04 Apr SMAK Food House, South Yarra
With a focus on nutritious and delicious food, SMÄK’s philosophy fits right in with health-conscious South Yarra. For those who don’t speak Swedish or Norwegian, which is most of us, it’s pronounced ‘smark’ meaning ‘taste’. As with its name, its interior design is in a minimalist Scandinavian-style of polished concrete and blond wood. SMÄK also tries to use sustainable produce from local suppliers within a 100km radius. There are plenty of salads, and also options for coeliacs and vegetarians.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that highlights the skills of the kitchen. There’s an order of fried eggs on Dench sourdough. The request for the addition of field mushrooms doesn’t result in too much on the plate. I don’t try much of the dish, but am told it was simplicity done well.
I pick the Spanner Crab Omelette with chilli, kale, spring onion and XO dressing. Little did I know I would receive omelette bigger than my face. Not only is it large in diameter, it’s quite thick and full of ingredients. Although the crispy kale does add some salinity, it needs more seasoning and I wish there is more of that tasty XO sauce to go around.
SMAK’s Matcha Waffle is a pretty thing. Pinks and reds join the green of the matcha waffle, in the form of fresh strawberries, air-dried raspberries, and strawberry ice cream. There’s also a strawberry yoghurt that adds moisture and tang. We can see the matcha dusted on top of the waffle, and there’s a slight greenish tinge in the batter, but the taste of matcha is not quite apparent. Strawberry was the flavour I actively avoided when I encountered tubs of tri-coloured ice cream as a child. Here the strawberry ice cream is intensely flavoured, and I’m pleased to say, is much better than supermarket Neapolitan.
We revisit SMAK after a menu change and there are plenty of new things to explore. First, a hot drink. Although this is the first time I’ve had soy milk in a matcha latte, it’s one of the best matcha lattes I’ve had to date. It has a good matcha flavour, isn’t too bitter or sweet, and the ceramic cup adds to the blissful experience of enjoying it.
Their Baked Eggs are rather handsome-looking. The pan is full of a great variety of ingredients including Kaiserfleisch bacon, grilled chorizo, sugo, smoked scamorza, and padron peppers. The padron peppers blow our socks off, but we can’t stop eating it. It doesn’t have a one-dimensional, tangy tomato flavour like I find with many baked eggs. As a result, the Dench sourdough is eagerly used to scoop up the remaining sauce and bits of egg at the bottom of the pan.
We’d heard good things about SMAK’s wagyu burger, and it doesn’t disappoint. With the addition of cheese and bacon, it becomes a pricey but gourmet version of a classic burger, with the wagyu, Kaiserfleish bacon, brioche and sweet potato fries. The Kaiserfleisch is a tasty addition to the burger, and isn’t too salty. The beef patty is very juicy and retains a blush of pink, and the brioche bun doesn’t disintegrate despite all the juices flowing everywhere. Of course, you can’t beat good sweet potato fries either.
To provide some sort of balance in our lunch choices, a Macro Bowl is ordered too. The bowl is filled with a colourful display of roasted sriracha pumpkin, smashed avocado, hummus, zoodles, turmeric infused cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and almond crumbed chicken. A dish of a sweet and viscous dressing is provided, but I enjoy the flavours of the Macro Bowl without it. Sometimes macro bowls can taste a little beige, but I love the flavour and smooth texture the hummus gives the dish when it’s all mixed up.
Nutritious doesn’t always mean boring, and at SMAK Food House you’ll be able to find a solid feed that’s good for you too.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to SMAK Foodhouse on one occasion. Opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time of the visit.
SMÄK Food House
6 Daly St
South Yarra, VIC, 3141
(03) 8560 2146