New Season. New Menu. New Hat.
There's a real Spring in our step right now.
After rekindling their working partnership at the end of 2018, Jake Pregnell and Simon Hanmer have consistently kept the flames of creativity alive in the kitchen this year, testing new dishes and continually rolling out small (but significant) changes to an ever-changing restaurant menu.
The arrival of Spring has brought with it a wider overhaul of our offering, with the seasonal change naturally calling for a shift in their use of ingredients. Although it’s been an opportunity to flex some creative muscle, the approach by these two young Chefs is kept relatively simple.
Pregnell says of the process, “You always need to move forward, and if it (the new dishes) tastes good, it’s good. Then Simon (Hanmer) and I work on the plating and execution. It’s important that our ideas will still flow in the kitchen when it’s at its busiest.”
“IF IT TASTES GOOD, IT’S GOOD. SIMON AND I WORK ON THE PLATING AND EXECUTION. IT’S IMPORTANT THAT OUR IDEAS FLOW IN THE KITCHEN WHEN IT’S AT ITS BUSIEST.”
Pictured: Sous Chef Simon Hanmer and Head Chef Jake Pregnell
Leading the lineup of larger plates are a Beef Flank dish paired with Tamari Koji & Sichuan Mustard and a Kingfish Cutlet served with Brown Butter, Preserved Olive and Lup Cheong - a Chinese-style cured sausage traditionally made with 5 Spice and Rosewater. Pregnell previously introduced some Little Valley diners to Lup Cheong as a feature dish for the most recent COLLAB event with Ben Williamson back in July, and he’s taken it a step further by adding Quail Lup Cheong as a small plate served with Chinese Branston Pickle.
This is joined by a moreish Shallot Pancake with Pork Fat and French Onion, and King Prawns served on whipped Tofu and ‘Grandma’ (Mapo) sauce. You might want to warn your Grandma though, this is a dish that packs a fair bit of heat.
Although chilli is used generously in a lot of Asian cuisine, Jake brings a little more chilli than usual in his approach to Chinese cooking, purely for the fact that he ‘just really likes chilli’ and what it adds to a meal as a whole. You’ll find that in new dishes like the Pork Hot Xiao Long Bao and Roast Pork Shoulder served with Hot Pot and fermented greens, as well as menu favourites like Chinese Bolognese (with Nduja XO Sauce and Prawn Floss).
Elsewhere, the staple Roast Duck main has been updated to include a Peach & Bourbon Hoisin sauce and Asparagus, whilst a Green Sichuan Sabayon with Nectarine and Raspberry join an exciting list of desserts that already feature a Chocolate Parfait (wth Soy Sauce and candied Peanuts) and a signature Fortune Cookie dessert with Parsnip, White Chocolate and Blood Orange.
Little Valley is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Sunday. Our beautiful bar and Pijiu Garden serves up drinks and Dim Sum until late.
Walk-ins are always welcome, but to ensure you’re seated at a table on a date and time you prefer, we encourage you to book a table.