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Ah the maze that is Dempsey! If only those wooden signs scribed with block numbers revealed some kind of genuine clue as to where to head and what to eat! With new restaurants swapping in for old one’s that couldn’t stabilise among the neighbouring competition and a hell of a lot of consistently average food being served up, we went along to find out how The Disgruntled Chef has stood the heat for 3 years.

Set lower than the other restaurants, the privacy of The Disgruntled Chef enticed my nosey self down those steps and into the pale, grey-coloured room. Greeted by some of the most polite and helpful staff I’ve encountered.. there’s not a whiff of disgruntlement here.

With festive items, brunch, classics and new editions, the menu will leave you a little stuck for what to pick, but to be honest you can’t go too wrong here. The food is solid and consistent, but pricey. It’s high end gastro-bar food, but unfortunately, for some of the menu items, quite a bit steeper than gastro-bar prices.

The Disgruntled Chef doesn’t dabble in starters and main courses, but instead adopts the concept of small and big plates. We went for the Red Velvet ($22), champagne and fresh pureed raspberries to get our palates geared up. This is usually available during brunch, but also available upon request. I’m not usually a champagne lover, but this sweet, berry concoction is a champagne cocktail at its best.

Foooood, glorious foooood! We tried two items from the Brunch Smalls menu. You’d have to get a couple of these dishes if you’re planning on filling yourself up, but they are excellently put together. First up, Salmon & Tomato Quiche ($14). This one is more of a tart, as opposed to your traditional quiche. The sweet base compliments the juicy, cooked tomatoes and balances the saltiness of the fish, making a well balanced, sweet dish.

Next up, a classy take on Corned Beef Hash ($18) teamed with a sunny side up egg. Corned beef hash, for those of you who have never tried it, is a bit of a war-time, easy to eat, breakfast favourite. It’s essentially corned beef, potatoes and onions. This version was sloppier than I’ve had in the past, but certainly more tasty and presentable than some of the inventions I’ve sampled previously. The Disgruntled Chef have managed to tart up what is essentially a semi-trashy, leftover meal and make it something familiar and comforting, yet somehow kind of new.

From the Small Plates we tried the Roasted Sea Scallops ($24). This is a very delicate and well thought out dish. Perfectly cooked scallops, paired with a soft pea puree, fried Prosciutto ham and potato crisps all come together to make for a very delicate and well thought out dish. The Proscuitto is dried just enough to give some texture whilst reducing the poignancy of the ham and adds an additional factor to this otherwise quite subtle dish.

On to the Big Plates! We loved the Duck Cassoulet ($34) complete with Lyonnaise sausage, coco beans and vine tomatoes. This winter-warming, hearty, meat-heavy casserole is filling, deeply infused with flavour and fairly healthy too!

This next dish is a bit of a weird combination, but bear with me here.. The Roasted Stuffed Chicken ($32) is stuffed with foie gras mousse and served with hash browns. The foie gras blends really well with the de-boned, chicken thigh, giving an extra rich, intense flavour to fresh flavoured chicken. The hash browns are a bit of an odd pairing, but with their fluffy centres and extra crispy outer layer they are the best part of this dish.. oh and they’re shout-it-from-the-rooftops delicious! A good portioned Big Plate.

Last but not least our favourite dish, Oxtail & Spinach Wellington. Succulent, braised oxtail in a crispy pastry surround, paired with a sprinkle of veg. This is part of the festive set-luch menu, but we hope it creeps in as a permanent fixture. If there’s one thing The Disgruntled Chef gets right it’s pastry, and this dish is the perfect example of pastry done right. This warming wellington has left us feeling all Christmassy!

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this sweet, zesty, refreshing Lemon Tart($14) topped with creme fresh friache, fruits and encased in yet more glorious pastry should hit the spot!  Pair this with a sherbet-y, flowery flavoured Yuzu Elyx ($18) and you have yourself a lemon-heaven combination.

If you’re in need of comforting, earthy, gastro-pub food with a fancy twist at a fancy price, then head to The Disgruntled Chef, where you’ll find yourself anything but disgruntled.

Written by Superpat

On this occasion the meal was compliments of The Disgruntled Chef

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