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Affordable fine dining: Bellbird set to shake up local restaurant scene

Bellbird head chef Federico Rekowski and sous chef Steven Pham.

Creative pair: Bellbird head chef Federico Rekowski, right, and sous chef Steven Pham.

Recently a new restaurant opened boasting talented chefs, fine dining at pub prices and a sustainable farm to table approach, including using produce grown 50 metres away.

Is it in Newtown, Potts Point, Double Bay?

No, Bellbird Dining + Bar is right here in the South West Sydney region.

It officially opened a month ago at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre to the chirping of the songbirds it has been named after.

It’s a cliché, and it’s also early days, but Bellbird could be a game changer.

Bellbird spins traditional restaurant models on their heads, with an ever-changing menu offering exquisite fine dining at affordable South West Sydney prices.

Paired with direct relationships with artisan suppliers from the local NSW area, it offers a genuine farm-to-table culinary experience, with all dishes $18 or under.

At the helm is cordon bleu trained head chef Federico Rekowski, best known for his 12 years at the highly rated Courtney’s Brasserie in Parramatta.

He is supported by sous chef Steven Pham, another escapee from Courtney’s Brasserie, and Fish Face before that.

Rekowski’s dishes blend French haute cuisine flair with contemporary Asian and South American influences.

“We’re both proud and excited to be able to work with such respected farmers, growers and suppliers, whose honest, sustainable practices are the cornerstone of what Bellbird is all about,” he says.

Bellbird's roasted pork belly, braised cabbage, turnip pave and apple puree.

Yum: Bellbird’s roasted pork belly, braised cabbage, turnip pave and apple puree.

The two young chefs also have immediate access to the CPAC garden’s selection of 20 fresh vegetable and 10 herb varieties, lovingly tended to by full-time gardener Lauren Booth.

Crafting dynamic new menus on a weekly basis, the pair have also been known to suddenly switch things up at a moment’s notice, based on whatever is most fresh and abundant.

The uniquely situated restaurant is just one of many exciting plans to reinvigorate the former power station by CPAC’s newly appointed director Craig Donarski, blending thought provoking arts and culture with some of the most exciting and affordable dining out west.

“Amazing food is the next step in Casula Powerhouse’s evolution as a true feast for lovers of arts and culture, harking back to the region’s pre-war heritage as Sydney’s pleasure garden,’’ says Donarski.

“Bellbird Dining and Bar is just the beginning; we can’t wait to unveil more in the months to come, from food workshops, outdoor seating areas, a beehive, and the Casula Fowlhouse – our very own chook pen,” he says.

If you decide to check out Bellbird over the next few weeks, you can drive to Casula Powerhouse but remember that there’s a railway station at its door as well, handy if you plan to have a glass of champagne or two!

♦ Go online to find out more about Bellbird at http://www.casulapowerhouse.com/visit/bellbird-dining-and-bar

Fremantle octopus, kimchi, pickled radish and Japanese mayo.

Fremantle octopus, kimchi, pickled radish and Japanese mayo.

Fresh produce is just 50 metres from the Bellbird kitchen.

Fresh produce is just 50 metres from the Bellbird kitchen.

 

 

 

 

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