Andrew McConnell’s Golden Fields opened yesterday on St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street. McConnell’s first solo venture has seen him fulfill a desire to express his interpretation of dishes from his years living in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
‘Modern Asian’ may be the take, but it could also simply be termed ‘Andrew McConnell’s food’, as the chef - who is executive chef (and co-owner of Cumulus Inc. and Cutler & Co.) has drawn broadly from Asian cuisines mixed with his own heritage and training to produce a new version of his own fingerprint. Sea urchin and crisp lardo on flatbread; pork dumplings, fat with steamed dough reminiscent of steamed pork buns; a hot buttered roll filled with crayfish and Kewpi mayonnaise lead the way to poached chicken with sesame paste, housemade rice noodles and chilli and beef brisket with wasabi butter and garlic shoots.
The room was designed by Dion Hall and Nick Cox from Projects of Imagination who, with Andrew, utilised the artisanal skills of ceramicist Shane Kent to create the beautiful dining plates, Robert Hook for his metal work (check out the shelves behind the bar), Zenta Tenaka from Cibi for tableware and Michaela Webb from Studio Round for a pared-back identity. Golden Fields’ cohesion lies in one chef’s desire to execute his interpretation of experience through collaboration to a willing dining audience.