Kitchen calls Ben O’Donoghue | Gourmand and Gourmet

Kitchen calls Ben O’Donoghue

  • Food & Booze
It’s clear all good things take time, after Ben O’Donoghue’s Billy Kart Kitchen in Annerley opened its doors this week, a month later than expected. The chef, author, surfer and television presenter’s powers of persuasion (super politeness and man tears) finally secured an electricity connection last week. Huzzah! This weatherboard corner store turned contemporary eatery promises a seasonal and produce driven menu, coupled with warm and welcoming service by Ben and his darling wife, Dee. Anticipate simple and sensational dishes such as a chickpea, potato and cauliflower dosa with cucumber raita and spicy relish. The gin, juniper and beet-cured Ora king salmon with baby beets and dill will have your mouth watering. And the fresh and flavoursome charcuterie, cheese and sushi boards are ideal for those casual afternoon group outings. Billy Kart will also be offering takeaway and an array of mostly gluten free homemade baked goods. We’ll surely be taking home a slice of cake (or four) for a sneaky snack between visits! The last time Ben was in the kitchen was when he presented ‘Surfing the Menu’ with Curtis Stone in the early 2000s. But he’s eager to find his feet again, knowing they’ll ache from working at a relentless pace seven days a week. And they’ll begin opening on Friday nights from November 1, with bookings accepted once the dinner menu is finalised on October 21. Locals appreciate Ben and Dee’s decision to display the Clifton Hill Store’s antique storefront sign, amongst a lush vertical wall garden. Opposite is an upright garden of citrus and fresh herbs used to garnish all dishes. And beehives are on their way, too! Despite some renovating mishaps, this friendly and faultless space has come together just swell. We’re thrilled to stop by Ben’s highly anticipated café at 1 Eric Crescent. Just be prepared to push through the hordes of locals! Lauren Maynard