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Monday, May 21, 2018

Raclette Tuesdays at Handpicked Cellar Door, Sydney

Melted raclette on potatoes at Raclette Tuesdays at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney

Hello winter. Hello melted cheese. If a hot molten river of oozing cheese is your idea of bliss, then you'll definitely want to make friends with raclette. This semi-hard cheese is melted under a red hot grill and then scraped and served over potatoes. Where can you get raclette in Sydney?  It's now served up every Tuesday at Handpicked Cellar Door on Kensington Street.

Wining and lounging at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Handpicked Cellar Door lounge area

The Handpicked Cellar Door operates as a wine tasting venue and retailer for its label of "handpicked" wines from around Australia and the world. It also doubles as a wine bar, offering wines by the glass alongside cheese boards and charcuterie. Wines range from $8-$35 per glass.

Dining area at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
The Experience Room for group tastings and events

Raclette is usually a winter-only event but the waitstaff I spoke to seemed convinced that it was so popular, it may run permanently. Officially, it's on until the end of August. On the night we dined, there were so many patrons that we ended up being seated in the rear Experience Room, usually reserved for private group tastings and events.

Half wheel of raclette reading for melting at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Half a wheel of raclette

Raclette is a cheese that originates in the Swiss and French Alps, made using unpasteurised cows milk. At room temperature it has a reasonably mild flavour but the true magic happens once it's subjected to heat.

Half wheel raclette grill at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Half wheel racelette grill

At Handpicked, they use a traditional grill designed for half wheels. It takes about three or four minutes for the cheese to bubble and turn golden brown. That's when it's ready to raclette, or scrape, the cheese onto the waiting potatoes.

Raclette Tuesdays menu at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Raclette Tuesdays menu

There's only one raclette option: a small plate of potatoes, pancetta and pickles served with melted raclette. Cheese dreams are made of these? You bet they are.

Raclette matched wine flight at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Swipe Right (Perfect Match) raclette matching wine flight $25
L-R: Chardonnay from Mornington Peninsula VIC, Shiraz from Heathcote VIC, Shiraz from Barossa Valley SA, Cabernet Merlot from Margaret River WA

We also go with the matching wine flight, four half-pours of wines from around Australia. It's interesting to see how the taste of both the wines and the raclette alter with each matching. My favourites turn out to be the chardonnay and the Barossa shiraz.

Melted raclette on potatoes at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Melted raclette on potatoes

We're warned there may be a wait for our raclette, but it arrives within ten minutes. It's not a huge serving but there's enough to keep you occupied for the entirety of your wine flight.

Cheese Dreams Are Made of These raclette plate at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Cheese Dreams Are Made of These $24
Melted raclette cheese straight from the wheel served with pancetta, potatoes and pickles

Expect about 6-8 chat potatoes, three slices of pancetta, two pickled gherkins and a handful of rocket dressed with balsamic. The raclette is the obvious star of the show, a melty stretchy oozing puddle of cheese with a faint nutty sweetness. The best bits are tinged golden brown, with a resistance that's satisfying chewy.

Melted raclette at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Melted raclette cheese ready to be added to the boiled potatoes

It's worth hovering near the raclette grills to watch the melty cheese scraping action at least once. Is it just me who finds the slow-motion ooze a little hot under the collar?

Melted raclette in action at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Golden river of grilled raclette

It's mesmerising...

Sliding melted raclette onto potatoes at Raclette Tuesdays at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
That's the spot

And oh so satisfying.

Stretchy oozing melted raclette at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney
Stretchy oozing raclette

And if the raclette doesn't warm you up, the wine will. Happy cheese day y'all.

Raclette Tuesdays at Handpicked Cellar Door in Sydney


Handpicked Cellar Door Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Handpicked Cellar Door
50 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9392 9190

Opening hours
Monday to Wednesday 11am - 10pm
Thursday to Friday 11am - 12 midnight
Saturday 10am - 12 midnight
Sunday 10am - 10pm

Raclette Tuesdays will run at Handpicked Cellar Door every Tuesday 5.30pm-10pm until the end of August 2018.
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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/21/2018 02:21:00 am


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