I was invited last week to attend another test kitchen, this time for Chester Street Bakery and Bar. This is the fourth venue in Damien Griffith’s growing empire, the others being Limes Hotel, Alfred & Constance and Alfredo’s Pizzeria, all located quite near each other in the Fortitude Valley area.
Chester Street is a little bit different, a multipurpose venue that features a bakery by day and a casual neighbourhood bar by night. Chester Street has been a little while in the making, I first heard buzz about it earlier in the year. Like its sister venues, it has been under careful development and testing in order to ensure everything is perfect prior to opening.
The main feature when checking out Chester Street is the massive blue-tiled wood fired oven, perfect for baking both breads and pizzas. Designer Alexander Lotersztain, who created the fabulousness of the other Griffith’s venues, also designed Chester Street, which has ended up being quite a funky little space.
Our shared starters were:
Spring Creek Mountain chips roasted in duck fat with truffle salt, with a side of aioli these were so crunchy and irresistable.
Creamy hummus with spiced lamb and pinenuts with olive sourdough: this was a classic combination of middle eastern flavours, and once we got a taste of this awesome olive sourdough we only wanted more. It was hard to divide the one slice up between us!
Cured meats and local cheeses, marinated olives, oat cakes, quince confit and fruit loaf. I love a good plate of nibblies, and this one was excellent. The brie in the centre was so creamy it oozed everywhere and was just divine. Again, the fruit loaf from Chester Streets bakery was soft and lovely.
Wood roasted pork belly, radicchio, apple and quince. The pork belly was moist and full of fatty deliciousness, but eating a whole bowl of radicchio was a little much.
Lamb loin chops, tomato, caper and black olive salsa. I was a little skeptical as lamb loin chops are not my favourite style of lamb chop but these were served pink and moist with the fat rendered a little crunchy.
Claire ordered the Duck and field mushroom pie with farmhouse pear chutney, which I didn’t have any of as I have a **mushroom phobia** but the pastry looked flakey and buttery.
We were fortunate to be able to taste all four dessert offerings as well:
Strawberries, vanilla cream and crushed meringue, looked just like an Eton’s Mess and considering strawberries are all the rage right now with Ekka being on, was a timely dessert and a classic combination of deliciousness. Ours looked a lot messier than others I have seen.
Chocolate and almond cake with espresso creme fraiche: the cake actually had coffee in it as well as chocolate and almond, and ended up tasting very rich. I love coffee flavours so I liked this one, but others thought it a bit much.
Passionfruit tart was a favourite around the table, the tart was sweet with a little hint of sourness from the fresh passionfruit dolloped on top.
Toffee coated navel oranges, dark rum syrup and orange cake: I ended up liking this more than I thought, as I am not a fan of orange cake. The dark rum syrup was quite strong, but when soaked into the bottom of the orange cake made the cake more moist.
Whilst we were served the dinner menu, which will be available during night-time hours, during the day Chester Street will offer light lunch options that include quiches, filled baguettes and focaccias, pizzas and salads, as well as offering freshly baked bread and baked goods to takeaway (I want to buy some of that olive sourdough). At night, there is a fully stocked bar serving up cocktails, as well as a short wine and beer list.
Chester Street will be open 7 days a week, with dinner being available Tuesday to Saturday only.
**Disclaimer: C was an invited guest of Chester Street Bakery and Bar, and Lucid Media**Chester Street Bakery and Bar 32a Chester Street Newstead Ph 07 3852 4130 Open 7 days Breakfast and Lunch, Tues-Sat for Dinner www.chesterstreet.com.au