A cut above other beef, the marbled meat from South Australia’s acclaimed boutique cattle farm Mayura Station is carved from “open grass-fed cows, wet-aged for two to three months”. This explains the buttery, slightly nutty flavours that glide across our palates, while we relish the juiciness from its well-calibrated meat-fat ratio.
It’s nuggets of information like these – courtesy of the modern Australian restaurant’s clearly knowledgeable manager – that differentiate our meal from your typical slapdash business lunch in the CBD. Today, in an elongated space with fun, tongue-in-cheek murals (picture a painting of a pig with the words “All animals are equal, but some are more equal” scrawled across it), we’re ordering from the a la carte menu.
This consists of small plates that are dished out from an open kitchen. Our courses are served at a sensible pace – swift but giving us enough time to savour the organic Lucy Margaux Pinot Noir from Adelaide Hills. The dish of hamachi collar with lard and beans nudges my senses into near overdrive as I pick out the silkiness from the fish oils, the charred top notes from the grill, and a slight brininess accentuated by a hint of salt.
But the most engaging treat to discover is the charcuterie. We mop up oxtail rillettes and other cured meats with toasted flatbread. There’s the creamy lardo, pig fat that we’re told has been cured in salts and aromatics. Chef Drew Nocente, an Australian of Italian heritage, tells us that all the flavours are in the fats, and that he likes working with lesser-known cuts of meat. I remark that the velvety pate tastes like a sweeter, more mellow version of pig liver. Nocente replies that it’s actually pig head terrine I’m slathering onto the flatbread. “I usually tell my guests to just try what’s there, before telling them what it is,” he offers cheekily.
What’s interesting is that there’s even a beer pairing option ($58 per flight) to go with the chef’s tasting menu ($75 per person) – perfect for those who want to indulge. Salted and Hung is also serving a weekend brunch featuring charcuterie, antipasti and meat platters.
SALTED & HUNG
12 Purvis Street, S(188591)