Petersham isn't an area I have had the pleasure of spending a lot of time in. But I am delighted to have discovered the Harvest Bar. Located upstairs from the aptly named Majestic Grocers, in a beautiful reclaimed theatre building. The Majestic Theatre was originally built in 1912 and was in use up until 1970, when it was converted into a roller skating rink. The uppermost floors were then converted in 2012 into apartments but the lower floors remained derelict.
The Grocer in the Reclaimed Space (c/o Majestic Grocers)
In 2014, the Majestic Grocer reclaimed the space, creating this beautiful urban space. With exposed beams and brick the original feel of the building has been maintained whilst giving everything a modern, minimalist feel. The decor is on-point with an art deco feel, with mid-century couches, ebony shelves and vintage tin signs.
We were greeted by the owners Tim and Cheryl who have poured their hearts into this project. They explained how they have painstakingly tried to take everything back to the original 1912 theatre. The result is a lot of bare brickwork with little pockets of original theatre cladding. During the process of removing the Rollerderby Rink, they discovered the original theatre parquet floor and have restored it and buffed it up to its former glory.
The bar (opened 12th of May) is small and cosy, seating probably 20 - 30 comfortably. The furniture is a mix of old early 20th century studded leather couches and vintage tin signs. Giving a classy but still warm and inviting feel. There are a couple of tables out at on the viewing platform in the "Grand Foyer", allowing a perfect spot for people watching! The have a great IPA on tap and a lager for those who are less hoppy than I. The cocktails are all made with quality spirits and made with care but efficiency, something I appreciate.
Bar Nibbles - Marinated Olives, Warm Toasted w EVOO Sea Salt, Jamon, Iberico Acorn Fed Ham, Aioli, Crisp Bread
The bar snacks were tasty and go perfectly with and nice frosty beer or a glass of wine. The nuts were something completely different, warmed with a generous helping extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt, simply delicious and so moreish. The olives were a mix of green and black and also warmed. The cured meats were all very thinly sliced and just melted in your mouth, with the caramelised onion, crispy bread and aioli it was a flavour and texture explosion with a lovely mouth feel.
Pimentos - Occasional Spicy Little Sucker
Next, we were shown downstairs to the restaurant where we were served several courses of fantastic food. To start we had the pimentos. These spicy little suckers are tasty and zesty, with an occasional one that is really hot! A lovely way to start a meal off, or in our case continue it from the delectable starters upstairs.
Grilled Octopus (WA), Capsicum Puree, Iberico Jamon & Herb Oil
Seafood was up next with a chargrilled octopus on a capsicum puree with some Iberico and a drizzle of herb oil. The octopus was perfectly tender, the capsicum was smokey and sweet and when coupled with the salty jamon, was a great combination. It needed a touch more salt and maybe a squeeze lemon to make it perfect. But, considering they were serving a full restaurant in one sitting it was still excellent.
Crispy Skin Pork Belly, Apple Puree, Fennel, Spout Salad
We would have been very disappointed if we had of left the night without getting to try their pork belly. Even before we got there I had looked at the menu and seen this and wanted to try it. I simply love pork belly, it's hard to go wrong with crispy crackling and soft fall-off-the-bone meat. The apple sauce and fennel went perfectly and the addition of the sprouts gave a lovely fresh hint to the meal.
Braised Beef Cheeks, Celeriac Puree, Herb Oil, Gremolata
We finished off our meal with the beef cheeks. It is not a cut that I have cooked with before, nor eaten often. I had forgotten how delicious and succulent the meat was. The celeriac puree was lovely and earthy and the gremolata cut through the rich flavours of the beef. I would have quite happily eaten it again and again, so moreish. It is an underused cut I will be using a lot more of at home!
We were completely stuffed after all of this! The other dish I would have tried was the Pan Seared Scallops with Sweet Corn Puree and Parmesan Foam. All in all a lovely night. The food - everything was slightly under seasoned, but I have a particularly salt heavy palate. The wine - paired perfectly. The atmosphere - fantastic setting and a great reclaiming and restoration of an old space. Will be back!
They are running special nights at Majestic for the next little while.
Thursday Family Night - Complimentary snacks between 6-7pm.
Self-ish Friday Night -Checkin, like and follow @majestic_gourmet on Facebook or Instagram and #majesticselfie to receive 20% off.
Saturday & Sunday - Complimentary snacks between 4-6pm for every two people ordering drinks.