Fun fact: Stinking Bishop cheese from Gloucestershire gets its name from the pear used in the cider that the cheese is aged in. And after some trial and error on the import front you can now get it at Enmore's cheese bar of the same name. Owners Jamie Nimmo and Kieran Day looked into stocking their namesake, but it’s not a cheese that travels well. You’re just going to have to content yourself with a super-ripe slice of Époisses instead.
The larder is very well stocked here and it needs to be, given the fanfare that has followed their opening. They source their 'nduja, smoked pancetta and salamis from up near Byron Bay; their smoked wagyu and ham from the Barossa; and they make their own rich, crumbly black pudding in house.
But it’s the cheeses that are responsible for the queues of turophiles pressing their noses against the glass here. It’s $21 for two, $29 for three or $37 for four cheeses and you get to choose each and every one. No one is going to sneak a wedge of Manchego on your plate here unless you want it. Each board comes with bread and crackers, a small puck of quince paste, muscatels and a fig-and-walnut rolada, but that's all just window dressing for the main event.
The pat of the Époisses is so gooey you’ll have to herd it onto the board. For a cheese that fights back order the creamy, bitey Italian Blu di Langa made from a mix of raw goat, cow and sheep’s milk. But it’s easy to get a show-stopping washed rind or blue cheese. Getting a hard cheese to hold its own against its stinkier, creamier cousins is the real challenge, and the dense, nutty Heidi Tilsit from Tasmania is up to the task. Or try the hard, crumbly Isle of Mull cheddar made with milk from cows that have been fed on the barley mash from the nearby distillery. Pair it with a dram of Lagavulin or an Oban and it’s a Highland fling of flavours.
Only serious cheese fiends should attempt the mac and cheese. This pungent side dish is vying for the spotlight by being more cheese than pasta, stealthily swirled through with truffle oil and then topped with a generous slice of taleggio before being thrown under the broiler.
They have a short, simple wine list, but following a recent trip to the US and Mexico, Nimmo is planning to match imported tequilas and small-batch bourbons with cheese, which sounds way more fun. Head here in the evening and you may have to wait for a seat. But that’s OK: just pop your name down on the list and meander a few doors up Enmore Road to Cittavino, a proper little enoteca doing wines by the glass and little snack plates of butter beans, dolmades and green olives.
They open up for lunchtime toasties, or, if you prefer to do your cheese feasting in private they’ll package up anything in the cool room for a swift getaway.