Gabon born French chef Charlotte Gonzales heads up a special venue with a purpose. Song Kitchen is a not for profit restaurant where 100% of profits are given to funding services and support for domestic violence victims. But chances are you haven't yet heard of it.
Open since January 2017 the restaurant has received little coverage. Song Kitchen is next to the Song Hotel, the newly rebranded YWCA. Charlotte's role as Head Chef there follows stints at primarily Merivale restaurants like Felix and Uccello. She arrived in Australia four and a half years ago.
The restaurant space is all about whites and yellows. It's an open glass fronted space with a bar area and this follows through into a dining room and warmly lit pass where diners can watch Charlotte plate up the food. The wine list is curated by Sophie Otton and at least half of the wines on the menu are from female winemakers.
As it is a hotel restaurant it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfasts are more aimed at the traveller that wants something fast while lunches and dinners are designed around fresh, seasonal produce with dishes having a Mediterranean bent to them.
Brandade Croquette + Chipotle Mayo $9
Dear friend Shakti and I decide between the two of us what to order. We start with the brandade and potato croquettes that come four to a serve with a chipotle mayonnaise. They're crunchy on the outside and soft and lightly textured on the inside.
Rabbit Terrine, Apricot and Pistachio, Char Bread $18
We both love the rabbit terrine with apricot and pistachio. This comes with two slices of charred bread, cornichons and greens.
Charred Octopus, hummus, Meyer lemon and Aleppo $18
The char grilled octopus is tender and comes served on a bed of hummus with Meyer lemon and Aleppo chilli. It needs a little salt added to it but the tender octopus and the creamy hummus go perfectly together.
Pappardelle, Slow Braised Lamb Ragu $20
Charlotte says that her favourite dishes are the pasta dishes and her dream is to make more pasta although the space doesn't allow for more than three hand made pasta dishes a day. The pappardelle is silky smooth and thin and comes with a slow braised tomato and lamb ragu with spinach. I'd love a bit more ragu on this but perhaps I'm being greedy. The pastas also come in either an entree or a main size.
Sirloin – 250g Grain Fed, Shoestring Fries, Béarnaise $39
Our other main is the dry aged grain fed sirloin cooked perfectly medium rare. This is a fantastic steak and comes with seasoned shoestring fries and some incredible bearnaise sauce. Like we were both scraping out the sauce from the pot with the fries it was that good.
Coconut and Chocolate Tart, Fig $10
There's always room for dessert and by now we've been sitting and talking for hours so it doesn't feel like there has been too much food. The tart has a shredded coconut base and a chocolate ganache top with a side of fresh fig and a scoop of coconut ice cream.
Lavender Crème Brûlée $10
But out of the two desserts we both fall hard for the lavender creme brulee. With just the right amount of aromatic perfume from the lavender it is silky and creamy on the bottom with a thin toffee crust. Fresh sugared raspberries top the brulee and it's hard to stop at one mouthful. So we don't.
So tell me Dear Reader, what do you think of this initiative? Had you heard of it before? Would this sort of initiative make you want to visit a restaurant more?
This meal was independently paid for.
5/11 Wentworth Ave, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9285 6244
Tuesday to Friday 6–11am, 12–10pm