The party always ends up in the kitchen. Sure, that’s where the booze lives, but it’s also the centre of the home and we gravitate to it. We gossip, drink, do work, flirt, make friends, lets face it life happens in the kitchen. So perhaps its no surprise that Hearth and Soul’s embraces this with a communal dining room around an open kitchen.
Chef and owner Rachel Jelley wanted to create a space where people come together that could feel like she was nourishing her friends every night of the week.
The aroma is the very first thing you’ll notice when you walk in, it’s a blend of floral emanating from the stunning blooms adorning the entire length of the table and something is cooking in wine and butter. The Carpenters are on the playlist and Rachel herself warmly welcomes you. As a ‘conscious kitchen’ they are seasonal obsessed and in a local neighbourhood backyard kinda way.
It’s hard to go past a cocktail du jour, the crimson snow apple and wild orange mimosa. It goes well with diamond shell clams in green garlic butter and chilli for a sweet and savoury beginning. It’s essential to have a side of the homemade bread to mop up the juicy buttery goodness. The subtle pickled eggplant with oozy stracciatella drizzled in fragrant EVOO is a balanced companion. The reasonably priced wine list has some excellently curated local and European wines, opt for a Santuario Malbec with it’s berry undertones which pair well with the slow baked pastured pork, bacon, winter leaf terrine bathing in a mustard sauce to provide an acid balance falling apart on slicing. It’s the hand made dutch cream potato gnocchi that stops the conversation. Some oohs and an OMG slip out eating the softest pillows you’ve ever had – braised in a white wine cream sauce dressed in baby greens and flowers, it’s both a garden and goodness on a plate.
Just off the kitchen is the lounge, yes, just like at home, but way better because someone is about to hand you the dessert menu. A light and fluffy sticky date pudding is drowned in salted caramel and cream. If you were at home in your own kitchen there would be some plate licking. Ok, that actually happened, we asked, “do you think they’ll notice?” They won’t mind if you do, in fact if you’re in the Hearth & Soul kitchen – Home is where the heart is and it’s celebrated.
Look out for the Spring Equinox dinner September 21 and conscious cooking classes on September 29.
Hearth & Soul
528-528A King Street, Newtown NSW 2042
Dinner: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 6pm-10pm
Breakfast & lunch: Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm