Lambageddon at Mumu Grill, Crows Nest
“We’ll have the lamb, followed by the lamb. Then some lamb, more lamb… and also, some lamb.”
Seeing a menu like this, a diner can be forgiven for wondering for a moment, whether they might end the night with sensory overload. I can tell you, the night was an absolute pleasure for the senses. Focusing on one animal for a six course menu may seem novel to us, however I suspect this is how things were done long ago when our hunter-gatherer ancestors caught an animal. I’m guessing they didn’t have the luxury of choosing one each of fowl, beast and fish for their dinner menu. (Ever been to a restaurant and tried to make sure you do that? Or am I the only one?) I’m sure they didn’t have refrigeration, and though I’ve never met them, I’m also pretty sure they were not partial to eating the same meat, cooked exactly the same way, day in and day out. Because well, who would be? Yet they would have to find a way to use up the whole animal, over several days, prepared many ways. Mumu Grill’s Lambageddon event touches on that with a display of just how versatile one animal can be.
Lamb shoulder Empanadas
My eating partner for the evening was Zen (the hubby of Jen). As we waited at the bar to be seated, we were offered a serve of empanadas. There was a freshness about them. A change from the fully loaded empanadas of old, often filled with chunks of chicken or minced beef, these empanadas gave up tender morsels of lamb shoulder with each bite. The peppers and sauce were on the side, as opposed to being in the filling, and allowed the lamb to shine.
Cauliflower Soup with truffled Lamb Shoulder & Eggplant Caviar
The cauliflower soup came out with a soup spoon full of the truffled lamb shoulder and dinner guests were instructed to “dunk and stir”. It was a lovely light starter for the night ahead. Zen and I savoured the truffle flavour. It wasn’t overpowering, rather it added to each spoonful of cauliflower with the lamb and eggplant caviar now scattered through. I loved the elements of the traditional ‘meat and two veg’ in a completely different, compact form.
Lamb BBQ Ribs with Zucchini Raita
With this zucchini raita (a nice change from the more common cucumber version), smacked onto the BBQ Ribs, the third dish disappeared in no time. The ribs were meaty and had a nice amount of fat, which is all I’m looking for in a rib. Thankfully, it wasn’t an over-sized dish, since we were only halfway through the menu.
Roast rack & rump with Puy Lentils, Quinoa, Cavalo Nero & Beetroot Mustard
Next course was the roast rack and rump – simple and juicy. That mustard though! (#DatMustardDoe). The beetroot mustard just hit the spot and worked perfectly with the lamb. I tried both the rack and the rump, which were roasted to perfection. I took in plentiful scoops of those superfoods – lentils, quinoa and cavalo nero a.k.a Tuscan kale.
Pressed Lamb Shank, Watercress, with Japaneno, Apple & Tomato Chutney
Typically it is lamb shoulder that is braised or roasted then shred & pressed in this manner. Whatever the reason behind the choice of using lamb shank, I applaud it. This dish was my absolute favourite! Four courses done, and I thought I was full. However after I took a bite into the crisp brown edges, I just kept going. The jalapeno gave this dish a beautiful kick that warmed my taste buds and kept me coming back.
Moo Brew from Tasmania
I really loved the fact that there were suggested wines for each course which could be purchased by the glass, or for smaller sips, in a tasting glass. I didn’t grow up in a wine drinking family, nor did my closest friends, so at nearly thirty, I’m still not very educated about wine. Sure I’ve been to the Hunter Valley, done a couple of wine classes here and there, and I understand that the best way to learn what I like, is to simply try some. Nevertheless, I appreciate a menu with matched wines and jump at the chance to just enjoy food and drink that works well together. Often a menu paired with wines can only be found in nice but – let’s face it – stuffy restaurants. Not the case at Mumu Grill, just quality food and wine in a good atmosphere. What was even better, were the suggested beers and ciders for those who prefer them, after all, it is Lambaggedon!
Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt Cheesecake Tart, Dates & Poached Plum
In keeping with the Lambageddon theme, this cheesecake tart was made from sheep’s milk yoghurt. Food nerds like myself might appreciate that sheep’s milk yoghurt is used in Indian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines – which are also known for their awesome lamb dishes. The cheesecake tart was lighter than your typical cheesecake, with just enough sweetness from the fruits. I took a proper scoop from the poached plum through the cheesecake, then through the date and grabbed some of the crust. It was delicious yet subtle, not too rich or heavy – the perfect end to Lambaggedon.
We were seated at a table with the farmers who bred the lamb that would be served that evening: Australian White Lamb, which has been bread purely for its meat and taste. You can find more of their meat at butcherdirect.com.au where Head chef and owner of MuMu Grill, Craig Macindoe, works with the farmers to offer pre-cooked and marinated dinner options for the weekly meat boxes.
Mumu Grill has ‘single animal’ dinners such as Porkestra, DuckFest or Lambageddon every now and then. Lambageddon was held on April 30th; it was six courses of lamb for $77.50/person.
70 Alexander St, Crows Nest, NSW
Phone: (02) 9640 6877
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Mumu Grill