Last night a delightful team called Fervor hosted the second of two pop-up degustation dinners in Kalgoorlie. They are travelling around regional Western Australia putting on dinners using incredible local produce and so far have been to Albany, Esperance and Kalgoorlie. They head to Mukinbudin next and finish in Exmouth.
As their facebook says: “this unique dining experience will showcase fresh local produce, carefully crafted with skill and technique, each dish served as flavourable and unforgettable as the next”. Unforgettable is definitely the right word.
Was at the lookout at the wonderfully scenic Karlkurla Bushland Park. I rarely get to enjoy Karlkurla’s beauty as I’m usually too busy dragging myself around a track, trying to run and breathe and not swear out loud at the same time. Our evening started by watching the sunset and sipping triple distilled Albany gin with tonic and finger lime.
I went with my friends Lauren and Dave. There were about 30 people all up. Or maybe 40? I’m terrible at counting crowds. We were joined by other friends we didn’t know were coming, which was nice.
Even the smog from the nearby roaster looked pretty:
The first thing we ate was crispy saltbush:
It was the most delicious lightly fried bush twig I’ve ever had the pleasure to consume. Amazingly salty.
While at the lookout we also had pepperberry kangaroo biltong with bush tomato chutney, raw marron with finger lime and sea salt gel, poached Albany oyster with finger lime vinaigrette and fried seaweed crackers with seaweed salt and powdered seaweed. Seaweeeeeed.
When the sun dipped below the trees we took our seats and started the ‘official’ courses.
We started with raw Esperance scallop, fermented riberries and juice with sea celery oil:
The sea celery oil was amazing. Lauren savoured hers for about 15 minutes:
Chefs prepping the next course:
Which was Yallingup Marron, lemon myrtle emulsion with handmade sea salt on bark:
We were encouraged to ‘drag’ the marron through the lemon myrtle and then the salt. It was
delicious amazing tasty scrumptious. I’m going to have to get a thesaurus out soon…
Next came local crab with brown butter emulsion, sea blight (a coastal plant), samphire (another edible coastal plant), lilly pillies (also known as Australian cherries) and toast:
I think this was my favourite of the savoury courses.
Karlkurla (also known as silky pear) with buttermilk and macadamia nut oil:
This was the ‘most Kalgoorlie’ of all the courses. The name ‘Kalgoorlie’ is derived from the word Karlkurla which is the local Indigenous word for silky pear. It is obviously also the name of the park we were eating in. It was tasty, but by no means one of my favourites.
The main course (is there a ‘main course’ in a degustation dinner?!) was kangaroo tail with wild rosella puree, red gum ash, macadamias and crispy salt bush leaves:
Which came with potatos, onion, damper and delicious smoked butter. The damper was so good.
For a palate cleanser before dessert we had eucalyptus ice:
This is coal toasted meringue, preserved quandongs, quangong kernel cream, quandong relish with quandong sherbert. Quandong is a local desert fruit.
A hot coal was pushed into each meringue leaving a delicious crispy top. How did the coal not stick?! Magic.
The meringue was delicious and having just joked about deranged and over-dedicated geologists who like to lick rocks we took it upon ourselves to lick every last skerrick of dessert off our rock ‘plates’. It was worth it.
Lining up the jars for milk and honey with seaweed, wattleseed and sandalwood smoke.
All the ingredients were in the jars and then they injected the smoke and snapped the lids shut to keep it in there.
It was a six hand job:
Upon opening the jar the remaining whisps of smoke sneak out leaving you with a deliciously creamy and smokey flavour. This might have been the most delicious dessert I’ve ever tasted.
We then had some bush tea, which was literally hot water poured onto leaves. Not sure what the leaves were but it was tasty.
Then came cinnamon myrtle truffles and fabulously sour charred desert limes:
And marshmallows to finish off with:
It was in all regards an absolutely incredible evening. The Fervor team did an amazing job and were really friendly and happy to chat about how they were prepping the food (and didn’t mind everyone going crazy taking photos, which I appreciate). They mentioned they might be back again, fingers crossed.
There was a shuttle bus to take everyone back through the park to the entrance but my company insisted we hike through the darkened bush. And so we did, singing Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac at the top of our lungs. No doubt to the delight of people in nearby homes.