Monday, January 24, 2011

Locavore Long Lunch at Hungry Duck in Berry

After a wonderful four week break from the routines of life (and janeCOOKS), which included a two week road trip with my family to the South Coast of NSW, I am back blogging again today!

There is so much to do, see & eat on the beautiful South Coast and that will unfold in my many posts over the next couple of months.
I came across a lovely book when travelling called "Locavore... A Foodies' Journey through the Shoalhaven" ,which coincidentally was part of the area we were road tripping!

We also came across an impressive little restaurant in Berry called "Hungry Duck", with some amazing Modern Asian food.

I will give you more detail on that in my post on Berry to come!
On one of the final days of our holiday, I noticed in the window of the restaurant an advertisement for a Locavore Long Lunch...and although it was planned for two weeks later, when we would be back home in Sydney, we decided we'd like to go anyway! You only live once right?

Early Sunday morning we left our teenage kids at home together for the day, met our good friends Jeff & Wendy and drove South to Berry for a Long Lunch! After a pleasant 2 1/2 hour drive, (the boys a little shocked, that Wendy and I could talk all that way!) we arrived again in the gorgeous town of Berry.
The restaurant boasts an impressive vegetable garden and lovely outdoor dining option.

We were seated in the shade for most of the afternoon, amongst the vege patch, for four hours of fine food fare, on shared plates at communal tables! All of the produce, both food and wines had been sourced locally and many of these local producers featured in the Locavore Book.

What a lovely way to spend my last day of holiday, before returning to the janeCOOKS life this week!
We began with drinks in the garden...
Antipodeans Organic Sparkling Spring Water, or the choice of Broughton Pale Ale or Cambewarra Estate 2009 Blanc de Blanc. We met some lovely people as we mingled under the shade of a broad old tree.
The food began with:
Oysters (Jim Wild) - natural -sweet myoga ginger dressing (from our garden) -or Cupitts red wine vinegar and eschallots.

I decided this was the perfect day to try my first oyster! in keeping with my new year only live once! I went for the one with the red wine was lovely!
Quail eggs (Vanessa Joyce-Briggs) with XO sauce and crispy garlic (Gavin Chittick)

These were so delicate, a little mouthful of poached egg with a nice kick in the sauce to spice it up!
We were then seated at our table, and met our new friends for the next few hours, Brad & Jamie from Shell Harbour (who were having a day out together, without their four young children! and then Richard & Chrissy who were regular diners at Hungry Duck and big foodie fanatics from Sydney!)
We had some very interesting conversations amongst the eight of us, as the food rolled on!

Coolangatta Estate 2005 Semillon accompanied the next course:
Barbecued Peach (Clyde River Berry Farm) baby cos, fennel and chives with lemon and Olive Oil (Kangaroo valley Olives)

Russian red tomatoes (Bruno Morabito) with home made ricotta and Cupitt's vino cotto

Both of these dishes were so fresh and flavoursome, and were two of my favourites of the day! The peaches were perfect and the home made ricotta on these vibrant red tomatoes...I could have gone home happy right then! But there was more and more!
Silos Estate 2009 Wild Ferment Chardonnay or Cuppitts 2010 Woodlands Sauvignon actually it was not or..because our lovely waitress Anna made sure we got a little taste of both, in fresh glasses! We got such attentive and friendly service all afternoon.
The boys' at our table, eyes nearly popped out of their heads and it was confirmed later that it was the boys hands down favourite of the day, when out came the platter of:
Crayfish (John Shillito) on the Roberta Grill served with two sauces,
-roast capsicum, onion & smoked paprika
-miso & wakame butter made from local organic cream.

Incredible is all I am going to say!
Next we were supposed to be served goat, but lucky for the boer goats (Taste of Paradise) they were flooded in! so we had some succulent lamb instead.
Lamb Roasted in whole joints with garlic (Gavin Chitticks) olives, olive oil ( Kangaroo Valley Olives) and lemon.

This was accompanied by:
Warm salad of green beans, zucchini flowers (Robert Boyd) and bamboo shoots (Taste of Paradise)

Again we were offered a taste of both
Coolangatta Estate 2009 Tannat or Cupitts Slaughterhouse Cabernet/Syrah
to be enjoyed with
Standing rib roast of beef (Mark Whittaker) with salsa verde and shaved pickled beetroot (Berry Mountain Farm)

The beef with the pickled beetroot was a taste sensation and the peas and potatoes that followed only added to the experience.
Dutch creams, pink eye, king edward potatoes (John Fisher) roasted in our duck fat with rosemary, thyme and Murray River pink salt.
Smashed peas (Robert Boyd) with slow cooked hens eggs these were both so popular we were all eating them before I could snap a photo!
Then came dessert and although none of us needed to eat another thing, all of us did and there was a strong suggestion of licking our plates as well!!
Mountain Ridge Winery Macadamia Liquor accompanied
Lemon Myrtle Panna Cotta (Jenny Crosby) with fresh cracked honey comb (Lindsey Parnell) and fresh berries (Clyde River Berry Farm )

One of the highlights of the day, had to be when the chef came to the table with the tray of fresh honey comb from the hive and served our fresh honey comb to accompany the Panna Cotta...just brilliant!

As well we finished with:
Small Cow farm cheese with Berry Wood fired Sour Dough baguette
a blue cheese and a marinated feta, with fresh peaches

It was lovely to meet both Amy Willisee the author and Katie Rivers the photographer of the Lovacore Book, and hear a little of their journey and challenge, in bringing the book together to be published.

Chef David Campbell also mingled with the guests throughout the afternoon and we enjoyed the fine music of Roddy Reason, that just added to the ambience of the Long Lunch in the garden.

It was a great day out and I loved the fact that we were supporting the local farmers and businesses, as we feasted and discovered and delighted in their incredible fresh produce.
The 21/2 hr drive home, allowed us time to digest the food and the highlights of the day, plus we even stopped at a road side stall to buy fresh herbs and eggs!

As we walked in the back door of our home, right on dinner time last night, our three teenage kids were waiting with the big question, "What's for dinner mum?" our response...we couldn't eat another thing...for days!

Hungry Duck
85 Queen Street, Berry ph (02)44642323

Lovacore Amy Willisee & Katie Rivers

Roddy Reason Music


Vicki Simpson said...

Wow, that would give an Italian Sunday lunch a run for its money. Take me next time!

janecooks said...

We made that very comment as we left the lunch, "this is what the Italians' do every Sunday!" & being on a Sunday Reverend Simpson! I knew you'd be booked up :)we will have to find a mid week outing to match this one!

Anonymous said...

Amazing is all I can say!!!!!! x S

janecooks said...

Amazing it was!

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