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Posts Tagged ‘NSW’

Eschalot Restaurant, Berrima, New South Wales

A special guest post today from a dear friend, M, who loves his food as much as I do. His lovely wife A, treated him to a surprise birthday lunch at this hatted regional restaurant in the Souther Highlands.

Situated in an old sandstone cottage, customers can order dishes A La Carte, opt for a $110 tasting menu or choose the “Chef’s Favourites Menu” which apparently includes perennial favourites like Gruyere and Goat’s Cheese soufflé, Thirlmere Duck Confit and Rose Creme Brûlée. We opted for the latter course, but instructed them to hold off on the brûlée, as A was keen to peruse the dessert menu in a bit more detail.

A delightful amuse bouche of tomato consommé and basil oil was presented to us on arrival.

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The soufflé was situated on a bed of goat’s curd, surrounded by a veritable moat of Gruyere sauce and topped with some crushed almonds. The sauce had an intense cheese flavour, which complemented the light soufflé well. Wonderful entree!

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The supremely delicious Thirlmere duck arrived next on a slab of slate, which gives a nice modern look but may not be entirely necessary. The breast was cooked sous vide and legs slowly roasted. It’s an awesomely rich main course that is best accompanied by an awesomely rich South Australian Shiraz.

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Due to the awesome richness of the previous two courses, we avoided some of the heavier dessert options and opted for a deconstructed carrot cake. It was an organised mess of carrot sponge, carrot gel, strips of candied purple carrot and some candied greens. We appreciated the work that went into this, but would have been just as satisfied with a slice of fully-constructed carrot cake.

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Apricot meringues and hazelnut truffles accompanied our teapots at the end of the meal.

Bravo Restaurant Eschalot, you fully deserve the accolades you’ve received and we’d gladly return to try more of your offerings.

M’s rating: 8/10

Eschalot Restaurant

24 Old Hume Highway

Berrima, 2577

Ph: +61 2 4877 1977

Eschalot on Urbanspoon

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The Scarborough Hotel, Scarborough, NSW

We took a short drive whilst in Sydney to Scarborough, which is about 70 mins South of Sydney. The Scarborough hotel is a gorgeous old building built in 1886, it has a stunning outdoor terrace with a beautiful view of endless water and sunshine. It’s very child friendly, and kids can run around on the grass whilst the adults sit and have lunch, drink and soak in the sun!

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After we found a table to seat outside, we went back in to order our food. There’s no table service, it’s pretty much all self service. The menu is your typical pub food which consists of salads, pasta, burgers and steak. There’s even a kids menu which was quite decent.

It was a gorgeous day so we opt to sit outside, however, there were a LOT OF FLIES! My bro, F, and dad wanted the steak – scotch fillet, 300g fed beef served with chips and leaf salad with a choice of mushroom or pepper sauce. The beef was cooked to perfection and it was incredibly tender.

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A favourite amongst the diners was the linguini pasta with sautéed prawns, chorizo and napolitana salsa. It was a pretty decent serving and the pasta was cooked to perfection.

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I couldn’t go past the special – beef burger with the lot! It was one of the biggest burgers I have eaten, two beef patties, cheese, tomato, salad, aioli and drizzled with a little bit of chili sauce. I have to admit it was messy but it was good and extremely satisfying. Oh there was also beetroot which I LOVE!

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Dragon had her own meal (and also stealing every body else’s chips!) Linguini bolognaise and it was a very large serving for a 2 year old! She ate half of it which was impressive, and I have to say, it was pretty good!

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Service was minimal, food was pretty decent I thought and the view was stunning. It was great to be outdoors eating and catching up with family. Good 1/2 day trip with friends and family.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

The Scarborough Hotel

383 Lawrence Hargrave Drive

Scarborough NSW 2515

Ph: +61 2 4267 5444

Scarborough Hotel on Urbanspoon

Walk, Berry Woodfired Sourdough, Donut Van in Berry

Part II of Berry, the next day….

The Drawing Rooms of Berry is surrounded by forest and velvet-green pastures. Wonderful breakfast guesthouse accommodation and boasts its ‘4.5 star accommodation that combines style, absolute tranquillity, wildlife galore and spectacular setting’. Unfortunately, ‘The Mother’ and I didn’t really get to enjoy or walk on the property, however, we did go for a hike to the Drawing Rooms lookout.

The Drawing Rooms look out is a spectacular rock formation on the hill-top that’s 600 metres above sea level. The walk is about 2 hours from the bottom of the Drawing Rooms guesthouse to the top and back.

I’m not much of a hiker, however, ‘The Mother’ loves it – walk or hike or whatever you want to call it, wherever we go, he would suggest we go for a ‘walk’ (which really means hike!). I would consider myself a moderately fit person, but when it comes to hiking – I feel like the most unfit person! I gasp, I sweat like pig and I am usually exhausted by the time we reach to destination!

The Drawing Room walk was tough at first, extremely steep hills but once we got to the top, it was amazing and absolutely spectacular! Well worth the ‘walk’!

I was famished after our walk, and suggested lunch at Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery which is run by both Joost and Jelle Hilkemeijer. Opened in 2003, this wonderful bakery is known for its organic woodfired sourdoughs, cakes and pastries and their legendary flaky, buttery croissants.


I love the cottage looking venue, the wooden tables and the friendly atmosphere. The luscious looking pastries teasing to be eaten, the lilies on the table and the food…. fantastic!


