09 Mar Watts Cooking, Surrey Hills
Long-standing local Watts Cooking, has had the privilege of having head chef Darryn Pitman (Crabapple Kitchen) in the kitchen in recent times. Soon rebranding to The Girl and the Goat, it will be an ode to his 12 years spent in the Caribbean, and his Caribbean wife’s pet goats.
The new menu shows some influence from his time spent overseas, and can be seen in dishes like the juicy Jamaican jerk chicken sliders with carrot and cabbage slaw.
Macedon Ranges Duck Breast comes with roast cauliflower, rhubarb, toasted buckwheat and ploughman’s pickle. The duck still retains a blush of pink, and it pairs well with the smooth and creamy cauliflower puree and sweeter rhubarb.
Roasted Cauliflower and Tallegio Croquettes have a heavenly smooth texture and plenty of cheesey flavour, and the accompanying Green Goddess sauce of spring onion and coriander provides a nice lift. Golden nuggets of deliciousness.
The Goat Risotto is a highlight. The tender meat is not gamey, the rice is cooked to al dente and it’s packed with flavour. Pasta is made in house, and tonight we try tortellini filled with spanner crab, lemon ricotta and chives in a beautiful and rich lobster stock with garlic, chilli and parsley.
There are a few things from the grill, including beef skewers, and Borrowdale free range grilled pork loin chop with sweet potato hummus, cumin, sweet roasted baby turnips, pecans and apple cider sauce. A Tostada of crisp chilli salted calamari, grilled chorizo, chipotle, avocado cream and a cucumber, coriander and red onion salad comes next. It’s a little difficult to eat with the abundance of topping, but the calamari is cooked well and I love the extra texture coming in from the crispy toasted rice.
We end with a selection of desserts, including the crispy Profiteroles with vanilla cream, chocolate mousse and mandarin and Cointreau sauce. The Red Wine Poached Figs are beautifully soft, coming with distinctively-flavoured lavender mascarpone, toasted hazelnuts and caramel ice cream. A simple, but well-executed dessert.
Still partway through its rebranding of the menu and interior, be on the look out for their complete transformation.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Watts Cooking as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
147 Union Rd
Surrey Hills, VIC, 3127
(03) 9890 6268