Yiassou, halloumi! Panagrotikos Farmers Union is spoiling us with some of the best halloumi cheese served across three courses at Epocha.
Attention all cheese lovers. If you are partial to halloumi, as many of us are, the newest Cypriot cheese brand has just hit our shores. Founded in 1989, Panagrotikos Farmers Union is the largest agricultural organisation in the Republic of Cyprus and produces some of the best halloumi you can find. Unlike other cheeses, halloumi is unique because of the production process. It is roasted at very high temperatures for a specific time to create special organoleptic properties.
It is no wonder the versatility of halloumi has recently made it the star ingredient of the seasonal menu at Epocha in Carlton. The venue, a Victorian terrace overlooking Carlton Gardens, was the ideal location to showcase halloumi in a menu prepared by Catalan Chef Gerard Curto, matched with European wine.
We started with roast pumpkin, faro, molasses, dill and grilled halloumi that highlighted halloumi’s unique flavour and enlightened our tastebuds.
To follow, a flavoursome black angus steak tartare, bone marrow, halloumi and potato galette provided a variety of textures and flavours.
Epocha’s owner Angie Giannakodakis wisely informed that “you need some lamb in your life” and after the main I couldn’t have agreed more. Succulent Flinders Island lamb shoulder, red mojo sauce, mustard halloumi piperade will satisfy carnivores, with the subtle incorporation of the halloumi in the piperade complementing the lamb perfectly.
Cheese desserts are not uncommon, but the imaginative use of halloumi as an ingredient is impressive. The halloumi mille feuille, gianduja, mandarin and bitter chocolate tuille is a winning dish with its nuances of salty and sweet.
If you want a stash of halloumi to enjoy at home, Panagrotikos Farmers Union halloumi is available at Bill’s Farm at Queen Victoria Market. Or, keep your eyes peeled for upcoming halloumi events at Epocha. They’re recreating this three-course lunch on 23 September – find more details on Instagram