Bravo, bravo, bravo is how I am starting this article, bravo to everyone involved in The Two Wolves Community Cantina. With thanks to Wasamedia I was invited to find out all about this new venue on Broadway, directly opposite Broadway Shopping Centre next door to the Landsdowne Hotel, inside the old bank building. Everything about this venue is a standing ovation. The building is an initiative of The Cardoner Project, a Jesuit and Catholic youth volunteering hub that supports global partner organisations, predominantly within the Jesuit network. Their idea was to set up an amazing all purpose venue that is all about raising money to support their food projects around the world.
The venue is not for profit and mostly staffed by volunteer students from the area with eighty volunteers on the books. Above The Two Wolves is housing for founder Fr. David Braithwaite and fifteen students that are part of the project. Their street food menu celebrates the Catholic faith and cultures that The Cardoner Project supports and is affordable, hearty and authentic. Each dish tells a story of the community in which the volunteers serve such as Thailand, Mexico, Micronesia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Nepal and Vietnam.
We were invited to this amazing place to meet and greet and feast on samples of all their food. I thoroughly enjoyed it and went back again the following day for lunch and to get more pictures. It is such a beautiful multicultural, colourful venue that has an incredible positive vibe, you want to stay there, you can spend hours looking at everything on the walls which represents their projects around the world and the youthfulness of the staff is welcoming and for the first time in years it is a venue that every staff member wants to be a part of, they are not getting paid after all and their volunteering is doing incredible good around the world, they have an extra bounce to their step and a happy smile plastered all over their faces.
The venue has come about with abundant support from people like former Premier Nick Greiner, hotelier Fraser Short (who kindly took me on a tour today and gave me a lot of the history of the building and of the project), Ben Sweeten (Rose Bay Diner, Kansas City Shuffle), Coco Republic’s Paul Spon-Smith, interior designer and hotelier Michael Delany-Korabelnikova and Nettleton Tribe’s Michael Morgan.
All funds raised will cover disadvantaged communities in Thailand, Vietnam, Ecuador, Nepal and even Sydney!!
It is not only an eatery it is also a full bar, a safe and comfortable place to hang for all, a place to meet and on Friday nights it has a DJ and apparently is pumping. They are eventually going to open on weekends and are planning on extending hours to breakfasts. At present the venue is available for hire on the weekends and downstairs in the old bank’s vaults is another huge room that will be eventually turned into a more private hire venue and lounge. The potential for this place is astonishing.
They are trying to make the venue a safe place for students to encourage multiculturalism and improvement through volunteering, while the venue is marketing itself for students it is a place for all. I will be in their regularly when working at Broadway, it is near the university so it will have university students and while having lunch the patrons varied from corporate ladies, students, a group of guys to a table of seniors and oddly, just me 🙂 I LOVED IT!!
Now while the place is ran by a church and supports church projects around the world I did not feel choked by churchiness and nor did I feel flames licking my skin. It reminds me of a multicultural Mexican cantina with wonderful multicultural food and people. I am not banging on about it to try and get you to go their because I was invited, I am doing so because it is an incredible project that deserves support, it also helps the staff are friendly and gorgeous and the food and drink is also multicultural and varied.
I drank Sevenhill Inigo Grenache all night and our food started with Pope Francis’s Spicy Empanadas with a salsa side $8-. Nice fluffy pastry with a tasty filling and a lovely accompanying salsa.
We then got stuck into my favourite savoury dish from the night, the KFC aka Korean Fried Chicken $11- – our table inhaled these – definitely a favourite and something that will become a regular in my diet :).
On my lunch return I tried something not served on the opening night, Spiced Chicken and Slaw soft shell tacos $10- for three of them. They were perfect and I could have indulged in six but hey, I had to get dessert too 🙂
Below was also a table favourite for one and all, you could see the food bloggers salivating at the colourful dish and how they could photograph it. This was Sister Hien’s Bun Thit Nuong (usually $10- for one but this was a banquet table size) – this is a Thai pork and rice noodle salad. One of the students at our table, fresh from Thailand, showed us how to mix it together before we all dove in. It was fresh and tasty and the citrus from the lime made the dish – I could have eaten this entire dish but those annoying hungry other table guests wanted to eat also – so selfish of them!
We were also served a Vietnamese Chicken, Lemongrass and Sweet Potato Curry but I only got a mouthful of this as it was towards the other end of the table, no photo sorry but my mouthful was amazing. There was also a Aloo Gobi Masala that was a potato dish with cauliflower and I have to be honest, I did not try it, cauliflower and I do not get along, but my guest, and lighting assistant, Onika loved it :).
Then there was dessert, we were served two of them. The first was a Black Sticky Rice with Mango and Coconut, it did not photograph well and it was the only dish I tried I was not a fan of, for the savoury dessert eaters this could be one you would enjoy but when it comes out sitting next to The Two Wolves’ Bellarmine Mess (their take on the Eaton Mess) one tends to fall in love with bright and sweet and the Bellarmine Mess was perfection, brilliant smashed meringue with berries and whipped cream, what more do you want in a dessert really?
I was also fortunate to try a different dessert with lunch yesterday – their Rhubarb Fool $5-. I repeat FIVE DOLLARS for a bowl of stewed rhubarb with honey yoghurt and berries. My only regret with this dish was that there were other guests in the room, I could not get my entire face into the bowl to lick it clean.
The venue is a cantina, do not visit expecting Aria, for cantina food it is exceptional, for the fact they use multicultural food in a multicultural venue that is there purely to do good and encourages international youth to be better and give back to society, well I can say nothing. I can however stand, and ferociously applaud this place of brilliance while regularly visiting to support and feast. Bravo. For more information suss out their website, it is as interesting and well made as their venue and its staff.