Friday, January 3, 2014

Fat Rupert's on the BBQ, first Sunday of the month

If the feasting of the festive season hasn't defeated you, head east this Sunday for the American BBQ at Fat Rupert's in Bondi; a monthly event at the small bar/restaurant that was formerly The Flying Squirrel.

As the name doesn't suggest, Fat Rupert's is named after the owners' previously overweight pet dog. Former media exec Aaron Pearce took over the venue in a mid-2013 career change and has instilled a food menu and philosophy of "Simple. Seasonal. Satisfying" under Canadian head chef, Eli Challenger.

Inside Fat Rupert's, Bondi Road, Bondi
Pearce has ambitious plans for growing Fat Rupert's in early 2014, including a renovation of the upstairs current office area to become function space. The decor presently features cute quirks that aren't overworked, plenty of natural light and affable wood tones throughout the venue.

Meanwhile on the menu, chef Challenger is enthusiastic about sourcing quality local produce that's in season, serving it simply when it's at it's best.

While the concepts of food seasonality and sustainability are relatively new in the Australian restaurant scene, Challenger shares that this is old hat in Canada, having gleaned many of these philosophies from the western coastal states of the US. Gluten free is almost standard given the area, with the menu putting asterisks next to items that are not gluten free.

Espresso martini
As it was brunch, I allowed myself the caffeine hit of an espresso martini from the straightforward bar menu. Pretty with crema foam, a chocolate dusting and decorative coffee beans, it was both a little sweet and watery at the same time.

Buttermilk fried chicken with red cabbage slaw
On the first Sunday of every month, chef Challenger puts on an American BBQ lunch menu in contrast to the venue's usual modern Australian seasonal share plates menu.

I wasn't complaining when I could have fried chicken for brunch in a crisp, well-seasoned buttermilk batter, drizzled with a guilt-inducing but delicious honey butter. The chicken was served on a red cabbage slaw, somewhat alleviating the damage.

Pulled pork burger with apple slaw and salad
There was also the increasingly ubiquitous appearance of pulled pork, as any good American BBQ should have, served generously in a soft toasted bun with a tangy apple and radish slaw and lurid orange chipotle sauce.

Best eaten with cutlery, the burger was a smoky and meaty delight that may challenge some new year's resolutions, although the additional side was, not chips, but a healthy cos lettuce, cherry tomato and parmesan cheese salad.

I subscribe to the idea of "everything in moderation", so as long as we don't take our lead from Fat Rupert (the dog), 2014 - or at least January - should be free of resolution-breaking.

Food, booze and shoes dined at Fat Rupert's as a guest.

Fat Rupert's on Urbanspoon


Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

love the new look tina! happy new year and what a great post to begin the new year. american food has sure hit the sydney town hard and everyone seems to enjoy it!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Like the new blog look Tina! New year new look :)

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Who can complain about fried chicken indeed! Happy new year Tina - love the new banner!

Tina said...

Hi Tina - Thanks :) Can't say I love American food, but can't say I don't have a thing for fried chicken either!

Hi Lorraine - Thank you :)

Hi Helen - Thanks a lot :)

Jade Graham said...

She said it was a huge hit. Then she asked me if I had any ideas for a cilantro cucumber topping. Food Truck Catering


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