And not just any pork - I'm dreaming of wonderfully innovative porcine creations like smoked bacon aioli and sweet pork fat fudge that came from chef Paul Cooper's kitchen in the underrated neighbourhood restaurant.
|Pork terrine at the 'I Dream of Pork' dinner at Bishop Sessa, Crown Street, Surry Hills|
Chef Cooper promotes a genuine head-to-tail philosophy, best evidenced in the restaurant's special degustation dinners held regularly throughout the year - like the 'I Dream of Pork' dinner I attended - in addition to its usual degustation offering.
|Upstairs dining room|
This neighbourhood-style generosity extends to the food - before we even looked at our first sip of booze at the pork-themed dinner we were presented with some of the best chicharrón pork rinds in town - light, airy, and all crunch - and then a chunky slice of excellent pork terrine on a bread crisp.
For the I Dream of Pork dinners the restaurant had sourced a rare breed black pig from John Corduke's farm in the south west of NSW - presenting the beast head to tail in a number of wondrous dishes and tastily cute add-ons.
|Honey bread with smoked bacon aioli|
Served with house-baked honeyed brown bread and butter was a small jar of aioli in a novel, on-theme flavour of smoked bacon. Almost everyone bypassed the butter for the ridiculously good aioli which was thoroughly smoky with the true flavours of salty, fatty bacon.
It was quite something, to start the night with a revelation like the smoked bacon aioli and indeed, there were requests throughout the room to bottle and sell the divine spread.
|Salad of pork leg 'bacon', pine needle mayonnaise, wild flora|
Our bacon salad was matched with the Bella Ridge Estate Trebbiano 2013 from Swan Valley, WA which was ideal to cut through the saltiness of the meat.
|Corned pork jowl, jerusalem artichoke reduction, chestnuts, pickled pine mushrooms|
The salted hunk of pork cheek was finished in the pan for a golden top to its deliciously fatty and soft flesh, and was paired thoughtfully with a segment of pickled pine mushroom and a chestnut puree.
Matched with Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay 2013 from Margaret River, this was my favourite dish of the night (perhaps aside from the aioli).
|House made pig's head black pudding, fermented cabbage, caramelised apple puree, pig trotter jus|
While I have no issue with the fabulous, all-sorts type of meat from the pig's head, blood isn't really my thing although the rich, crumbly slab was one of the more refined and reserved versions of black pudding I've had.
The sauerkraut-like cabbage and apple puree were ideal for refreshing relief from the rich pudding and jus, as was the matched Opawa Pinot Noir 2011 from Marlborough, New Zealand.
|Poached pork loin, red wine braised carrots, spatzle, quince, green peppercorns|
While both cuts of pork were beautifully prepared, it was almost a little unfair to put anything up against pork belly with crunchy crackling. The heavier Vina Tobia Seleccion Tempranillo 2009 from Rioja, Spain rounded off the savoury courses and propelled us to sweets - of the porky variety.
|White chocolate and banana pork fat fudge, cinnamon toast, macadamia nuts|
Served atop a cakey version of cinnamon toast with creme anglaise, whole roasted macadamia nuts and a cracker that tasted like it was cooked in pork fat, it was a decadent dessert that ticked the pork box.
It was served with warmed glasses of Maxwell Spiced Mead from McLaren Vale, South Australia which is just about my favourite boozy discovery of the year. A honey wine, it exudes cinnamon, cloves and the spice warmth you associate with winter and mulled wine and was a beyond-perfect match for the pork fat fudge dessert.
I certainly felt like a piggy rolling out of Bishop Sessa that night, but also one that was somewhat enlightened on the whole head-to-tail philosophy. As a neighbourhood restuarant, Bishop Sessa is doing some seriously spectacular things, especially in the pork department where the food is smart, considered and completely dream-worthy.
Food, Booze & Shoes attended the 'I Dream of Pork' dinner at Bishop Sessa as a guest, with thanks to Savannah PR.