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The Sunburnt Calf BK, located in Prospect Heights, is the newest addition to the group of Australian inspired restaurants in New York City. With its unique perspective on joining the tastes of the nation down under with the exotic flavors of South East Asia, The Sunburnt Calf BK is a trendy yet down to earth place in a relaxed neighborhood.
Only opened for about two months, this Brooklyn restaurant is the perfect spot to try creatively presented and well thought out dishes, with flavors from a world away. Almost immediately upon arrival to the restaurant, the friendly staff offers complimentary shots of their signature Moo Juice.
The Sunburnt Moo Juice contains a passionfruit infused tequila mixed with orange and strawberries. The sweet combination of the fruits mask the usual punch of the tequila well, making for a refreshing way to start off the dinner. The restaurant offers over a half dozen appetizer selections, all of which take South East Asian inspired ingredients, served with an Australian flare.
It is their signature “Australiasian” approach to food that makes The Sunburnt Calf BK’s menu stand out amongst others. The shrimp toast is a savory small plate that contains bites of crispy toast, covered with a layer of mouth watering shrimp. Accompanied with the shrimp toast is an orange plum sauce that gives a sweetness to the dish.
Another must have from the small plate section of the menu is the steam buns with red-braised pork belly. The succulent pork belly is served with sprouts and a dressing, inside a soft steam bun. The light and airy bun is well complimented with a mouthful of packed ingredients.
The long bean dish is a generously sized appetizer that is served with a watercress salad, along with toasted coconut, peanuts, and kaffir. The long beans have a nice bite to them, and the addition of the shaved coconut is a surprising touch that takes this dish to another level.
One of the highlights on The Sunburnt Calf BK’s menu is the Wrap & Roll. Diners have the choice of two meats, which can be crispy Thai chicken, roast duck, red cooking braised pork belly, or curry short ribs. Miniature round roti is served on the side, along with a variety of smaller dishes that can be combined in a wrap.
There is a mildly spicy sauce, Vietnamese guacamole, cucumbers with onions and cauliflower, and herbs including parsley and basil. The Wrap & Roll is a fun and interactive dining option, as people can choose what flavor combinations to pair together.
As a side dish, the sauteed baby bak choy is a perfect choice, in which the classic Asian vegetable is showcased to perfection. Garnished with garlic and a tiny but heat packed chili pepper, the baby bak choy so flavorful you’ll forget you’re eating vegetables.
There are plenty of meat and poultry options on the menu, as well as fresh seafood plates that continue to bring the flavors of Australia and Asia to Brooklyn. The barramundi dish, an Australian fish, is fried in a tumeric beer batter and served atop vermicelli noodles. It is sprinkled with dill and a Vietnamese sauce which equally blends the Australian and South East Asian flavors in one bowl.
The outer layer of the fried fish is crunchy, while the inside reveals a delicately soft white, fresh fish. The unique flavor of dill gives the fish and vermicelli noodles a nice extra component. Seafood options continue with large prawns steamed in beer. Served in a broth that is infused with garlic and lemongrass, these prawns are soft and have just the right amount of spice to give the dish an extra kick.
Capping of the dinner with a couple of The Sunburnt Calf BK’s desserts is a smart choice, as the restaurant packs a lot of sweetness into their desserts. A Thai tea cupcake with cream cheese frosting has just the right amount of frosting to balance the cake, which is moist and flavorful. A creamy flan with diced pineapple and chocolate sauce is another stellar option for dessert lovers.
The richness of the flan pairs well with the crunchy yet juicy texture of the pineapple, while the chocolate sauce gives the plate an extra hit of sugar.
The cocktails available at The Sunburnt Calf BK are masterfully designed with creative combinations. The Lemongrass Rickey, which has Sombra Mezcal mixed with fresh lemon juice, lemongrass agave, pepper bitters, and club soda, is a refreshing drink that has a layer of subtle peppery flavor.
The Zu Moscow Mule contains Zu Bison Grass Vodka, fresh lime juice, Bundaberg Australian Ginger beer, and lychee puree. The infusion of Australian and Asian cultures can be perfectly seen in this drink, with its Australian ginger beer and Asian lychee puree. For a stronger drink option, the 5-Spice St. Clair, is a cocktail made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, 5-spice agave, and orange and angostura bitters.
More potent than the other drinks, the 5- Spice St. Clair is one not to be missed. Aside from the delectable array of food, the staff and owner at The Sunburnt Calf BK is extremely friendly and helpful when choosing items from the menu. They will happily explain the ingredients of the dishes as well as how they are prepared, and are greatly attentive throughout the whole dining experience.
Local diners in the restaurant easily give high reviews for The Sunburnt Calf BK. “The knowledgeable staff make for a real appetizing experience,” said Christine Youssef, a Brooklyn native. “The ambiance of the restaurant is warm, I like how it is a chic place but it’s also family friendly. The Asian and Australian inspired food is delicious, I’m going to be stuffed for days.”
The restaurant currently serves dinner every evening as well as brunch on the weekends. A crowd favorite is their endless brunch option at $20-$25. Included is one choice of a brunch item, along with all you can drink moomosas, moo Mary’s, Fosters, screwdrivers, and greyhounds. In the next upcoming weeks, The Sunburnt Calf BK will begin to serve breakfast and lunch.
The Sunburnt Calf BK is located at 611 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. For more information on making a reservation, check out www.moolifegroup.com or call 347-915-1000.