Saturday, 4 June 2011
'The Kitchen Cat'
Head Chef: Tobie Puttock
Location:115/117 Collins Street,
"Through the doors, down the stairs and beyond the fridges full of house-cured meats lies a humble eatery with simple food made with love"
This sentence greets you as you enter the 'Kitchen Cat's' website, summing up the dining experience perfectly. Tobie Puttock who was the head chef of Melbourne's Fifteen has now opened his own restaurant in the same location. Jamie Oliver's Fifteen has recently (in the last 9 months) been transformed into the rustic Italian style kitchen.
The restaurant embodies good quality produce and a respect when cooking the food. Recently becoming a 'meat eater' after nearly five years of vegetarianism, entering a venue that has cured meat hanging from the ceiling should have seemed quite daunting...
But to my surprise, nothing seemed more natural. Puttock believes in using good quality products that have not been mistreated or wasted (many of the reasons why I decided to eat meat again were very similar to his cooking style)
If the meat has been looked after in every process it has gone through and hasn't abused the animal in anyway, 'we' should be eating meat, in a humane and educated way.
The atmosphere of the place is casual and relaxed, there is an emphasis on shared dining with large wooden communal tables placed throughout the venue. The kitchen was open, allowing you to watch your meal being carefully prepared and cooked.
The menu is simple and affordable, not too many options for vegetarians though. It is interesting how places like 'Vegie Bar' give meat free options, but then limit other patrons. It did make me think how a place like this was limiting people who perhaps have special dietary requirements. But I have to reinforce the idea again, The 'Kitchen Cat' focuses heavily on healthy ways to consume meat products.
When I ate here recently I had a organic free range chicken (literally half a chicken) that had been roasted on a rotisserie with the vegetables cooked beneath soaking up all of the jus. It was orgasmic! The most tender and amazing chicken I have ever consumed, the best part of this meal (one which was just a special for that evening) was when we ordered the wait staff detailed how it would take about 40 minutes for the chicken to cook as they do not pre-prepare meals.
During that 40 minute wait I drank some rather pricey (yet delicious) Cab Sav and consumed a bread selection with Australian olives.
I would highly suggest you try 'The Kitchen Cat' if you would like a home style cooked meal that has been made with love and many other tasty things.