A few months ago, Alissa and I tried the original menu of Darling Supper Club, a new Asian Fusion themed restaurant and sake bar in Northbridge from the Andy Freeman and Sam Astbury-led creative team behind the incredible Varnish on King, as well as the recently opened Flour Factory. A surprising appearance in the Good Food Guide notwithstanding, the early reviews for Darlings were mixed to say the least, and we sadly had to agree that while the drinks list was characteristically commendable, the food was clumsy in its execution with a seemingly poor understanding about what makes good Asian Fusion food work. This was a real shame as what made Varnish on King's food so impressive was how it over delivered for a place that is ostensibly a whiskey bar, whereas Darlings paradoxically under delivered in spite of being more food focused.
That was in early September. A little over a week ago in mid-November, we received an email inviting us to a bloggers' Sunday lunch at Darlings to try their new menu. Realising that things were not working, Darlings had gone through some major changes; we would learn this included the firing of 5 chefs in three months(!) and the hiring of a trio of new talent in the form of Joel Robert as the new head chef, an Iron Chef Thailand alum nicknamed 'The Chopper' and Youngwoo from South Korea bringing his sashimi skills and knowledge to the Darlings kitchen. Seeing how seriously the creative team wanted this place to work, Alissa and I immediately said yes. Coincidentally, the event's date - Sunday 23rd of November - marked our first wedding anniversary, providing a lovely opportunity for a celebratory Sunday lunch.