Monday, January 30, 2012

Some place: Wilbur's Place

I was looking forward to Wilbur's Place given the well-known golden touch of the guys behind Sydney's much-loved Bourke Street Bakery. Wilbur's Place is their first restaurant venture in the pedestrian-only Llankelly Place in Potts Point.

The concept is quick, simple eats at extremely reasonable prices, while take-away is also encouraged throughout the day. And, conscious of trying not to cannibalise their own businesses, they have maintained minimal crossover between the bakeries and the restaurant.

For example, you won't find any sausage rolls or pies at Wilbur's Place, and nor will you find toasted brioche ice cream sandwiches at Bourke Street Bakery.

Duck liver parfait, pickled fennel and toast from Wilbur's Place, Llankelly Place, Potts Point
It's no surprise to receive complimentary bread with olive oil given the restaurant's heritage, with the white sourdough baked especially for Wilbur's Place.

Adding to the carbohydrate intake, we ordered the duck liver parfait with toast from the more entreé-like beginning of the short but tempting menu.

It was a tile of the most buttery liver parfait I've ever had the pleasure of tasting, and actually spread like soft butter on the thin sourdough toasts, while the pile of wincingly tart pickled fennel cut through the richness and then some.

Warm salad of porchetta, walnuts, apple, endive, fennel, croutons and red wine dressing
The warm porchetta salad reads like a dream and I'd adore it for lunch every day. The thin, domino-sized pork slices - spiced, roasted and interleaved with layers of fat - are a delight to find and eat with whole roasted walnuts and thin, torn sourdough croutons.

The roasted fennel, all charred and caramelly, adds depth while the most perfect red wine dressing finishes the salad with a flourish. It's a salad that will definitely satisfy a healthy appetite.

Duck leg, lentils, witlof, plum chutney and vino cotto
The mains aren't huge, thankfully, as the entreés and complimentary bread are plenty to handle already. The duck leg, with its crispy skin coat and stripped-back drumstick, is one of the richer mains, matched well with the punchy vin cotto dressing and sweetness from the plum chutney and blood plum segments.

I adore puy lentils in any case, but especially when they're a little al dente as in this case and particularly with a gorgeously cooked leg of duck that's full of salty, fatty flavour.

Twice cooked spiced 1/2 spatchcock, chickpea salad, labna, herbs
with a capsicum and red onion jam
Keeping with the poultry theme for the mains, the deep-fried half spatchcock smelt irresistable, as most fried chicken does, and is served with a trio of sauces/sides. The white yoghurt cheese of labna was surprisingly the best 'sauce' for the spatchcock, being creamy and just that little bit tangy.

The red sauce is much like a capsicum romesco sauce while the yellow mush of chickpeas is a new take on hommous, with whole leaves of parsley and mint mixed through for a fresh burst of flavour.

Outdoor dining in Llankelly Place at Wilbur's Place
While there were some interesting desserts on offer that we skipped for fear of bursting stomachs, Wilbur's Place is currently BYO as they await their liquor license. Once that's in place, they'll be serving one artisanal beer and one each of red and white wine to accompany their succinct menu.

Also, they're cash only at this point (the nearest ATM is a convenience store on Darlinghurst Road, I found) but two courses for two came in at less than $65, which is incredibly reasonable for the quality of food and the area. I only wish there were some place like Wilbur's Place in the CBD for a terrific and humble meals on the cheap.

Wilbur's Place on Urbanspoon


JB said...

Wow. $65 is totally reasonable for all that!

Minh said...

Sounds brilliant! I've been wanting to come here for ages, and your description of the Duck Liver Parfait made me so ridiculously hungry lol

Mel said...

Man, I wish I was still living in Darlo. This place looks like a great fun and great food.

gastronomous anonymous said...

i've been wanting to come here for a while now... will definitely check it out! love the sound of the duck liver parfait!!!!

Vivian - vxdollface said...

the name wilbur will always remind me of the pig from charlotte's web ^^" but boy does that food look good, going to check this place out soon!

Dee@foodinhand said...

Hm seems like they've picked up their game! The dinner items also look better conceived as well, yay!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Twice cooked spatchcock and buttery parfait? Yes please!

OohLookBel said...

That duck liver parfait looks so good, as do the other dishes you had. Yes, it's a shame it's a bit out-of-the-way for city workers.

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

You cruel, cruel person! I was so looking forward to seeing a toasted brioche ice-cream sandwich at the end haha.

sugarpuffi said... liver parfait...reminded me that i have a jar of it at home! :D

penny aka jeroxie said...

The duck leg looks amazing... on the list now :)

Richard Elliot said...

I've had this place on my to do list ever since I heard it was opening.

Like you, I just wish it was in the CBD and within striking distance for lunchtimes.

Although the train from out to Kings Cross is pretty quick...

Tina said...

Hi JB - Yeah, loved the pricing :)

Hi Minh - Get thee there ;)

Hi Miss Piggy - I reckon the locals will love this place - casual and cheap.

Hi gastronomous anonymous - The latest and greatest in Potts Point ;)

Hi Vivian - Yes, though not entirely sure there is a Charlotte's Web connection...

Hi Dee - It seems the menu changes quite regularly so I'll be keeping an eye on it :)

Hi Lorraine - Win win, isn't it?

Hi Bel - Perhaps if we hint loudly enough, Wilbur's could come to the city..!

Hi Rita - Haha, so sorry. The sweet-tooths out there must hate me :)

Hi sugarpuffi - I always find restaurant pates much superior to store bought ones, but perhaps I haven't looked enough.

Hi Penny - The ever growing lists... *sigh*

Hi Richard - Hmm, hopping on a train and back for lunch... not sure about the logistics and end cost... ;)


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