Monday, December 26, 2016

Some choice eateries in the Southern Highlands

December 2016.   Three splendid meals in the Highlands – Biota & Bundanoon Guest House … plus a Chinese connection.
At the risk of being accused of spruiking I bring this to the attention of friends and relations at the same time as wishing all a happy and restful holiday period ahead. 
Biota in Bowral is almost my ‘local’.  The formal restaurant is beyond my normal budget so I usually eat in their front-of-house tapas bar where a new menu is most impressive, now including some full meal choices.  The onion rings were the best I have ever eaten.  Top-notch ‘chips’ are really baked potatoes with creamy sauce.  Dory roe with home-made crisps (generous serving of both); fried chicken wedges and pickles. All simply scrumptious. Other dishes included pasta, raw king fish, leeks, kale and a cheese Mac with chips.  “Somm” Ben Shephard knows his wines, local and exotic (prices modest to mostest).  He also does bespoke non-alcoholic beverages using botanicals.  Chef James Viles continues to win prizes for innovative food and exotic produce, some home grown on the premises and nearby.  The $64 question: can vegetarians eat caviar? 
Another noted Highlands chef Eon Waugh, late of Josh’s Café and the Exeter Studio Restaurant has now taken over the dining room at the Bundanoon Guest House.  And their first week has been a busy one with many of his signature dishes in evidence – as well as some new ones.  Double cooked gruyere soufflé, butter chicken curry, mandarin duck and pate all exemplary.  Even the bread and butter are special.  A delayed alcohol licence might be considered a benefit (so ring to see if you can bring your own).  And enjoy in moderation (or excess but rarely). 
The Hong Kong Restaurant in Moss Vale is producing authentic Cantonese cuisine seven days per week and is great value.  Try their pork mince and green beans; roast duck and sour vegetables; black bean chilli beef; fried dumplings … all excellent to my taste. 
Kind regards, Andrew Byrne .. Burradoo via Redfern