The tale of the three little piggies has always been one of my favourites – after all, who can’t identify with the poor wolf who was obviously just hangry?
And we all know that you’re not you when you’re hungry. 😉
So I was very delighted to receive an invite to the Hungry Wolf, a sister of the whiskey bar, the Howlin’ Wolf.
I was originally expecting smokey barbecues to go with the whiskey theme, but was instead (pleasantly) surprised by fresh, light food, very comparable to whatever we can find in Sydney.
We started with a salad of Buffalo Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes and Balsamic Dressing – just fresh but savoury enough to whet our appetites. The tomato wedges were lightly crumbed to provide a crisp exterior, and the mozzarella was creamy and delicate.
But the star of the whole lunch, was really the Po’ Boy.
Po’ Boys originated from New Orleans, and is basically a variation of a sandwich. But like, BEST SANDWICH EVER level of awesome. Hungry Wolf uses a soft yet crusty bread to hold a delectable pile of whisky braised pork belly, slaw, chilli, aioli and green apple. It was way more satisfying than a banh mi – and that’s saying a LOT coming from me – and the thinner-than-shoestring fries just finished the package for me.
I could have eaten this all day every day and still come back for more.
But the downside to an amazing dish? It’s hard for the others to stack up. The Pearl Barley and Tomatoes with Beer Braised Beef Brisket was a lovely wintery dish that was hearty without sitting too heavy in the belly, but really, after the addictive mix of textures and flavours in the Pork Belly Po’ Boy, nothing was going to ever be good enough.
Who knew that a humble sandwich would have come out on top?
And I really respect the vision there, too. When chatting to the chef, I learned that there was a very deliberate balance struck between vision and price point. He would have loved to use top ingredients at every turn, but because of the lack of supply in Wollongong, and the importance of keeping the food affordable, he had to make comprimises in the execution. Not that you’d realise it, given how expertly he’s navigated the murky waters of substitution.
The vibe at the Hungry Wolf certainly screams family, with a small team that really seem to love their jobs. I was given suggestions when offering by someone who has actually eaten from the menu (it’s rarer than you think) and who had their own notes of why they loved those dishes so much.
It’s got great potential, and if this is what the lunch menu looks like, I would be very interested in seeing how dinner pans out.
Now to just figure out the secrets to teleportation…