Following in the footsteps of forward-thinking clubs like Fairfield RSL and The Epping Club, Wests Ashfield Leagues has added a flagship restaurant that will revolutionise the way its members dine.
Executive Chef Oliver Heath has chosen a farm-to-fork strategy for the expansive, 300-seat restaurant, taking time to visit the farmers who will be supplying his kitchen.
His cooking is produce centred, letting the high-quality ingredients speak. The resulting Bone Marrow on Toast ($15) from Linga Longa farm near Wingham, is a pretty dish of oven-roasted bone marrow served with an onion, parsley and lemon juice relish on Sonoma sourdough toast.
Other dishes – like The Farmer’s Plate ($24) – change according to what’s seasonally available. On the evening I dined, it was grass-fed beef brisket and sirloin, presented with enough beetroot, asparagus and yellow squash to be a complete meal.
This made the well-priced side of Scorched Cauliflower with Labne ($5) we ordered tasty, but a little redundant. Across the board, the only fault I could identify was with temperature.
The cold enamel tin plates meant our dishes, including a surprisingly tasty plate of Pork Roll-Ups ($14), arrived a little cold. Luckily the excellent ancho chilli braised pork and surrounding chilli dip generated a different heat source - fire in the hole!
The dishes are traversing a very large dining area, full of interesting nooks and crannies, including a central lounge with fireplace that will be perfect come winter. The restaurant design by Altis Architecture and Rebecca Vulic from X+O is laid out like an English garden, draped with hanging fronds of greenery, and utilises as much natural light as possible.
We take in the early evening skies and leafy suburban Ashfield views from the round conservatory, sipping on an Eden Valley Freya Riesling ($9/glass).
Staff show a lot of personality on the floor. They’re clearly excited by the venue’s transformation, and keen to introduce local residents to their new dining playground. Eduardo helped me choose between two great sounding pizzas by explaining he ate the Potato, Rosemary, Shallot and Goat’s Milk Cheese ($20) version “seven times in a row.”
With the flour hand milled inside the well-equipped kitchen, and a dedicated wood-fired pizza oven manned by two pizzaioli, I had high hopes for the pizza here. This clever purple potato pizza did not let me down - the base was nicely charred, and the toppings harmonious and in correct proportion, giving me the inclination to return to sample the rest of their eight pizza list.
Wests Ashfield Leagues Club,
115 Liverpool Road, Ashfield
Ph: (02) 8752 2000