“We wanted to take normal mac’n’ cheese and jack it up to 11, without making it too ridiculous,” says Jarrod Moore, executive chef at Belleville in Melbourne’s CBD. “But it is all kinds of ridiculously good.”
The cheesy deliciousness Moore refers to is Belleville’s new Jack Cheddar and Truffle Mac & Cheese with bacon-Cheezle crumbs. It’s a secret, off-menu offering you can’t order in-store – it’s only available via Deliveroo.
Moore’s “jacked up” mac’n’ cheese involves macaroni with a three-cheese combination of American Jack cheddar, mozzarella and buffalo cheese delicately infused with white truffle oil. After being baked it’s topped with breadcrumbs cooked down in bacon fat, and toasted cheese.
“It’s super full-on but amazing,” says Moore. “With all that cheese there’s a lot of richness happening. We had a fair bit of fun taste-testing this one to make sure it was just right. It’s definitely a good match with our chicken.”
Belleville’s celebrated chicken has long been finessed according to in-house personal taste. “We put a hell of a lot of time into it,” says Moore, admitting he tucks into his own poultry creations at least three times a week. “There’s the lemon-myrtle and saltwater brining process, and then the slow-cooking on the Brazilian rotisserie for 12 hours,” he says. “Glazing it with miso butter kicks it up another level because the skin goes crispy.”
Belleville’s rotisserie has prime position in the kitchen – rotating up to 90 birds at a time – and it has some other tasty menu companions. There’s the sticky pork hock with burnt-orange and lemongrass caramel; chicken and waffles with chilli-maple syrup; and the ever-popular Belleville poutine, inspired by Moore’s North American roadtrips.
“We did a Peking-duck poutine and won the People’s Choice Award for the best poutine outside of Canada at the La Poutine Week Awards in Montreal,” he says. “It was pretty cool for them to ask us to be a part of it.”
Belleville is down Globe Alley in the CBD. Moore thinks its hidden-away location adds to its allure.
“Our location gives us a nice little bit of mystique,” he says. “You have to seek us out, and you never really know what to expect as you’re walking up the stairs.”
The multi-storey building has led many lives. Most recently a comic book store, it was originally a post office in the early 1900s and, later, a pub.
“There’s still the original windows and the huge cast-iron safe doors,” he says. “You can feel the history when you walk around the place.”
Hungry and near the CBD? Belleville’s Jack Cheddar and Truffle Mac & Cheese with bacon-Cheezle crumbs is available now, only via Deliveroo.
If you’re southside, try Radio Mexico’s black bean with pork and pickled cactus. If you’re northside, try Biggie Smalls’ Piggy Smalls.