I started with a large coffee, I didn’t realise at the time that it was served in a bowl! It was a little bitter for my liking but still very smooth and aromatic.

‘The Mother’ and I thought we would share a couple of dishes. Started with duck confit on parsnip puree with brussels sprouts and jus ($23).


The duck was so tender that it just came off the bone, the parsnip puree incredibly smooth and creamy and since ‘The Mother’ doesn’t like brussels sprouts, more for me! It was an excellent hearty dish, perfect for winter.

The minestrone soup with basil piste and sourdough ($14) was one of the best minestrone soup I have had – even ‘The Mother’ agreed!


Served with potatoes, carrots, celery and barley with a hint of chili and topped with parmesan cheese. It was just magnifique, and the sour dough bread a wonderful complement. I probably could have eaten the soup on my own, it was superb. We bought some sourdough bread which we both ate the next day with butter and pate – excellent!

‘The Mother’ loves donuts and noticed the Famous Berry Donut Van which apparently has been trading in Berry for sixty years. The donuts are cooked to order and cooked by hand and made on the premises on the spot.


Nothing beats a good fresh donut and these donuts were just incredible. Crusty exterior, soft and fluffy on the inside with the right amount of sugar and cinnamon – perfect!


‘The Mother’ ate about three on his own, and if he hadn’t had lunch, I am sure he could have polished at least a dozen!

It was a lovely mid-week getaway, would definitely recommend going to Berry if you haven’t been, even if it’s just for a day trip!


GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery

23 Prince Alfred Street

Berry 2535

Ph: +61 2 4464 1617

Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery on Urbanspoon

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Famous Donut Van Berry

Queen Street

Berry 2535

Famous Berry Donut Van on Urbanspoon

The Hungry Duck, Berry

‘The Mother’ and I had a mid-week getaway to Berry, which is about two hours drive from the CBD. I love the history of the town, the greenness and the surrounding countryside. Not to mention the cafes, bakeries, the markets and gift shops in town.

We have never really stayed in Berry, usually just a day trip. However, we decided to stay over night this time round, have dinner, and do a bush walk in the morning before returning to Sydney.

We stayed at a B&B (bed and breakfast) called the Drawing Rooms of Berry. A 15 acre property with lots of giant gum and pine trees. Roger and Toni Stent are the lovely host, I didn’t meet Roger but Toni was very welcoming and friendly and made our stay extremely enjoyable.

On our way to the B&B, we stopped by for dinner at the Hungry Duck, a modern Asian restaurant using organic produce. They have their own organic herb and vegetable garden. The man behind the Hungry Duck is David Campbell who previously owned the Book Kitchen in Surry Hills, has worked at Wockpool, Tetsuyas (London) and Billy Kwong prior to opening his own modern Asian restaurant. Opened in May 2008, it has been named in the top ten green eateries in the good food guide in 2010 and 2011.

The restaurant is cozy, seats about 45 and there is a communal table outside that can fit 24 more people. Hungry Duck offers diners the option of a la carte and either a five or a nine course banquets. ‘The Mother’ and I opted for a la carte, the five course degustation sounds fantastic, but there were items on the menu that we both really wanted to try. Each dish are designed to be shared, Asian style.

We started with tataki of yellow fin tuna, miso, orange and sechuan pepper sorbet ($18). Slightly seared, the yellow fin tuna was deliciously fresh and the miso a wonderful complement. I love the orange and sechuan pepper sorbet – it was light and refreshing, not creamy but with a hint of spice – it’s a little weird to explain but the combination I thought worked!


‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the tempura zucchini flowers with aged soy and citrus ($15). I love the light airy batter, however I think the zucchini itself can be a little more tender.


Inside the zucchini – rice – not exactly what I expected, however, the aged soy and citrus dressing was a wonderful complement.


I couldn’t go past the duck tree ways – duck spring roll, rare caramelised breast and a crispy sichuan peppered leg ($34).

WOW – the duck spring roll was tasty. Duck mince with vegetables and then wrapped and deep-fried. The pastry was thin and crispy but parts of it was a little soggy by the time I ate it, regardless, it was still quite good.

The rare caramelised breast with soy, honey and then drizzled with sesame was one of the nicest duck I have had. Served medium rare, it was tender and succulent and probably the highlight of the evening. The crispy sichuan peppered leg had crispy skin and tender, juicy meat but it was definitely the rare breast duck meat that won my heart.

We couldn’t help but order the braised wagyu beef shin with orange, star anise and cinnamon ($30). It was wonderfully aromatic and fragrant. The braised wagyu beef was so tender that it just melted in my mouth.

I love the orange, star anise and cinnamon – great combination, lots of flavours and the smell, incredible!

Unfortunately, we were both stuffed. Nothing on the dessert menu really caught my eye – although the chinese five spiced doughnuts, butterscotch sauce and sour cream sounded interesting. Wine list extensive, they have different types of sakes, white and red, wine by the glass or bottles.

Service excellent, waitress friendly and very informative. It was a wonderful dinner, I am definitely keen to go back and try their other dishes including dessert.

The Hungry Duck is only open for dinner every night, except for Tuesday night. Well worth the visit!

GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10

The Hungry Duck

85 Queen Street

Berry 2535

Ph: +61 2 4464 2323

Hungry Duck on Urbanspoon