fudgey dark chocolate with walnuts, shaped to resemble salami. Very creative! This was topped with salted caramel ice cream, torched marshmallow and apricot sauce. The salami and ice cream created a great contrast in taste – sweet vs salty. Too good.
Complimentary cookies! This had bacon bits and caramel on top. Served warm, the caramel was gooey and complimented the saltiness of bacon bits well. What a sweet way to end of a wonderful meal.
I was truly a happy lark after my dinner at Salted & Hung and no, I wasn’t drinking! I absolutely can’t wait to bring more people over to try and I really hope that they keep their standards up after this soft launch phase (no, this is not a media invite in case you are wondering). See you there!
Salted & Hung
12 Purvis Street
Tel: 6358 3130
*Do call and check on their operating hours. Understand that they are only open for Saturday dinners on weekends during their soft launch phase.