Friday, August 28, 2015

WHISK Monthly Pop-Ups at Fazenda Cafe (Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA)

Whisk, a pop-up restaurant run by chefs Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta that has been going around Boston, has purchased Fazenda Cafe in Jamaica Plain. They're making changes slowly and still serving Fazenda coffee so loyal cafe customers would not lose their regular place, but they've added some new items and once a month they run a pop-up dinner. For the dinner, Whisk tries to serve produce from within 20 miles of Boston, as much as possible. I attended one recently themed "WHISKy Ramen".

We'll get to the ramen soon, but let's first start with some Island Creek oysters, cucumber ice, raspberry, wild onion ($12 for 6)
Followed by more oysters! You can't have too many oysters. Roasted oysters and biscuits, whipped apples, forager's butter, nasturtium, poppy ($15 for 3)
The roasted oysters were amazing and I loved the whipple apple and butter on top of the biscuits. A great combo.

Watermelon & Thatcher Ricotta, blue basil, husk tomato, flowers ($12)
The perfect summer salad. This is one I could eat every day in this warm weather, with a light ricotta, the aroma of herbs, and sweet watermelon and tomatoes. A lot of the produce in this bowl and other dishes came from Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA and Eva's Garden in Dartmouth.

Aged Duck Ramen (duck shmaltz, gochugaru confit, dinosaur kale, black duck breast, garlic chive flower, $18)
Obviously not a traditional ramen, but this was a great bowl of ramen nonetheless! The noodles had a really great thick and chewy texture, the broth was bold and the duck breast was tender. The kale had been cooked so that it's crispy, resembling the crispy nori that comes on traditional ramen.

Ben's Wild Ramen (tomato broth, wild sorrel, wild mushroom, sunflower butter, $16)
I believe the tomato broth is vegetarian, although I'm not 100% sure. If it was, this was surely the most flavorful vegetarian ramen I've ever had! The broth had a little spicy kick to it. As toppings: fresh tomatoes, cucumber along with mushroom and squash.

Other than ramen, they were also serving a 20-day New York strip, lion's mane, whipped spud, preserved ramp, Jay's mead jus ($19)
This may have been my first time trying lion's mane, a type of mushroom. It was pretty meaty mushroom, but it went well with the steak, cooked to a nice medium rare.

The Whisk team also has freshly made donuts every day at Fazenda Cafe, and they have some really fun flavors. There were three of them the night I went: mint with Tcho chocolate crumbs, peach with sesame, and genmaicha with puffed rice. Since the name of the pop-up was "Whisky Ramen", we had to have whisky. They had three different Japanese whiskies available that night and I went with a Hibiki 12 to go with my donuts.
Forget coffee, whisky and donuts!

My favorite was the peach with cinnamon and sesame, topped with a lovely piece of roasted peach.

They had some sake-based cocktails that night, like this beautifully presented Plum Petals (plum sake, petals, bubbles, $12)
I actually preferred the Rooibos Rock Tea (rooibos, sake, ginger, $12)

I always order tea-based cocktails but usually they're not as tea-forward. This was a nice one, though!

This was my first time trying Whisk's food and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. If you live near Jamaica Plain, definitely check out the next pop-up, which would be worth the drive or T-ride even if you don't live in Jamaica Plain (Fazenda Cafe is right across the street from the Forest Hills station).

They also had live music going on during dinner.

I don't have information yet on the next pop-up but it should be coming in September. Follow @WhiskBoston on Twitter or their Facebook page for the latest news on upcoming suppers and pop-ups.

WHISK at Fazenda Cafe
3710 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 477-4519
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