Butterfly, one of the most popular restaurant openings of 2021, is reborn as a culture, a 10-seat Omakase restaurant with an international spirit

Butterfly was one of the most exciting openings of early 2021. Seasoned chef, Alex Kim, newly arrived from Melbourne, cooks an ever-changing Korean-trend omakase menu in a hard-to-find location in Woolloongabba – which is no surprise. wasn’t going to like it?

But by the end of June, everything had changed. Kim suddenly left the restaurant and Butterfly closed for two weeks. When it reopened, it was under Italian-born sous chef Emanuele Pelonero.

“We had to shut it down,” says owner Tony Park. “It was a shame because we were full. People couldn’t book for two and a half months. It’s usually a nice problem to have, but it wasn’t ideal at the time.

Pelonero initially maintained the restaurant’s focus on Korean and Japanese flavors, but Park says it became clear that “we were going to run out of ideas pretty quickly” and that the restaurant should take a more international approach to its food. menus, allowing Pelonero to better flex his European formation.

The result was that in March of this year the Butterfly brand was dropped and the restaurant was reborn as Culture Dining.

The culture resembles Butterfly – the concrete brick walls, concrete floor, and three-sided dining counter are all present and correct, as is the wood-fired grill that acts as the centerpiece of the kitchen. One of the few changes is the replacement of the Zen garden with a set of wine racks. But it ultimately looks like the same restaurant: there are still only two services per night (from 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and one at lunch at 12 p.m.), you are still waiting outside with other guests for your allotted time slot, like an exclusive. walk through the theme park, and the crew always dims the lights once everyone is in their seats.

The food menu continually evolves and, as Park says, weaves together Eastern and Western influences. Signature dishes include raw Tasmanian scallops with pickled daikon and carrots, and snow oyster mushrooms; tuna with nam jim sauce and lacto-fermented plum; beef carpaccio with fermented garlic, chives and minced dry beef; and a mille-feuille of fermented garlic leaves.

“For us, it’s about good, honest food, made from scratch and sourced from the best local suppliers,” says Park.

The courses are all prepared in front of you. You can choose to sample them with a wine pairing at one of two prices, drawn from a tight 40-bottle Italian-leaning wine list that’s meant to change almost as often as the food. You can start with an extra dry Cester Camillo prosecco grown in Treviso or a La Ginestra pinot grigio from Collio in northeast Italy, followed by a Fattoria San Lorenzo rosato from the Marche coast, a müller- thurgau Rudi Vindimian from Trentino-South Tyrol. , then return to Australian shores for a 2016 Barossa Greenock Estate Angas King Shiraz.

Looking ahead, Park says lunches will end at Culture in late July as the restaurant begins to experiment with new experiences for customers, and he’s currently looking for a more central location with better traffic access. pedestrian.

Cultural cuisine
77 Jürgens Street, Woolloongabba
0478 635 785

Wed from 5:30 p.m. to late
Thurs to Sun 12pm to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to late


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