ED: Hidden away in the tranquil hills of Hill Crest through a maze of bungalows, you’ll find a little avenue by the name of greenwood which buzzes of quietly elegant sounds of chattering laughter, clattering cutlery and clinking wine glasses. Bronte is situated in the heart of the residential neighborhood and is popular with the surrounding community, many of whom are regulars. Formality is minimal and there is no need for shirts and ties, as there is no need for white table cloths and candles. Inside, Bronte combines style with a casual and inviting dining space which is bright and airy by day, and softly lit by night. The entrance is inset and open-air, creating a seamless divide with the outside.
We were thrilled to be invited down for a tasting session though it appeared more like an Australian family size feast prepared by Bronte’s Head chef, Skater Boy Extraordinaire Chef Justin Wong. Chef Justin was previously an Australian National Pro Skater but with a twist of fate he traded his skateboard with a chef’s cutting board. One would expect a pro skater to be revised with an arsenal of tricks but Justin’s style of cooking is instead unpretentious with no tricks up his chef jacket sleeves.
Garlic Crystal Bay prawns with rocket & served with chargrilled Turkish bread $19
Displaying his food philosophy in his dishes, this dish couldn’t have portrayed it better. Containing only a handful of ingredients, its impeccable freshness and quality speaks for itself. The Crystal Bay prawns were crunchy, succulent and fresh, swimming in a bowl of delicious bread soaking-worthy buttery wine sauce! I only had one problem with the dish – they should have provided me with a whole loaf of that heavenly Turkish bread to soak up every last molecule of sauce!! If there were 3 of me, we would all be on our feet holding perfect 10 score boards for Justin.
What I liked about this dish was how the scallops were cooked to perfection and the fact that Justin made me eat my peas. One has to really do well to make me eat my peas, even my MAMA can’t make me eat my peas. The sweet pea puree had a pleasant natural sweetness to it which goes especially well with the sharpness of parmesan. However, I wished there was more mint dressing on the plate and perhaps a squeeze of lemon would tie the whole dish together even more!
House made duck rillette with beetroot jam and garlic croutons $18
Their house made duck rillette had a pleasant texture on the palate with hints of garlic and herbs, but what really marries the dish is the beetroot jam which provided a little sweetness and tartness. Absolutely genius.
Known as one of Justin’s signature dishes and a house favorite, these beef cheeks are truly sensational. It falls apart with an effortless prod of the knife and its tenderness is almost palpable. The red wine was shiny with a divine consistency as all perfect sauces should be like and had a hint of what I think is vegemite which blew me away. The beef cheeks sat on a cloud of fluffy wonderfully seasoned mash potatoes and came with baby spinach and earthy shitake mushrooms which i couldn’t get enough of.
Green pea risotto with slipper lobster & prosciutto $24
Chef Justin has outdone himself again this time with a more challenging task, getting my dining partners and I to eat pea risotto with visible tiny green balls of unpleasant memories. I actually quite liked this dish! First of all the risotto rice was beautifully cooked to al dente with a playful bite to it. It was silky smooth but not gooey like in some restaurants where chefs stir and mash up the rice, resulting in a overly starchy disgusting undercooked porridge. I loved the little nuggets of slipper lobster which alleviated the sweetness in this dish and the saltiness from the prosciutto and shaved parmesan cheese. Perfect balance.
Skater Chef Justin is no cheapskate when it comes to serving size as shown in all his dishes. This 250g baby right here is definitely worth your money. This piece of steak is from the pristine New England Tablelands at an altitude of 3,300 feet. It is cross-bred with a Black Angus and Wagyu for superior marbling traits. This steak is so beautiful, full flavored, fresh, and blushing medium rare, I want to eat this every day. Sorry Chef Justin but I don’t even need your beautiful sauce for this! Fantastic job mate.
For Weekend Brunch, the menu features traditional & modern classics such as:
■ Eggs benedict & Royale
■ Home made corn fritters with avocado & tomato salsa
■ Signature steak sandwich with onion jam, vine tomato, rocket & aioli on grilled Turkish bread.
8 Greenwood Avenue
Phone: 6219 9151
6pm to 10.30pm daily
9.30am to 2.30pm on Weekends & Public Holidays
11.30am to 2.30pm Weekdays