Most Australian restaurants are waking from hibernation, but Fen, Kirstyn and chef Ryan Sessions' Port Fairy fine diner, Fen, has been slumbering longer than most. The duo shuttered the operation, then housed in Seacombe House, back in early 2018.
At the time, Fen held two hats in the Good Food Guide for its focus on local produce and native Australian ingredients, and while the couple wanted a break, they always hoped to revive their honed product somewhere that would allow them and any staff better work-life balance. Those stars have finally aligned as they embark on exclusive monthly pop-ups at Port Fairy's luxury accommodation, Drift House.
Fen has hosted one dinner at Drift House's award-winning Salon space, in 2018, and the intention was always to do more. The couple even had ceramics made by a local artist. In the interim, the duo has been operating a local burger bar, Randy's, "but the opposite end of the dining spectrum is where our hearts lie," says Sessions.
Sessions says his degustation will "pick up where we left off." There will be locally caught crayfish and abalone, foraged beach herbs and some native plants from Sessions own garden. Fen's signature dessert of burnt marshmallow shrouding a finger lime sorbet and Davidson plum jam will also make an appearance, while Kirstyn will reprise her role running the floor, pouring an all-Australian wine list.
Sessions hopes that by serving just a dozen guests at a time, he will be able to create his most intimate experience yet. Bookings are available exclusively to in-house guests, with the first dinner, on August 2 already sold out.
The $195pp degustation can be booked via Drift House for Aug 22, Sep 26, Oct 31, Nov 21 as part of an accommodation package.
drifthouse.com.au, 98 Gipps street, Port Fairy. 03 5568 3309.