Kensington Street Social – 06 Feb 2016

It seems that I’ve missed posting about Kensington Street Social somehow. So putting it in since I have a reference to this visit in my post about Cirrus. This post was written back in 2016, so the details should reflect my thoughts quite accurately.

First was Commune Social. Then, City Social. And the tidbit of gossip I got from there was that there was going to be a Jason Atherton establishment in Australia. And here it is, Kensington Street Social.

A very hip place with a pun-filled cocktail menu and tapas style dining – the same concept as Commune Social (and probably his other Social restaurants). I went here for both dinner and breakfast on separate occasions, and quite liked it!

Just the dinner post today. As always, we ordered everything that we wanted. The waitstaff recommended six to seven dishes between three people, and we ordered accordingly.

Squid ink crackers, trout roe, cucumber

You can’t ever go wrong with prawn crackers, they’re so airy and addictive! I found that we ended up with too much sauce – the trout roe went well with the crackers but I found I didn’t need too much of the actual sauce.

Hipster breakfast – Banana bread infused Pampero rum, cold drip coffee, salt butter, Fernet Branca

Yes I’m hipster (perhaps just on the inside), so I had to forego every other item on the drinks menu (including non alcoholic… I’m not great at consuming more than a single beverage when dining, unless it’s a beverage pairing) just to get this. Isn’t it cute! It looked and tasted quite coffee-like! I loved the tag that came with it, too!

English breakfast tea and toast – wild mushroom tea , gentleman’s relish, bone marrow toast

What a cute display! I’m a fan of theatric/hands on/unusual interpretations of food, it makes the dining experience so much fun and much more memorable. Presented as the toast/jam/cream/tea combination, this was a pot of wild mushroom tea that could be poured into teacups of parmesan foam. Creamy white bone marrow and a tangy, jammy relish topped some toast which, with some effort, could be dipped into the tea. The toast was so-so for me mainly because I like chunks of actual marrow (which I need to try at Salaryman!) rather than a tiny dollop. The tea on the other hand, was absolutely amazing, fragrant and hearty! I could drink that all winter!

Vine tomato, Vannella burrata, 25 year aged balsamic vinegar, tomato seasoning

There’s always an interpretation of caprese salad on the menu. This one is also featured at Marina Social in Dubai. The outside picture is all you get, I didn’t bother taking an inside picture because I figured it wouldn’t look very nice. Basically, it’s tomato on the outside, and burrata on the inside! Not the creamiest burrata as it looks like they scoop only some of it in, so the gooeyness was a little lacking, but the flavours overall were great.

Grass fed veal tartar, egg yolk jam, radish salad, sourdough

I always have to taste the tartare if I can. The veal was roughly chopped which was a nice change from oggling at the knifework from Fix St James, and the egg yolk jam was pretty trippy! The bread was a little on the holey side so it couldn’t scoop up the tartare all that well. Tasty, but not one of my favourites.

Queensland Spanner crab, frozen cucumber gazpacho, rhubarb

A nicely presented spanner crab salad where the gazpacho granita was sprinkled at the table. The flavours were alright, however nothing particularly stood out. Possibly because the granita was super cold and there was a mound of it, and as it melted kind of watered down the rest of the dish.

Roast marron tail, curry butter, burnt lime, leaf salad

Now this is a dish that shows off a super fine crustacean! Marron is seriously my favourite crustacen, plus it’s adorable. The curry butter was delicious and a great change from plain butter. In my excitement, I didn’t realise just how much this dish cost (though to be honest, I generally don’t look at price…). It was worth it, though!

Sea urchin rice, Moreton Bay bug tail, sea blight, bisque

I didn’t like this dish. It sounded great on the menu, but it’s not really all that shareable, especially since there was only a very small tongue of sea urchin there. The bug tail was nice and I liked the flavour of the bisque, but the rice curse continues! I pretty much always avoid risotto, not only because it’s very hit and miss, but also because I don’t like rice in general (except in well made sushi). Ours was undercooked, with a hardness and slight chalkiness. I kind of which we received the marron dish last (everything else was pretty much served in menu order).

Then it was onto desserts.

Yoghurt mousse, lemon curd, malt meringue, basil 

I chose this unassuming looking dish for the reason that basil was featured. Ever since Commune Social’s basil sorbet, I have been chasing basil desserts. However the style of the dessert meant that basil wasn’t the prominent flavour. This was all about the yoghurt mousse and lemon curd and offset nicely by a delicate basil aroma. It ended up being my brother’s favourite dessert out of the ones we ordered.

Buffalo ricotta, lemon thyme peaches, honeycomb

The second dessert that I ordered (we had four desserts between three people) wasn’t that spectacular. The ricotta was nice, though I generally don’t like ricotta in desserts. The honeycomb tuile was so thin and light! The peach sorbet was delicious too.

East Rydge Grove arbequina olive oil cake, coconut sorbet, spiced mango, passion fruit ice

This was the dish my brother ordered, and the one I loved the most. I’ve always thought butter was unbeatable, but that olive oil was so fragrant! And the texture of the cake was great too. I was seriously impressed with this as everything went so well together and the coconut sorbet was delicious. I now need to learn how to make olive oil cake myself!

Baked caramelised apple puff pastry, cider vinegar ice cream and pickled apple

I believe this was a picture my brother took because I had a hard time making it look nice. I had a small sample of this and the puff pastry was very good. This was a dish my friend ordered and she loved it!

So all up, we shared seven savoury plates and three dessert plates. Usually the food is adequate, however, in this case my brother and I were both still a tad hungry. The bill was also less than what I was used to (but that’s because I have a tendency to spend extravagantly), so it would have been nice to order a couple more savoury plates.

Perhaps it was due to dining on a Friday night, perhaps it’s just their policy – it was the two hour dining limit that was the real restriction. We’d arrived fifteen minutes early (for a 6:30PM booking) and finished at 8:15. However, it was a little alarming that during the dessert ordering, we were advised we only had our seats until 8PM, so I had to ask for clarification that we were allocated two hours.

Mindful of this time limit, we asked for the bill as soon as we were done… and then waited until after 8:30, and still no bill. So we had to ask again. This was possibly a teething issue since the restaurant was only about a month old on this visit, and no one actually came to kick us off our barside bench, so I wasn’t even sure if our seats were really booked for 8:30. Minor issue though, I wouldn’t think much of it unless it became consistent.