When I heard that Scott Hallsworth was opening a pop-up called Freakscene, I was very excited.
I have enjoyed Scotts’ creations before. His twist on Japanese food is contemporary, bold and always delicious.
When we arrived at the location we were greeted by the enigmatic and contagiously confident Nick who was willing to cater for our personal beverage needs. It’s refreshing to be asked “What’s your favourite spirit?” instead of having a predetermined cocktail pushed in front of you.
The Bearded One was impressed with the music taste and we instantly felt at home.
We started the dinner with the seared beef salad. The beef was succulent and the flavours of the onion-peanut ponzu and the garlic crisps were explosive yet fresh.
Next on the list was the chicken-fried chicken. The syrupy peanut soy and pickled cucumber were the perfect additions to the chicken fried in its own juices. The inside is succulent and juicy whilst the skin is crispy and packed with flavour. An im-peck-able combination of textures and flavours.
The Bearded One ordered the beef rendang brioche buns. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and perfectly spiced to balance and compliment the sweetness of the bun.
Finally we moved on to the the dish that caught my eye as soon as I read the menu: Tuna sashimi pizza with truffle ponzu, jalapeño and wasabi tobiko.
Every word in the title was more exciting that the last. I was intrigued and elevated at the same time. Pizza? How?
The “pizza” base was made from a crispy pastry. This was topped with the other ingredients. I took my first bite. I couldn’t stop a huge smile creeping onto my face.
Every area of my palate was evoked.
The flavours and textures were contrasting, complimenting and sublime.
It was a roller-coaster of flavours. The wasabi tobiko like tiny fireworks in my mouth, while the subtlety of the fresh tuna lay like velvet on my tongue.
The jalapeños and the truffle ponzu performed a passionate tango on my taste buds.
It was exquisite in every way.
When you dine at Scott Hallsworths’ pop-up it’s like eating with family that you actually enjoy being around.
There is fun and frolics in the food and in the service. It was one of the most enjoyable dining out experiences I’ve had in ages.
We were stuffed but we’ve already planned the dishes for our next visit. The Bearded One has his eye the honey-hoisin grilled pork belly…
Until next time Freakscene.
Restaurant Openings and Reviews Editor, Majella O’Connell