Often, it’s the simple ideas that resonate the loudest. In a small, narrow space on Bayswater Road, a communal table for 20 serves the kind of unfussy, uncomplicated food that defines idyllic country living. Four courses of produce-driven, wholesome selections are offered via a seasonal menu (scrawled on the window each morning), and there are only two sittings. Why complicate things?
Co-owners Nick Gurney, Aidan Thomas and Brodie Stewart come from design and carpentry backgrounds and the rustic fit-out (think wood beam ceilings and exposed brick walls) is the perfect showcase for their work. Gurney designed the bespoke chairs and the restaurant’s unique table, with sections that flip up when needed, allowing diners to walk through to their seat. In the kitchen are Mike Mu Sung and Tristan Rosier, young talents who previously worked together at Est.
The food reflects such pedigree. An entree of crisp potato skins and aioli with thyme finds a partner in the matching potato bread, which is porous, light, scented with rosemary and is sure to become a favourite dish. Other courses might include the punch of citrusy trout and crisp fennel, spatchcock and heirloom tomatoes, or a heart-warming dessert of pears with meringue, crème fraiche and a syrup drunk with ginger and cinnamon.
Vegetarians and those with allergies need not fear – most dietary requirements can be catered for if the chefs are given enough notice. In true dinner party style, the chefs serve the food and clear the table themselves, taking part in the interactive experience of communal dining.
“We created an individual ethos around the notion of a Farmhouse,” Gurney says “[and] we have applied this ethos to each and every aspect of the project. Genuine, honest, simple, modest.” They’re qualities that you don’t often find in the restaurant business, and which bring a little bit of that country spirit into the heart of the city.
Farmhouse Kings Cross
4/40 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross
Wed to Sun – first sitting at 6.30pm and second sitting at 8.30pm