Owner/operator Kane Farrow and his chefs are passionate about many things including their new menu released this month. Liz Lang visits Mood Food & Co in the bustling hipster haven of Braddon to find out more.
Located in the Mode 3 Building on Lonsdale Street, the modern Australian restaurant is easily identified from the street by its colour-wash of lime green café umbrellas on the pavement. This hint of lime green is accentuated throughout the restaurant’s sophisticated yet striking décor.
“Lime green is my favourite colour – it always makes people happy. I wanted to create a restaurant setting where my business clients, and their guests, families and individual diners could immediately relax and feel at home,” Kane explains.
While Mood Food & Co is Kane’s first solo venture as the owner/operator, he is no newcomer to Canberra’s hospitality industry having chalked up 10 years management experience in various restaurants and cafés including the Canberra Rex Hotel, Calibre Café and Bar, and Xchange on London.
Kane is passionate about customer service and relationships. He recounts that he could recall the finer details of what people ate, drank, and where they sat in cafés and restaurants where he had 700 people coming in through the doors on a regular basis.
“When I was recruiting staff for Mood Food & Co, I wanted people who were going to stay with the company for a long time and build long-term relationships with our customers. I wasn’t interested in transient staff who were here today, gone tomorrow.”
“Canberra is all about networking and Braddon has such a great inner city vibe,” Kane says. “I wanted to create a hangout for my corporate clients where they can do business in a relaxed environment, eat wholesome fresh food, are waited on and their dining preferences are known by my staff and chefs.
“Mood Food & Co is a comfortable blend between a restaurant and a café with a chilled ambience.”
Kane said that in business meetings there was often an awkward moment when the bill was settled at the end of the breakfast, lunch or dinner. For select corporate clients, Mood Food & Co can arrange for billing to occur at the end of the month by agreement – which takes away this stress when dining.
Tantalising new menu with a twist
The young team of chefs: Craig Lambourne and Jamie Percival have drawn on their diverse culinary backgrounds and international experience to present a simple, fresh menu which has an element of surprise.
All produce is fresh at Mood Food & Co as the restaurant doesn’t use a cool room to refrigerate large volumes of food for longer periods of time.
The chefs explained with passion how they have added a twist to restaurant menu favourites such as apricot chicken, burgers, and pasta. The majority of the menu is gluten and dairy free with a wide vegetarian selection.
“Instead of pouring an apricot sauce over chicken like your mum would have made, we have encassed our chickens with moist apricots,” Craig said.
Jamie described how he created the mustard fruit agnolotti. Mustard fruits are unripened fruits such as figs, pears or cherries that have been preserved in syrup with mustard oil. “I have adapted an Italian pasta dish where I add the mustard fruits to the inside of the pasta – and the result is amazingly sweet yet hot mustard flavours.
“We have an open kitchen which means that we had to leave our egos on the shelf, and be much more disciplined because our skills as chefs are constantly on display for our restaurant clients to see,” Craig said.
“We love interacting with our customers,” he explained. “Some of the dishes on the new menu such as the chargrilled pork cutlet with sour apple mash, and the British burger with a Wagu beef patty with tomato jam, caramelised onion, cheddar cheese and thick cut chips are there because our clients have asked us to create these choices.”
Kane named his restaurant Mood Food & Co because ‘no matter what mood people are in when they come into the restaurant, we want them to leave happier.’
Check out the cheekily named ‘little lunch’ and ‘big lunch’ menu selections online or pop into Mood Food & Co to meet Kane and his team.
Unit 132/24 Lonsdale Street Braddon T: 6257 8990 Reservations can be made online:www.moodfoodco.com.au
Monday – Tuesday 7:00am – 3:00pm
Wednesday – Friday 7:30am til late
Saturday 8:00am til late
Sunday 8:00am – 3:00pm