Czech? Yes please!
I always appreciate my friends and family tagging me in the latest Bottomless Brunches they’ve seen. Recently I had lunch at Lil Miss Piggy with some friends from my local Facebook group, the Darlo Darlings. My friend Mike asked if I had been to the Beast & Co Bottomless Brunch yet. I had not heard of them, so he showed me the menu and it looked fantastic! He connected me with Petra, one of the directors and she invited us to come in and try it. Of course trying to pin Mike down is impossible. In his own words he is “time poor” and that’s just going to get worse now that he has joined Team Clover for the upcoming City of Sydney election. When I asked my friend Kat, she said – maybe, some time in July perhaps? Why so long? Everyone is so busy these days, trying to make up for the time we lost last year it seems an impossible task to find someone with a spare Saturday.
Fast forward a couple of weeks to the semi regular meeting of the Working Witches (when shall we three meet again?) which consisted of my friends Lu and Pixie meeting at The Royal Exhibition for a few wines and a $12.00 steak. Pix was late which was very unusual, he’d hopped on the wrong bus and was heading to Randwick! He finally made it back to Surry Hills a little over an hour late hot, bothered and flustered. Another bottle of wine was ordered, deep breaths were had and the conversation flowed. When’s the next Bottomless asked Pix. What are you doing tomorrow I said? A quick email later and assurances that no raw tomato was kept on the premises (Lu is allergic and if you’ve read my previous blog posts you know I am raw tomato phobic!) and our booking was made. We were heading to Beast & Co the next day for Bottomless Brunch.
I decided to walk up from King St after my lash appointment. Rushing through Hyde Park I was held up by protests, the Falun Gong and the Anti Vaxxers. A strange mix of people to see protesting side by side. I’ll be about 10 or so late I texted, just go in without me. I wandered up past Lumiere Cafe and realised that Beast & Co had taken over the old Bare Grills burger premises, just down the road from The Beresford. Upon arrival I was greeted by Petra and seated with my compatriots from last night.
Hugs and kisses were exchanged and we perused the menu. The deal included all the entrees and a choice of mains to share, then you can add on a Czech doughnut and/or a salted caramel espresso martini for an additional $ 14.00 each. But first? Drinks! I decided to forgo my usual breakfast mimosa in favour of a bottomless margarita which you can have for an additional $ 10.00 and why the hell wouldn’t you?
First up was some delicious bread and butter which Petra explained was sourced locally from the Bread and Butter Project. I must have been living under a rock because I had never heard of them! (both Pix & Lu knew of what Petra spoke.) Founded in 2013 by Bourke Street Bakery, the Bread and Butter Project is a wholesale, artisan bakery that provides training and employment for refugees and asylum seekers. 100 per cent of the bakeries profits are then reinvested back into the business as well as into community training initiatives to ensure the project is sustainable and has a long-lasting impact. Wow! Such amazing bread (which I’ve since noticed in my local Woolworths & Harris Farm.)
I’d never been a big fan of pâté until my dear friend Peter forced his on me one day and I’ve never looked back. As long as I don’t think about where it came from I’m good. Of course I always compare pâtés to that first one (and the many there after) that I had at Peters place and this one did not disappoint. Smooth and creamy it was served with crunchy pickled vegetables, onion jam and some more of that delicious warm bread. Luckily Petra noticed that we still had left over pâté and no more bread (I hate it when the bread runs out!) and immediately offered us more. Of course we gratefully accepted, we couldn’t leave any pâté on the plate, that would be rude!
Next out was this delicious Roasted cabbage. I’ve seen cabbage done a few ways recently on different menus, but I’d never had it roasted. Could cabbage be the new black? It was lightly roasted and served with seasonal pickled stone fruit, red miso, fennel, herb oil and sunflower seeds. The tartness of the stone fruit, the crunchy radish all combined with the lightness of the red miso for a taste sensation.
