08 Mar Bang Bang, Boatbuilders Yard Pop-up
Popping up at The Boatbuilders Yard, Bang Bang RC is giving us a taste of what’s to come and leaving us hanging for more. The permanent restaurant in Elsternwick will be built from scratch, and whilst it’s time consuming, expensive and leaves more potential for things to go wrong, it does allow them to design and create their dream restaurant. These dream plans include the installation of a woodfired grill and big wok burners to recreate authentic flavours.
Owners Richie Ludbrook and Dave Sharry have teamed up with general manager Toby Waite, and Matthew Dunbar (ex-Head Chef Longrain) will be in charge of the kitchen. The owners have quite a bit of experience in the field, also running Riverland, Pilgrim, The Boatbuilders Yard and the Wye River General Store and Cafe.
The menu focuses on Indochine cuisine, with the flavours of Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia coming to the forefront. Grilled Chicken Skewers had been seasoned with a beautiful, flavoursome combination of turmeric and wild ginger, and came with and eggplant and kampot relish. Beef in Betel Leaf was cooked with lemongrass and Vietnamese Mint and were skewered for easy cooking and eating.
The Barramundi Steamed in Banana Leaf came with a thick lemongrass-heavy coating and was partnered with sticky rice, taro chips and a great tomato relish.
They certainly didn’t hold back on the chilli in the green papaya salad, formed with papaya, dried shrimp, snake beans, toasted peanuts and a fat soft shell crab. The lychee sangria came in very handy. Though a little soggy the flavours were good.
There were two banh minis on the pop-up menu. The Chicken Banh Mini was filled with roasted shallot, chilli, lime and green papaya. It really packed a punch with its piquant chilli sauce, and the highlight was of course the juicy, crispy chicken. The other option was the Pork Banh Mini. Slow-braised pork, duck parfait and pickled mustard greens created deeper, more complex flavours than the chicken one, but both of them were the highlights of what we tried.
They’ve taken over Elsternwick’s former rifle range (Caulfield City Rifle Club) and Six Degrees Architects will be helping to transform the site, with plans for Bang Bang RC to open in September.
Disclaimer: I was invited to the Bang Bang RC pop-up as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time