Out of the frying pan and into the fire is actually a good thing when it’s done at the celebration of wood-fired cooking that is Agnes Restaurant. The Valley’s latest spectacle hides in an undiscovered corner that was once an old brick warehouse, but now serves as a fiery fusion of Asia and the Middle East. However, you may be familiar with Agnes for a different kind of heat. For the past couple of months, lines around the block could be found on Agnes Street, leading to a pop-up bakery and bottle shop serving the goods daily. Now, while the ovens are turning off, the same type of craze is sure to ensue. Their brand new wood-fire bistro officially opens today, Tuesday 11 August.
Over a huge flaming pit, the team of chefs – led by the previous executive chef of Gerard Bistro and now co-owner of Agnes, Ben Williamson – will truly turn up the heat. There’s no electricity and no gas. Instead, cooking is stripped down to its most ancient origin and combined with contemporary hospitality to produce spectacular food, made simple. The team even needed to acquire the help of a blacksmith to design a custom-made stone hearth that allows you to experience wood-fired cooking at its finest.
With kitchen views available from every seat of the restaurant, sit back and savour as 260-day aged wagyu, smoked lamb neck, and red throat emperor are expertly crafted and grilled before your eyes. In collaboration with regional suppliers and farmers, you will only be served the freshest meat, seafood, poultry and vegetables in a seasonal menu that flows and adapts to reflect availability. Snack on malted sourdough, scarlet prawn doughnuts, and rock oysters, before moving onto heftier dishes in beef tartare, wood-fired cabbage, and octopus with a side of black lemon, almond and garlic shoots. As for the main event, think the richest meats flamed to perfection.
Agnes’ uncompromising approach to food is echoed in their cocktails, as the smoke and flavour of wood-fired cooking are superbly captured in the glass. Alongside a collection of carefully curated classic European and specialised Australian wines, it doesn’t matter whether it’s enjoyed in their intimate downstairs wine bar, or upstairs on the terrace – you’ll be sure to feel the heat.
To book a table, visit their website.