The SLWFS annual trip to a NSW regional restaurant was held on Wednesday, 6 May where 27 members and 17 guests had an enjoyable day commencing with a 9.00 am bus departure from Central Railway and then we headed off to Centennial Vineyards (near Bowral in the Southern Highlands) for a taste of their current wines. We were greeted with a Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay and moved onto a Blanc de Blancs. After the two sparkling wines we were able to choose a taste from Centennial’s extensive list of wines.
From Centennial Vineyards we travelled a short distance to Biota Dining. This restaurant has won many awards over the last 4 years, and as well as maintaining 2 chefs hats, were awarded ‘Best Regional Restaurant in NSW’ in 2014. The philosophy of the restaurant is to take literally the word bio-ta “animals and plant life of a particular region” and cook only local produce and to ensure the food tells the story of the region. The wines are almost 100% sourced from the local area.
The restaurant is very spacious and had a quiet, calming Japanese influence with plenty of room between seating enabling easy conversation to take place.
The menu was a choice of 3 dishes for each course from the restaurant’s menu “:
Cauliflower gnocchi-sheep’s cheese-pickled onion-sage
House cured trout-chiogga beets-avocado-white radish
Kingfish-shellfish broth-saffron-Hawkesbury squid
Lamb breast-artichoke-legumes-creamed curds-rye
Honey-mead-almond-malted barley ice cream’
The asparagus and spanner crab entrée was chosen by most at the lunch and enjoyed by all. The cured trout was cut a little too thick but went well with the beets.
The Cauliflower Gnocchi was also enjoyed.
Comments on the mains centred around the lamb breast and how there was too much fat on the lamb and it was overcooked – not showing any pink in the middle of the meat.
The organic hen dish was enjoyed especially the corn crème.
Most agreed the desserts had amazing bursts of flavours and textures. The chocolate and pear had confusing flavours and was a little disappointing.
On the plus side, “the journey that Biota takes you on with their food – bursts of flavour contrasting with layers of textures, colours – superb”.
The local wines served were :
2012 Centennial winery block chardonnay
2014 Tertini Riesling
2012 Tertini merlot cabernet
One interstate wine :
2012 Gomersal Shiraz Barossa Valley
The Tertini Riesling, whilst still young, was matched well with the food and drinking well now.
The Gomersal Shiraz was the pick of the red wines.
The feedback for the day was an excellent outing.