Amongst all the hustle and bustle of Terrigal’s waterfront district, it would be easy to miss Yellowtail Restaurant‘s nondescript entrance. I beg you not to, because it’s here that owner Scott Price and Head Chef Alastair Burke are serving up some of the Central Coast’s finest dining.
Opened in Spring of 2016, Yellowtail’s small and intimate 35-seat dining experience, quickly became a must-visit destination for lovers of Modern Australian cuisine. The menu always tends towards an experimental blend of Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavours featuring fresh local produce that lends itself perfectly to wine pairing. Which is partly what makes this wine dinner collaboration with Barossa Valley winemaker Andrew Quin all the more intriguing.
NOTE: This is a review of the Yellowtail + Quin Wines dinner held Thursday 22nd June 2023, and does not necessarily reflect their standard à la carte menu.
On a clear sunny day there is no finer view on the Central Coast than the one you’ll find looking out from the balcony at Terrigal’s The Cowrie. Nestled high on the hill overlooking the bustling Terrigal beachside, the restaurant offers stunning panoramic ocean and bay views.
What’s better is that their fine dining cuisine is even more magnificent than the vista!
At just on 18 months since taking over the iconic Central Coast venue, Owner/Executive Chef Dimitris Aronis and his Head Chef Reece Timora have transformed The Cowrie into something special. Championing locally sourced and seasonally driven produce, the menu is as light, fresh and modern as the revamped décor.
Little Miss Mezza is West Gosford’s recently opened sister to Motel Mezza at Wyong, but there is nothing little about this venue or its food. The blend of traditional Lebanese flavours with Modern Australian techniques, coupled with a great wine and cocktail list, make a fresh and welcome addition to the Central Coast food-scene.
Debuting at the beginning of February 2023 in the newly refurbished West Gosford Village shopping centre, Little Miss Mezza is the mastermind of Meraki Group Director Tara Senam, her business partner Nick Waldon-Howe, and Executive Chef Joshua Grant.
It’s worth noting that the word ‘Meraki‘ is a Greek word that roughly means “something done with great care, love and passion”. It is a meaning that explains a lot about how the Meraki Group venues are operated, and this especially shines through at Little Miss Mezza.
Most of the time, I’m not the one at The Grape & Grain to choose the wine. I do the cooking, and generally leave the wine pairing to my wife. She’s so much better at it than I am.
Occasionally, she’ll throw me a curve-ball and message me with a wine selection before I’ve had a chance to come up with the menu. “Here,” she says. “I’d like you to cook something to go with this!”
That’s always much harder for me: working backwards from Wine to Food. It’s not a process I enjoy and would rather just cook the food.
Vintage 2022 is getting underway in wineries all across New South Wales — and progressively in other states as well — as summer turns slowly towards autumn. All across the country, crews are out picking fruit that will be turned into our favourite wines.
But, in the wake of years of intense climate change, recently broken droughts, devastating bushfires, and a wet and humid La Nina year, how are things looking down there in the vineyards?
To get the answers, I asked some of the best winemakers from the Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Orange and the Southern Highlands wine regions their thoughts. The responses I received were as varied as their winemaking styles and personalities but consensus is clear that, given a little luck with the weather, this year should be a cracker for good wine.
Here’s what they told me…
It is a Friday night in Ettalong, not long after COVID lockdown restrictions have eased, and Safran Restaurant is bustling with activity. To be honest, it’s very easy to see why.
First opened by Chef Suleyman “Sulo” Kirbancioglua and his wife Natalie in 2013, and earning its first AGFG Chef’s Hat in 2020, Safran has become a bit of an institution for Central Coast locals. Specialising in Contemporary Turkish cuisine, Safran will be quite a revelation for those only familiar with late-night kebabs, food truck gözleme, and chips dipped in humus. Here, Chef Sulo shows us the true wonders of what Turkish food can offer.
Over the past few years, Ettalong Beach — a quiet village on the shores of Brisbane Water where it meets Broken Bay — has become quite an exciting place for new food venues. Far from the bustle of Terrigal and with ample parking, there’s plenty to love here, including wood-fired pizza, Indian, Thai, as well as modern-Australian, modern-Turkish and modern-Italian with a more casual-meets-fine dining aesthetic.
Osteria Il Coccia fits firmly into this last category: Italian food with a modern Australian twist, prepared by Chef Nicola Coccia using the freshest ingredients and with an emphasis on wood-fire cooking.
Ask most people about the New South Wales Hunter Valley, and they’ll think of the central tourist district of Pokolbin. But travel just 15 minutes south via Oakey Creek Rd, and you’ll find Mount View.
The short trip is well worth it, because Mount View is one of the most gorgeous parts of the Hunter Valley Region. It has breathtaking views and some really distinctive wineries producing exceptional wines.
Carillion Wines, at the Tallavera Grove Vineyard on Mount View Road, is one such place. The Cellar Door and attached Bistro Molines just ooze French Provincial charm and the view across the vineyards is breathtaking. But…you really should visit for more than just the vista, because the wines are something special too.