Waterside fine-dining driving by fire and an ambitious young chef.
A meal at Hearth, inevitably, is going to have plenty to do with the open-flame cooking. But before you get there, just take a second to admire the bread. A neat roll made with spent grain and glazed in honey, it steams enticingly as it’s pulled apart, with subtle smoke in the accompanying butter adding an extra dimension. Smear, bite, repeat.
Not a bad way to start, but there’s more to come: black rice atop creamy stracciatella with sweetness and smoke from candied and fermented carrots and beetroot; a tranche of pull-apart pork belly, cut with quandong and pickled white onion. Fish, too, is a highlight, a fillet of goldband snapper flakes apart at a touch, while sauces of roasted chicken jus, spring-onion and Jerusalem artichoke bring savoury richness, sharpness and depth all at once.
A fillet of goldband snapper flakes apart at a touch, while sauces of roasted chicken jus, spring-onion and Jerusalem artichoke bring savoury richness, sharpness and depth all at once.
This is smart cooking, grounded in technique and executed with grace to match a dining room that combines marble-topped tables with views of Elizabeth Quay, even if the dessert offer – Camembert ice-cream included – might be due for a refresh. But it’s a small gripe when floorstaff are this polished, the wine service – from a list that proudly celebrates the state’s wine regions above everything – is this charming. Been a while? It might be time to gather by the fire