Hearth & Soul: Review
Hearth & Soul
528 King St, Newtown, NSW
Thursday to Friday 6 – 10pm
Saturday 10am – 3pm, 6 – 10pm
Sunday 10am – 3pm
0473 907 481
Dining at Hearth & Soul is a joyful and tastebud-exploding adventure which will you leave feeling all that warmth that comes from eating heart, body and soul-nourishing food in a beautiful space with some fantastic people.
Hunter and Bligh got the opportunity to visit Hearth & Soul to taste their food and explore their eclectic dining experience. The chef and owner, Rachel Jelley, is passionate about all things food, nature and beauty, which all come together in her kitchen and onto our plates in Hearth & Soul. Rachel is a conscious cook and her mission is simply to guide her guests into loving and respecting nature and the food that springs forth from it. Hearth & Soul takes pride in their efforts to cook with and serve pasture-raised meat and eggs as well as using as much locally-sourced and organic produce as possible, starting with their own lush garden in the rear of the Newtown based establishment.
Once we arrived, we were seated at the feasting table which was adorned with flowers, candles, moss and seasonal delights. To start, we ordered the seasonal cocktail, the Crimson Snow Apple and Wild Orange Mimosa ($13), which was fresh and delicious, complimenting our choices of entree. First came the roasted local olives with stracciatella, rosemary, olive oil and house-made sourdough ($19). The dish was balanced and indulgent, as the saltiness of the olives cut through the richness of the cheese (a mix of soft stretched curds and cream) and olive oil. Once we had finished the olives, we had more bread to simply soak up the cheese and olive oil – it was so good that it was the highlight savoury dish of the night. After this impressive first dish, we knew we were in for a treat. The second entree came out, looking entirely delicious, however quite unlike what it actually was: spiced heart with labne and fresh herbs ($22). Yes, you read that correctly, heart. As Rachel puts it, don’t be scared, the heart is simply another muscle, and let us tell you; it was spicy, smoky and utterly yum!
After we had demolished the entrees, we ordered our mains. The choices were all so tempting that it was difficult to land on two. However, we finally decided on the pastured pork and bacon terrine with mustard sauce ($33) and the gnocchi with broad bean shoots and a green garlic cream sauce ($30). The best way to describe the pork terrine is relating it to meatloaf, except it’s pork with cabbage layers. Bearing in mind, this pork belly is minced and spiked with pastured bacon, white wine and herbs that’s layered with the cabbage and then baked in water. Ultimately, it is filling and comforting, like something your mum would make that immediately makes the chilly night a bit warmer. The gnocchi, sitting in a creamy sauce was accompanied by broad bean plants and garnished with parmesan cheese, creamy and luxurious. These mains were filling, delightful and delicious.
Last, but certainly not least. Sticky date pudding is a personal favourite and this one was to die for – the best dish of the night. The pudding was the perfect size after the previous meals especially with its beautifully balanced butterscotch sauce which created a sweet but not too sweet sensation. The pudding was spiced with clove, allspice and ginger and was served with dollops of fresh cream that cut through the sweetness. This was the perfect way to finish off the night.
Ultimately, Hearth & Soul was made to be a celebration of nature through food, which it achieves. But it also goes beyond than just delivering good food. The feasting table, where we sat, was set up so that you could turn and have a chat to your neighbour and was decorated brightly and elegantly to match the season. The waitresses and Rachel wore big smiles and were exceedingly polite. The food was delicious, ethically and locally sourced and was quite obviously cooked with love. All of these aspects created a truly enjoyable experience and encouraged us to recommend Hearth & Soul and excite us in the thought of return.