37 Dukes Walk
A few weeks ago, we were invited to the newly opened Shed 5, which sits alongside the likes of Akachochin and the Sharing House, adding a touch of Mediterranean to the host of restaurants and bars quietly taking over South Wharf.
Our gracious host, owner Stan Sarris regales us with stories of how he grew up sharing food round the table, and Shed 5 is very much based around this concept. Greek Sicilian Cyprian Spanish Italian influences feature throughout the menu.
The first thing I fell in love with was the house made bread. Those gorgeous long loaves of flat bread were beautifully fragrant of sesame seeds and unanimously more-ish.
flatbread, fava puree, fried chickpeas, shallots & hazelnuts // ‘nduja & mozzarella croquettes, oregano & rosemary aioli // saganaki cheese, grilled onions, roasted peppers, barberry
The fava puree is quite velvety, with crunchy bites of airy golden fried chickpeas and roasted hazelnuts, and hints of mint, garlic, onions. I would take any excuse to get at more of that flatbread.
I adored the spicy kick of ‘Nduja at Bocca di Lupo, but this was much milder. The mozzarella was wonderfully creamy and light encased in a light crunchy golden batter.
The saganaki cheese was divine. In Greece, they use honey, but here they use wholesome soft vibrant peppers & red onions for a touch of sweetness. We were lucky in that the pans were fresh out of the wood-fired oven and straight onto our tables. The sides of the kefalograviera cheese, (a handful of a name, saganaki refers to the style of cooking not the cheese itself, but boy was it a rich molten oozy mouthful) were tinged by a dark golden cheesy crust from where it seared off in the oven.
smoked eel, ocean trout, capers, sherry rillettes // cyprian lamb & pork meatballs, tomato & cinnamon sauce, truffled pecorino // slow cooked wa octopus, saffron kipflers, capers, sorrel mayo
A layer of golden butter sealed the smoked eel & ocean trout jar - subtle in flavour and less of a spread, more of a rough blend of the two, making for a substantial bite.
The octopus is braised gently before being finished in the wood-fired oven.
slow roasted lamb neck, dates, pinenuts, capers // king green prawns, barrel aged feta, tomatoes, sorrel // bannockburn half chicken, green raisins, pinenuts, roasted chestnut dolmades
The lamb neck fell apart easily but wasn’t gelatinous or as juicy as I had hoped given it was slow roasted for 12 hours. But those dates, they were caramelised warm sticky rich slow bites. Bites of pure pleasure.
Chickens don’t excite me. This was roasted in the wood-fire oven for 16 hours - the skin of the chicken drumstick was lightly crisp, the flesh was silky and juicy. The other parts, not so much.
spiced halva semifreddo, quince sorbet, salted caramel, ricotta doughnut // goats milk crema, walnut baklava, chocolate & coffee sorbet, metaxa jelly
I have to say the starters and the sweet treats were my favourites. Cool creamy semifreddo with thick salted caramel. But the crema stole the spotlight. You hear cream, you hear coffee, and visually it looks like an affogatto - I expected it to be heavy, but it’s a remarkably light dessert. Crunchy biscotti to the side, you have soft silky textures of light goat’s milk pannacotta, flaky light baklava crumbs, and smooth icy espresso sorbet.
Mediterranean cuisine isn’t something I go for very often, but the menu has its interesting quirks. The saganaki cheese with the soft peppers, those caramelised dates, that housemade bread. On the cards are suckling pigs, whole goats, salt crusted fish for large groups to pre-order. Not a bad idea.
NOTE: I was extended an invitation by Shed 5 & Gun Communications, and this review is based solely on my personal thoughts of the atmosphere, the quality and aesthetics of the food & sweets treats we were presented with on the night.