Back during the Christmas break I decided to surprise the Gourmet Female and take her to a place I've wanted to go to for ages, Biota Dining in Bowral. Biota has two chef's hats and is the Good Food Guide's "Regional Restaurant of the Year". So on the last Friday we hopped in the car in the morning and took the 1 1/2 hour drive out to the restaurant for lunch. I'm SO glad we did... They have some amazing dishes, and given my recent obsession with edible plants and flowers I was mesmerised by the variety and taste combinations - usually straight from their kitchen garden!
You can have 3, 5, or 7 courses but we figured that we came all that way so why do the whole 7 courses? Besides, the Gourmet Female owed me a drive home so I could enjoy some beverages! Yay for me...
Things kicked off with an oyster with cucumber and oyster foam. I recently got an iSi Whipper for Christmas so I was incredibly curious as to how the Chef made the foam. I'm still not sure but this starter really set the scene for lunch. We were in for a treat!
The next dish was egg yolk with cooked curds, rye, and chickpea. The pastry was incredibly light and silky but one I broke through and released the egg yolk on the curd it hit another level. Rich but not heavy. And the rye and chickpea added a great change of texture. Two out of two...
Now I know that some of you might get freaked out by the thought of veal tendon, but this would make the second time we've had them in 2013 (Mugaritz was the other) and they've been fantastic. Mix it with smoked kingfish, kelp juices, and sliced radish and I'm in Heaven!
I can't remember everything in the next chicken dish but I do remember that it had sweetcorn puree, which was beautiful. To be honest, I was getting a little depressed, realising that I was already through a good portion of the meal.
The last savoury dish was beef, molasses, native berries, and saltbush. It also had a charred leek underneath. The beef was so well cooked and the molasses was light but really changed the complexion of the beef. And I really need to find a source of saltbush as it can really add complexity to some dishes. Maybe I'll try to grow some!
The "Refresher" was a sorbet with toasted grains. Just fantastic - until we realised we only had one dish left!
Things were finished off with frozen chlorophyl, berries, and meringue. It was so interesting and a flavour I can't ever recall tasting before. And it was just the right amount of sweet to finish off the meal. Time for a walk around the kitchen gardens!
If you can make the time to visit it is indeed worth the time. We're thinking about hiring a few rooms for our birthday this coming July and spend the night there, having dinner and enjoy good friends and wine.