Reis and I were honoured to be guests of Mondo Organics Restaurant at West End for lunch on Friday. I had been planning to visit Mondo Organics Restaurant ever since I heard the co-owner, Brenda Fawdon, speak at the Eat Drink Blog Conference last year. I very much admire Brenda’s organic and biodynamic food philosophy which plays out in Mondo’s commitment to purchasing chemical-free food and wine that adheres to strict ecologically sustainable guidelines in its produce. Another thing which makes this restaurant’s food exquisite is that they design their menu around the seasons, meaning that the produce is top quality.Mondo far exceeded my expectations in numerous ways. Firstly, I’d passed the exterior a few times before and from the street it doesn’t look particularly impressive. It’s not that it seems uninviting, nor without atmosphere, it just looks plain and casual. You can imagine my surprise when the waitress, with a big smile, walked us to our tables and placed before us the beautiful hard covered menus. This contrasted the usual waitress welcome of throw and scurry, which would have met my casual restaurant expectations. It was like we were being invited into a home, filled with excitement about sharing in a meal that had been poured over for hours previous with love. The waitress continued to impress me with her knowledge of the menu. I appreciated her recommendations on request, as I often pine over the menu and then get food envy if I think I didn’t make the right decision! As the dishes were presented, the waitress didn’t just say ‘the fish?’ or ‘the pork?’ looking cluelessly at each of us, but rather recalled who it was for and the full name of each dish. This is valuable because you are not only about to eat a meal, but share in an experience. Reis and I love to cook, so we find it a beautiful exercise to discuss and savour the exquisite flavour combinations and cooking techniques as we eat.For his entree, Reis ordered the Leavain ciabatta, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. The ciabatta bread was perfectly balanced – a slightly crisp outer with a fluffy and adequately moist interior.
I ordered the cured local fish, calamari, clams, cress, finger lime and spelt blinis. It was light and filled with citrus flavours, olive oil dressing and a touch of chilli. I loved the blinis through the seafood, it harmonised the textures of the seafood really well.
Mains were incredible. Reis ordered the crispy pork belly, sweet carrot puree, purple cabbage pickle, crispy kale chips. He enjoyed it all but found the cabbage a bit strong in flavour for his own liking. I ordered the pan fried mahi mahi fish with bagna cauda, fennel, pumpkin, kale puree. I cannot adequately describe how enjoyable the kale puree and bagna cauda (a mix of butter, bread crumbs, garlic and anchovies) were as dipping sauces. I was really surprised at the addition of pomegranate seeds, but not only were they perfect for adding colour and texture, the flavours actually worked really well with the dish. Kudos to the chef for this beautiful combination!
Other dishes on the Autumn menu
The following photographs are by Christine KingBreakfast menu: Chia pudding, brown rice flake bircher, grilled stone fruit, Barambah yoghurtBreakfast menu: Smoked white fish, slow-roasted mushrooms, poached eggs, greens, toastLunch and dinner menu: Polenta tart, mushrooms, crispy parsnip, chestnut and sorrel pestoLunch & Dinner menu: Cape grim brisket, smoked cauliflower puree, confit beetroot, broccoliniDessert menu: Fig and cacao tart, fresh figs, Pedro Ximenez ice cream
Mondo cooking classes
If you’re interested in learning from the best, Mondo also offer cooking classes, you can get a taste of these here on my friend Anthony’s blog, Food Me Up Scotty.
166 Hardgrave Road, West End QLD 4101
(07) 3844 1132
Breakfast Saturday & Sunday 8.30 am – 11.30 am
Lunch Friday to Sunday 12 pm – 3 pm
Dinner Wednesday to Saturday 6 pm – late