Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fat Belly Everyone

The Wife's dad turned 60 last week and we all headed off to Brunswick Heads to stay together in a house, drink beer and coffee, eat and generally celebrate the occasion in a low key way. At least thats what Neil wanted. The Wife knows how much he likes seeing his family and friends though, so using the fully operation awesome power of Facebook, organised for them all to be in Brunswick for dinner on the Saturday night.

The Wife organised dinner at fatbellykat, which by pure fluke happened to be across the road from our house. Kat's is a greek resteraunt, with a strong emphasis on shared food, so after much consultation The Wife decided on the following menu.

1. Natural Oysters
2. Hand-made Spring Onion Flatbread with Dips
3. Smoked Fish Fritters with Tomato Marmalade + Creme Fraiche

1. Layered Dish of Marinated Pumpkin, Eggplant Chips + Herbed Sheep's Milk Labna
2. Confit Duck & Kipfler Potato Dolmades with Orange Yoghurt
3. Shredded Lamb Filo Pastries

1. Kataifi Crema topped with mastic flavoured custard and finished with cream, cinnamon and almonds
2. Greek donuts soaked in honey syrup served with hand-made vanilla bean icecream and praline
3. Chocolate Mousse

At this point i'd like to point out that The Wife, who after 10+ years of scientific training can make a chinese military unit look disorganised and the head of the spanish inquisition feel like he can't get a question in, was very impressed with the level of service and the speed of response times. Little things like a suggestion to change from on big cake to three small desserts showed an attention to detail and understanding the individual customers needs, that you don't always get.

On to the food!

Having grown up with oysters straight off the rocks, I don't have the love affair with them that some people do. The consensus was that they were very fresh and had great flavour. The fish fritters were light and very tasty, but the winner of the entree and for me, the whole night was the flatbread. The texture! The flavour! The dips, mmm oh so garlicy. I will be having a crack at flatbread again and again till i get it right, because i could think of nothing better than having a few mates round with some cold beers and getting stuck in to a plate of this.

The mains sharing plates came out and i hit the only down note of the entire evening. I love pumpkin, especially when you slow roast in and caramelise all those natural sugars. I'm not sure what the marinade was but it just didn't sit well with the pumpkin, though to be fair this might be traditional greek combination and other people on my table loved it. The duck confit dolmades were a win, but then you'd be pretty hard up if you ruined something with confit in it. I loved the soft lamb in the crunchy filo pastries, though a few people weren't fans, but i thought they had a great balance of flavour and i love the texture of a good filo done right.

By the time dessert came around I was pretty full, but the dainty three desserts on the plate were tempting enough to dig in. The mousse was first and it was light and rich, then i tried the honey soaked donut. WOW. I need that recipe. It was something else, not sickly sweet, with a fantastically doughy texture, I polished it off and sadly the custard was left behind.

The staff at fatbellykat were superb, there is no other word for it. When i ran The Alley and we were on form it was like this, the staff genuinely wanted to make your night as enjoyable as possible, Damian made sure that we had everything we needed and it all ran smoothly, he even encouraged The Wife to get up and do a speech. We weren't the quietest bunch, but the staff and owners obviously enjoyed the communal atmosphere, there were no dirty looks or a feeling that we should tone it down.

The food was great, thanks Kat, the staff and the night were likewise, if you are in that part of the world, check it out!


  1. KatKanKook that’s for sure. For the record, my favorite was the pumpkin main. Each to their own tastes! What a brilliant night, one that Dad and everyone who came can cherish forever. Happy birthday Dad.