08 Feb West of Kin, Braybrook Take 2
West of Kin has a new Head Chef, and with the passing of the baton comes a menu change. Dean Alsford has an impressive resume, covering the likes of Movida, Fat Duck, Tokyo Tina, Nieuw Amsterdam, and EXP restaurant, so with some excitement, we return to see what direction Alsford has taken with the food.
It’s basically the same concept as before, a fusion of Asian flavours with modern techniques. There’s a range of delights to be found, from the tender, charred grilled ox tongue skewer, coated with teriyaki, to the Chicken and Bitter Leaf Salad, which comes with a creamy, slightly zingy dressing.
The Pork and House-kimchi Gyoza, sit in a ponzu-based sauce. Unfortunately they’re a little salty and the crimped part of the gyoza skins are a bit underdone.
One of the highlights is the refreshing Kingfish Ceviche with dobs of avocado puree and textures of sliced daikon and apple, spiked with spicy Sriracha, and dressed up with some nutty rice.
We start to move to the more robust flavours. A vegetarian dish of grilled asparagus, mushrooms, and 63C egg is teamed with a squiggling of Korean BBQ sauce. The slightly spicy sauce is quite vinegary, probably a bit too pungent if mixed all together at once, so add to taste. Something like furikake adds a neat salty element, and the wild rice gives the dish further nutty crunch.
The DIY pork belly bao is very good, the bao being perfectly warm and fluffy. For groups there’s a whole BBQ chicken, which is charred and very juicy, seasoned with a flavoursome and spicy gochujang. Even the leaner breast parts are perfectly cooked.
For desserts there’s the very coconut panna cotta, set in the glass and topped with berries and a rich chocolate mousse. The Kaffir Lime and Ginger Creme Brulee is a bit watery and not quite smooth, but there’s a great brulee crust, and the flavours and are interesting and refreshing to eat.
Changes in the kitchen have the potential to go either way. Thankfully the quality of the offering at West of Kin is still high, and it remains a little oasis of food in this industrial area.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to West of Kin. Opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time of the visit.
West of Kin
17 Lacy St
Braybrook, VIC, 3019
(03) 9317 7553