While there’s nothing wrong with each of these gourmet experiences, there is also a more nuanced way to appreciate Australiana on a dish- by making the most of native ingredients that otherwise grow, bloom and are forgotten on the vine.
Harvest at Newrybar has taken the second approach to Australian dining, creating an ever-changing menu that makes the most of its own native garden, and other produce local to the region. Where exactly is the region you may well wonder? The tiny town of Newrybar is a 15 minute drive from Byron Bay, so while dining here you are in basically sniffing distance of a Hemsworth.
Let’s take a stroll through the wilderness to find out what could end up on your plate when you venture out this way.
We had to give the fruits of this oven a go, and started with:
- Woodfired sourdough with churned butter
The bread was genuinely, ridiculously, absolutely amazing. Crusty on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth soft on the inside. It was perfect covered in lashings of fresh butter.
To go with this simple starter done well, I tried out a Sage Advice cocktail, mainly because it had beer in it:
- Sage Advice: St Agnes VS Brandy, Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, Watermelon & Pineapple Sage Granita, Fingerlime Oleo.
All of these ingredients blended together beautifully. The beer added a distinctive earthiness which was lifted by the fruit, including the zingy fingerlime.
- Byron Bay Pork Neck, Davidson’s Plum Glaze, Radish and Turnip
- Kangaroo Loin, Charred Leeks, Quandong
- Salad of Peas, Sprouts, Nasturtium, Milk Curd, Pickled Shallots
The pork neck and kangaroo were both tender and full of flavour. The kangaroo in particular had a real gamey flavour that quickly became addictive. Adding in the tartness of the quandong lifted this dish beautifully.
The foraged salad was also a winner, so much so that I could genuinely just order rounds of salads next time I was here and be perfectly satisfied (as long as some of that bread still came my way). The milk curd gave a robust richness to the fresh produce, making each forkful a real delight.
The dessert menu was equally as tantalising:
- Bunya Nut, Macadamia, Caramel and Charred Kelp Mousse
- Bush Lemon, Meringue and Lemon Myrtle
Again, both of these dishes were superb, blending in native Australian ingredients to traditional European dishes.
The mousse was rich and decadent, thanks to both the creamy bunya nut and macadamias. The lemon meringue had a lovely tang to it, which offset any overt sticky sweetness which can be the wont of many a meringue.
The thought and care that went into each dish was evident in the beautifully crafted meals we had here. Adding in a touch of native Australiana to each meal also helped us feel more connected to where our food came from, which is a bonus in a world where food in plastic packaging has become the norm.
Going back to our roots has never been so tasty.