Bang Bang Espresso Bar: The Farmed Table

Reservoir Street on Surry Hills was a whisper of activity on a Saturday night, a more reserved version its morning persona. BUT, not just like any other little cafe in Surry Hills, Bang Bang Espresso Bar is home to 'The Farmed Table' pop-up every Saturday. Personally, I've always found the 'farm to table' concept a bit suspicious, with more of  hipster intent than one inspired by sustainable cuisine. However, with this meal, I finally saw the light. Chef Brendan Cato's pursuit for unimpeachable produce with the strong emphasis on use of seasonal and the freshest ingredients resonating strongly within me.

This round, we were delighted with produce hailing from the Hawkesbury + Hunter Region. This was the real deal... with entirely all the produce grown, nurtured or caught from within 50km radius of each other, showcasing the best that region has to offer.

We began the night with 2 sharing dishes and a slurry of wines (which I will introduce to you later). Smoked Muscat farm tomatoes, fermented green chili and cured mullet roe. A light and crisp dish with the clever use of smoke for additional profoundness.

Charred Broccoli shoots, sweet corn, Binnorie Dairy Cows fetta. Fresh, attractive and non-interventionist way of cooking, the slight puddle of sweet corn puree, a delight to mop up with the bitter florets of the broccoli.

I cringed when my eyes lingered past the word 'trevally' on the menu, recalling my less than pleasant experience with this fishy specimen. However, the next dish of Hawkesbury trevally, fennel, foraged sea plants, mandarin fought fire with my fears and drenched any existing sparks there was. Beautifully blushed cuts of fish scooping in and out of foraged sea plants as if still alive on the plate, the fennel puree grounding the dish with polished minerals and the sprinkle of freeze dried mandarin, acidity and crunch. I knew whatever I was in for next... it would be good.

And so, there was the Redgate farm duck confit, beetroot, wild weeds, grapefruit. This was everything I could ask for in a duck confit, in other words, perfect. The sheer quality of the ingredients shine through, making this an absolute joy to relinquish in. Crisp skin with the sheath of duck fat rendered down, the flesh beneath was tender and utterly rich in flavor, expressing the duck's contentment in life as he wandered the 'free-roaming' farms in Redgate, near Maitland. Once again, the use of an earthy root vegetable reminding us of humble beginnings that can be harvested and elevated by the conscientious. The refreshing grapefruit, offsetting the plush balance; that is how the pros do it.

Merry-making was an easy subject to broach given the free flow of Macquriedale bio-dynamic/ natural wines around the table. That night featured a 2013 chardonnay and a 2011 merlot. Perfect pairings to the sublime menu.

Two thumbs up to the service here at Bang Bang where it was non-intrusive, casual yet charmingly private at the same time with waitresses getting feedback with every course as they filled your glasses earnestly.

Last of all, we bid farewell with a Strawberries, rhubarb, sabayon + fennel meringue dessert. A sweet haze of stewed strawberries and rhubarb sitting in a creamy frothy pool of sabyon and topped with fragile shards of fennel meringue that just melts in your mouth. Such a superb way to cap the meal.

$55 for a 5 course meal or $80 with the wine flight. This officially makes it to my must-eat lists in Sydney. NO gimmicks, no fancy props, just good honest produce, a brilliant mind behind sustainable cuisine and good recipes. Nothing veers off the cool, perfect path of execution.

Bang Bang Espresso Bar
113 Reservoir Street
Surry Hills

The Farmed Table

Bangbang Espresso Bar and Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. You seem to have visited all cafes in Surry Hills.. haha :D

    1. neh.. still lots that i haven't explored yet. *beams*..



Meet Sihan

Snap Eat Love is Lee Sihan. 27 going on 28, she is a dessert enthusiast, food nomad, wanderer of lands and a pastry chef currently working in Sydney. Fueled by a lifelong addiction to all things sweet, and a burning desire to travel the globe follow her as she embarks on delicious escapades both in and out of the kitchen

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