Barangaroo’s NOLA restaurant has been an obvious favourite for Sydneysiders since it first swung open its saloon doors in 2017. The huge 500 square metre space comprises one of the best-stocked bourbon bars in Australia, a cosy New Orleans themed lounge area, and a huge dining space overlooking the harbour, not to mention the vast kitchen which smokes over 450 kilograms of meat every week.
Now, the smoked meats sensation that is NOLA is under the guidance of a new Executive Chef, Troy Spencer, who has implemented a bevy of fresh dishes on his revamped and updated menu, to better reflect the southern-US origins whence the smoked meat trend came.
Alongside the famous diner’s legendary selection of smoked meat (that brisket is worth the walk across town, though don’t plan on walking back), Spencer has created some standout classics, including blue swimmer gumbo, and a delicious red rice jambalaya, both authentic recreations of the South’s most popular dishes, with modern additions from the talented chef.
The new chilli shrimp étouffée sees the addition of sweetcorn and okra, adding sweetness and texture to the standard spicy tomato base with shrimp.
Troy has toyed with the smoker, too, adding a beef short rib dish that sees a much-needed southern staple added to the menu: biscuits and gravy (like savoury scones with a rich coffee gravy, for those of you playing at home). This is a most welcome addition for anybody’s who’s been to the south, and pines for a classic that–for all her food trends–is hard to find in Sydney.
For those with a sweet tooth, Southern dessert staples on the menu include Troy’s take on an eight layered doberge cake, which features layers of buttermilk sponge, chocolate custard and lemon curd, as well as the campfire favourite s’mores: make sure you save some room.
“When creating my first menu for NOLA I wanted to bring us closer to what the New Orleans, Louisiana cuisine is all about without losing our very own creative, NOLA Sydney twist,”, says Spencer. “I’ve taken a more authentic approach to our signature NOLA dishes such as the jambalaya and gumbo and introduced rustic entrées which I think are more complimentary to the smoked meats and barbecue offering.”
Meat-loving Sydneysiders hardly needed more reason to head to NOLA, but with the kitchen and new menu now under the supervision of a new executive chef, they have one.
NOLA Smokehouse & Bar is located at Tower 1, Level 1, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, Sydney, and is open Monday to Friday from 11.45am to 1am, Saturday from 4pm to 1am, and Sunday from 11.45am to 6pm. T: 02 9188 3039