On Wednesday this week I was invited to join Serina Huang and 6 other food bloggers for an indulgent breakfast hosted by Rick De Marco at his new Woden premises, Space Kitchen. Why the name Space Kitchen? Well this eatery sits on the ground floor commercial space in the newest, and prettiest building in Woden – the SkyPark multi storey car park. There is a nod to ‘spaces’ everywhere, from the artwork adorning the walls, the polished concrete flooring reminiscent of a garage, and a vivid yellow crosswalk painted on the floor. The interior is itself spacious, contemporary and airy, with cosy nooks and various table configurations. Perfect for a group outing, or a quiet sit down with friends, or colleagues.
We were introduced to several of Rick’s kitchen staff; Russell his head chef, and kitchen hands Christian, Layla and Raj. Several other staff man the coffee station (aka the Rocket Fuel Station) and the famous incandescent, eyepopping Ricardo’s cake filled cabinet. The cakes for both the Woden and the Ricardo’s Jamison premises all now emerge from the Woden premises. While I was at breakfast, I saw trolley after trolley filled with cakes burst forth from the kitchen to be loaded for delivery to Macquarie.
Rick and his team are passionate, creative folk who enjoy delivering good food, great flavour combinations and don’t shy away from adding in an element of theatre. This is especially evident with their use of dry ice in dispensing truffle oil, and liquid nitrogen to snap freezing raspberries. They have plans on purchasing an industrial sized freeze dryer with ideas of freezing entire watermelons, and pineapples. Ooooh I can’t wait.
We were privileged to try six breakfast dishes, and each one was created right before our eyes. You see, we were seated at a long bar perched adjacent to the kitchen area. It was not only great to see the care and effort involved in creating each dish, but we were able to chat with the staff.
The first dish offered was the Breakfast Fritters. A hearty offering of corn, zucchini and haloumi fritters, nestled next to two poached eggs (oh, all the eggs are Gunning Bum Nuts) drizzled in a feta harissa yoghurt. The corn was fresh, and the fritters deliciously fluffy inside and crisp outside.
Next up was the smoked salmon breakfast. Consisting of a generous serve of in-house tea smoked salmon, avocado, coconut roesti, more poached eggs, a scattering of puffed crunchy grains, with a lime and coconut dressing. The salmon was perfectly cooked and flaked easily and the roesti fluffy and moist.
Bircher Muesli was up next. Now I love a good bircher. Its always my ‘go to’ at a hotel breakfast buffet. The Space Kitchen bircher is up there with the best. A moulded serving of muesli, topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and edible flowers and dotted with blood orange curd, passionfruit caviar, yoghurt and crushed pistachios. Fresh, tangy and filling.
Each of the breakfast dishes were served up first to be photographed by all the bloggers, then passed around to be sampled. The Hotcakes were the next to be offered, and they were delicious. A stack of three perfectly shaped boysenberry hotcakes, topped with a quenelle of coconut mascarpone, and parked next to a lake of blood orange curd studded with a white chocolate crumble and pieces of smashed freeze dried raspberries. This dish could double as dessert, and would be best shared for breakfast.
The Space Kitchen signature dish was next. I say signature, as it has been the most photographed and shared on social media. It is the Space Benedict, a twist on Eggs Benedict. It consists of pulled pork encased in crunch, shaped into a flattened croquette shape (complete with paddle pop stick), sitting on a beetroot hollandaise sauce. Of course the dish wouldn’t be complete without two perfectly poached eggs. There is also pork crackling, brioche crumble and dots of pureed pea here and there. A decadent and very savoury meal that is as good to eat as it was to photograph.
The last dish to be served and sampled was Polenta Waffles. This was by far the most dramatic dish, as dry ice and truffle oil was combined and ‘poured’ over waffles, mushrooms, poached eggs, goats cheese, corn puree and salsa verde. The mushrooms were chunky and fresh, and the waffles savoury and light. The touch of lemon thyme came through and mixed with the truffle oil quite nicely.
My favourite dishes were the Bircher Muesli, the Hotcakes and the Fritters.
Space Kitchen takes pride in sourcing its produce from local sources, including some new mushrooms from a grower in Yass. They aim to provide food that is a little different, without being alienating. Look forward to a living menu, as they like to stay fresh and tweak things up.
They are open from Monday to Saturday from 7.30am to 5.30pm. Weekdays usually attracts the nearby office workers, including myself, and Saturdays are busy all day. Group bookings can be taken for 6+ but they are limited. Space Kitchen is licensed, and will begin late night Friday trading from 6 November 2015.
SpaceKitchen can be found on the Ground Floor of SkyPark, on the corner of Furzer and Worgan Streets Woden. Ph 6281 6668.
My breakfast was courtesy of Space Kitchen.