Part wine bar/ part restaurant, Barrel Bar & Dining is perched on the busy Military Road in Cremorne. Seating options include high bar tables or a more relaxed atmosphere down the back of the restaurant which we opted for.
Not often is carrots the star of a dish, let alone having it pretty much be the dish. The carrots were prepared three ways - slow cooked for 24 hours, smoked and pickled. Every spoonful was a different mix of textures and flavours - sweet slow cooked carrots, smokey puree, crispy carrot chips, zingy pickled carrots sprinkled with salted honeycomb. It was a delicious dish and never had I enjoyed carrots so much.
The 12 hour cured Queensland king prawns with vanilla and coffee jelly sounded intriguing but sadly, it did not deliver. The overwhelming flavour I got was saltiness, which overpowered anything else in the dish.
On the other hand, the Chicken ballotine with pancetta, confit egg yolk, sweetcorn puree and onion ash was a very impressive dish. The ballotine itself was moist and tender. The sweetness of the puree balanced the saltiness of the pancetta, and the crispy onion ash added a new smokey element to the dish.
The Beef rib was tender and juicy, with a wild mushroom ketchup giving it a lovely richness. The crispy enoki and kale added a little lightness to what would otherwise have been quite a heavy dish.
Barrel Bar & Dining is a great place to go if you are after something a little more inventive and experimental. The plating was beautiful and the flavours matched (apart from that king prawn dish!)
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