The Broadsheet Kitchen

Broadsheet’s done restaurants before, but Broadsheet Kitchen at Scott Pickett’s renowned eatery Saint Crispin is by far the most ambitious. It started with a nationwide search for emerging chefs and restaurateurs with an idea for a bold new food concept. The first resident chef Ryan Dolan – who comes direct from acclaimed Melbourne restaurant Ramblr – impressed the judges with his bold restaurant concept, Cabale.

Queenslander Dolan spent six years cooking in Lyon, France, where he discovered the French dining concept of bistronomy, which focuses on small-batch produce elevated with technique, served in a laid-back, lively setting. It’s a movement that once upended the French fine-dining establishment, throwing Michelin into a tizz.

Cabale hopes to introduce guests to a dining style they may not be used to.

At Cabale, there are no share plates (so no quibbling over what to order). And there’s a buzzing atmosphere and a genuine roar of conversation not propped up by blaring music (though the tunes are a highlight – Dolan calls his playlist “voodoo rockabilly speakeasy”). The menu is tight – there are just three options each (and a special or two) for entree, main and dessert.

First up: snacks. Flamed ox tongue so tender it’s a marvel they even managed to skewer the cube of meat; compressed baby cucumbers with lemon-balm oil, topped with zigzagged goat’s curd and nigella seeds; and puffed seaweed biscuits with rilette of clam and fresh tomato. The standout mouthful is the comté gougère, a tiny profiterole stuffed to the edges with glossy cheese the texture of custard. Any bigger and they might be too rich for one bite, but at 50-cent-coin size, you feel like you could down 30.

The Moreton Bay bug excellently expresses caramelisation. The flesh is crisped and golden on one side like a grilled prawn in its shell, served in an equally crustaceous bisque. The vegetarian main is kohlrabi, sliced thin and layered with purple mustard (purple thanks to a wine-esque grape-must ferment) before it’s baked, then pressed overnight. It lounges in a punchy sweet-and-savoury onion broth with fresh peas and a sheet of lightly pickled kohlrabi draped over the top.

Desserts stick to simple flavours. Goat's milk ice-cream, blueberry sorbet, fresh blueberries and bee-pollen meringue, and a moreish chocolate marquis (firm, dark chocolate mousse) with ice-cream made from dried bananas. If you do happen to be trading mouthfuls with your neighbour, go chocolate first and finish with the almost effervescent swirl of blueberries and goat's milk.

Ryan Dolan’s Cabale will be in residence at the Broadsheet Kitchen until January 26.

Updated: November 12th, 2018

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