One of my all time favourite dishes is Steak Tartare. Raw red meat isn’t on the top of everyone’s list but ever since I had it in a little French restaurant in Vietnam I was hooked. I’ve had it at multiple venues across Sydney done multiple ways, from traditional to the cheese and tartare toastie that Jack the Knife used to do. One thing that they all have in common is that I find them impossible to photograph. It always ends up looking like a dogs breakfast no matter what I do. But the taste, Dear Reader, the taste! After one bite Lu declared she would be happy having a whole one of these to herself and she was not wrong (she has since returned several times) We let Lu fold it together (she had been a chef in another life so she was supremely qualified.) The tartare was served with capers, a slow cooked egg, pickled vegetables and garlic crostini and boy was it garlicky! We discussed the fact that none of us would be kissing anyone this afternoon and laughed.
The next dish was certainly a surprise to me! I was under the impression that risotto was made from rice and only rice. This dish came out and it was like no rice I had ever seen, that’s because it was barley! Instead of the usual Arborio rice, this risotto uses pearl barley for a dish as creamy as traditional risotto, but with a more toothsome texture. I’m not exactly a mushroom enthusiast. I like them well enough but probably wouldn’t order a whole dish that was based around mushrooms, but in this case that would have been a huge mistake. I couldn’t get enough of this mushroom risotto. From the crispy enokis to the delicious oyster mushrooms. This flavoursome, yet delicate dish is one you won’t want to miss.
A choice of mains was next and we all agreed that we were definitely not be having the farmers pick (Pixie is English and allergic to most vegetables) and we were a bit hung over and fish would just not do (no offense to the veges or peskies.) We decided right from the get go that we would be having the pork belly for our main. No ifs, ands or buts. This succulent slow cooked pork belly was served with roasted Brussel sprouts (surprisingly one of the only vegetables Pix will actually eat) carrot puree (if it’s blended it doesn’t count as a vegetable) and sautéed onion. It was a truly excellent dish and the crackling was deliciously crispy. They really need to start doing Sunday Roast there as well because this pork scrumptious!
Of course we weren’t going to stop there! We had to try the Czech Doughnut. While we waited I asked Petra about her unusual logo, a bird sitting on a spoon. She told me that in Czech her last name means spoon and her partners last name means black bird. It looks great on these wine glasses, so you know where to fill the glass for RSA and is much cooler than your standard line. Selling print for a living I am always interested to hear the reasoning behind logos and/or design and and how it can be used across multi media, but I digress.
You won’t leave the Beast & Co Bottomless hungry that’s for sure. We were stuffed to the gills, but we weren’t going to leave without trying the doughnut. Served with plum chutney, an assortment of mixed berries and ice cream we shared this delectable morsel between the three of us.
Of course the only way to finish this bottomless is with this fantastic salted caramel martini (additional $ 14.00.) Made from vodka, Baileys and salted caramel it was rich and smooth, creamy but not too creamy and the perfect way to end our meal. As we said our goodbyes to Petra promising to return soon we waddled towards the door. Where to now? Stupidly we chose to kick on (you’d think I’d have learnt my lesson by now!) I popped home for a quick nap and thence out to Darlinghurst Theatre for a little cabaret, much the worse for wear. But that Dear Reader is another story…
This Bottomless was in May 2021 when we could all hug each other, laugh, eat, drink and go to a show together. Stay safe Greater Sydney – see you on the flip side. Donna x
📍 where – 425 Bourke St Surry Hills
🌏 www – https://www.beastandco.com.au/
🍑🍊🥂🍷🍻🌹Drinks – $30 includes bellinis, mimosas, sparkling, rosé, sav blanc, Shiraz and tap beer. For $10 more add bottomless Margaritas 🍸
💵 how much – $49 for food $30 for drinks
🥬🥖🧈🧅🐷🐟 food – set menu. Share sides and choose for the table one of 3 mains.
⌚️ how long – 2 hours
🗓 when – Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 3pm
This is such excellent writing & I’m actually drooling up here in Cairns as I’m reading. Donna, your descriptions are finely tuned & paint an evocative picture for us readers who cannot partake. I also love your story telling: weaving bits of interesting tit bits about you & your guests to make what’s a good read rather than a bog standard restaurant review. I’d like a slice of your literary cake, please.
Thank you for your kind words Robert. Sitting alone in lockdown it’s nice to know someone read and enjoyed my post. So thank you again from the bottom of my heart ❤️ it means the world to me. X