So the pressure was on to find another gem that SB did not know of. I found out about Little Hunter when I was doing some research on the internet on what restaurants to check out when in Melbourne. To put it mildly, I was excited when I found this one!
The restaurant is brand spanking new to the Melbourne food scene. New in the sense that it has only been opened for 6 weeks! There are some established food names in the business group that started this restaurant. US native chef Gavin Baker is in town for this venture. He was one of the sous chefs at The Fat Duck. Pete Evans has interest in this venture, so too are some of the owners and management team of Senoritas and Meatball & Wine Bar.
It has an obscure entrance and is actually located in the basement of 195 Little Collins Street.
Little Hunter focuses on the concept of sharing small plates and the Mains are focused on the excellent meats they specialise in.
The meal started with in-house baked pull-apart herb bread served with chicken skin butter. You heard me, chicken skin butter! It was soooo good and obviously so full of fat but we didn't care. There were even bits of chicken skin in the butter. The bread was deliciously warm and soft.
We then had the Beef on Toast. This dish is a layered dish, subtle and extremely enticing. A slice of toast is the base. It is then topped with chicken liver parfait, and thinly sliced beef eye fillet. The toast is then dressed with chives, pickled capers and shallots. We fell in love with the dish. The beef was melt in your mouth tender, the saltiness of the capers and the creaminess of the chicken liver parfait enhanced the flavours. What a medley of flavours and textures and the best way for you to envision how good it is is to try it out yourself! The photo below does not do justice to the actual dish. I wish I had a clearer picture but it was quite dark down in the basement! :)
Pork crackling topped with paprika and white cheddar was served with apple sauce. It was addictive, the crackling tasted like crackers. It was so light and crispy. As we ploughed through them, it didn't feel like we were eating tons of fat.
Cured Kingfish with seasoned roe, roasted peppers and bay oil. Deliciously light in textures and flavours. A nice offset to the other more robust dishes. The roe had a delightful bite.
The side dish we selected was Grilled cabbage with blue cheese, anchovies and hazelnut vinegar. What a burst of flavours. The strong blue cheese (which we both loved) worked beautifully with the rather crunchy hazelnuts and soft cabbage. Delicious!
I had the Veal Sweetbreads for my main. It was served with sherried veal jus, parsnip mash and onions. The meat was tender and delicious.
SB had the Wood-roasted Pork served with kale, cider vinegar and fresh sausage. He was thoroughly enjoying his main. But there is a funny story to this dish. SB had initially ordered Dry aged Lamb cooked with olives and when the dish came, he thought he was eating lamb but was confused with the flavours he was experiencing. He even made a comment that it didn't taste like lamb but he was throughly enjoying it anyway.
For some unknown reason, I was looking through my photos on the camera and I had another look at a photo of menu that I had taken earlier on and we both realised that he was actually eating pork as the dish had kale in it. But it didn't matter, he enjoyed it so much there was nothing to be upset about. He will just have to come back and try the lamb dish next time!
By the way, the service was great! When we decided to order sparkling water, we were told that it was a flat fee rate and the serves for it would be limitless. We were both impressed by that.
We were so full by the time we finished our mains so we decided not to have any dessert.
I am suitably impressed that Little Hunter turned out to be a great restaurant. The food was of high calibre. The dish of the day for me was the Beef on Toast! Excellente!
Down the Stairs
195 Little Collins St
Tel: +613 9654 0090