K.malu Kitchen & Bar

Jackie McMillan
25th Jun 2023

You’ll find the K.Malu Kitchen & Bar in the site previously occupied by Caveau, continuing the tradition of upmarket dining in the space. The restaurant’s name is a mashup of the owners names: Keana Lufe and Maria Luciani. The menu(s) are equally a coming together of cuisines and different dining sensibilities. Visiting on a Wednesday, for example, sees us presented with the option of a Swiss fondue, a long deli menu offering fish, charcuterie and cheese, a well-priced set menu ($65/head), and regular a la carte. Oysters ($4.50/each) hail from Merimbula, and shucked to order here.

With the set menu opening with excellent house-made porchetta ($15) with bread, butter and smoked salt ($4/each) it seems an obvious way to hedge your bets. Charcuterie is also the focus of the next dish—fig and kangaroo ($21)—with house-cured draped over fresh cut figs with creamy mascarpone and a drizzle of honey. It’s eats better than the panko-crumbed rounds of zucchini ($20) with whipped sun-dried tomato, olive and a dusting of Parmigiana Reggiano that felt like something I could whip up at home. 

The next wave of dishes takes a long time. I finish my guava sour ($20) - a pleasant enough sour drink that I’m not sure is aided by the chunks of edible blooms — and my dining companion necks his wine. We’re driving back to Sydney so ordering more feels unwise. The vividly green spinach risotto ($34) with roasted macadamia and aged Comte cheese arrives first. The flavours are good, but the dish is lukewarm. It’s an odd combination with pan-seared kingfish, leeks and underdone Jerusalem artichokes in sauce Américaine ($36) and a hibachi-grilled hunk of cabbage ($13) in seeded mustard cream. My overall impression is postive, especially with the risotto misstep corrected by them taking our oysters off the bill.