Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest of the restaurant
Bar food. Realm of fried nibbles, chips, olives and the like. But with Melbourne getting more and more invested in sharing plates, bar food is definitely lifting it’s game as well.
In that vein, it’s almost a little unfair to call Kid Boston a bar, if you ask me anyway. The eclectic, brightly coloured and vibrant spot, hidden by a deceptively modest front, is very much a restaurant in it’s own stead. I’m quickly enamoured by the abstract and energetic art pieces, which Nick Wollard, the chef, tells me are painted by local artists, and are available for purchase, should I have a cool thousand or two to spare. Maybe one day…
Although there is a healthy cocktail menu, on this 30 plus degree day, I gravitate towards the lovely gin selection and settle on a lovely Sipsmith with tonic instead and leave our menu decisions in the hands of Nick.
We start with a bowl of fried chickpeas with sumac and black pepper, which are a very moreish way to begin our meal; although it looks to be quite a bit bowl, between the three of us we do demolish it pretty quickly. With a slight crunch on the outside, I could definitely get used to seeing this as finger food in more places.
The kingfish crudo with ponzu, avocado and spring onion was a bit richer than I expected, with the kingfish generously cut into lovely thick slabs and well marinated in the ponzu. Still can't get enough of it, and although the serve is small, it's a lovely way to get the palate excited.
Eggplant is pickled and then roasted and served with sweet juicy tomatoes, tomato oil and yoghurt. There’s a surprising hit of chilli, unexpected but very welcome, and although maybe a little hard to share between three people, is a lovely balance of flavours.
The wild mushrooms with Pedro Ximminiez, served on top of beautifully charred brioche and a duck egg yolk are also a tricky little thing to share…although really you probably shouldn’t be, as this is rich, moreish and very delicious. Just break into that creamy egg yolk, spread it all through your mushrooms and enjoy the slight crisp of the buttery toasted brioche. Beautiful!
I was quite excited for the chicken ribs, which my family have been eating for ages, but I love seeing them on menus at the moment. They’re such a tender and meaty part of the chicken, that’s so much easier to eat than chicken wings! I loved the gochujang with the ribs, giving them a bit of heat and plenty of flavour…and let’s be real here, everything is better with kewpie!
The Jamon iberico is beautiful and glossy, and so delicious, particularly with the charred sourdough bread, lightly rubbed in tomato oil, that simply smells divine.
The bigger dishes come out, starting with the lamb rump that is hay baked for hours, with local garlic and macadamia. Plump, pink and lush, the lamb is tender and juicy, cooked just right, with just a subtle hay aroma that wasn’t too overpowering.
The chicken maryland that is slow cooked with Ras el Hannout, a spice from North Africa and served with sweetcorn was possibly my favourite dish of the night. The sweetcorn was, as the name suggests, so sweet and aromatic, the chicken juicy with a nice bit of heat to it as well.
On the side, I loved the lemon oil that had been drizzled on the heirloom tomato salad with basil, providing an unexpected acidity and citrus zest, although I found the croutons to be a little hard and the kipfler potatoes cooked in duck fat and served with dill? Do I need to say much more?
To finish, a deconstructed cheesecake with dark chocolate, rhubarb and mint, satiated the sweet tooth, just the right size to not push us over the edge with fullness.
Don’t let all those little plates fool you, we were completely stuffed by the end of the meal, and I love the portions, as it’s just right to try a little bit of everything. I did find the theme of the menu to be a bit disjointed, not that I didn’t like it, wandering from Korean flavours to rich duck egg yolks, so asked Nick what his inspiration was for the menu…and to simply put it, just what he would like to see on a menu and eat…looks like we have similar tastes then!
So next time you’re up at the Windsor end of Chapel Street, definitely drop on by and hang out with the big kid.
44 Chapel Street