Category Archives: Pokolbin

Cafe Enzo, Pokolbin

The skies burst open as we arrived at Cafe Enzo so no sitting outside under the canvas umbrellas.Instead we were lead into a stable-like dining space with stone floors and high-vaulted wooden ceilings with cast iron fixtures. From morning-coffee-with-the papers to rowdy-get-together-with-friends, Cafe Enzo fits every mood and every palate.
bread and dip trio – tomato chutney(delish), pesto, and olive tapenade
chargrilled sirloin steak with fennel and pear salad and parsnip cream
steak ever so slightly overcooked but flavours a knock-out
sensational risotto with peas, asparagus, confit rabbit and truffle

The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley

There’s no doubt the Hunter Valley’s wine industry has exploded in the past ten years. Huge resorts and wine complexes are springing up everywhere. So much so that it can be difficult to experience that ‘getting away from it all feeling’ that us stressed out inner-city types yearn for.
That’s why the The Sebel ‘Kirkton Park’ was such an unexpected surprise. Only 3km away from the Pokolbin Broke’Rd /McDonald Rd winery epicentre but a world away in terms of  relaxation. Valley views, birds and frogs (and rabbits!) around the waterhole, wide cooling verandahs, pool table, spa, tennis court, swimming pool, a wonderful in-house masseuse, and the best room service food we’ve had in a long time. We’re already planning our next escape.
view of the Keith Tulloch winery
the majestic gum outside our hotel room
kooka wants a cracker?
Full cooked breakfast The Kirkton style
home-made museli

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Lake’s Folly Spring Lunch 2009 – Hunter Valley

I had a real treat this weekend. I was invited to the Lake’s Folly 2009 Spring lunch at Muse Restaurant in the Hunter Valley.Winemaker Rodney Kempe and his wife Sandra hosted a nine-course degustation perfectly complementing their wines.
As a late convert to the Lake’s Folly wines I have a lot of catching up to do.
It was Australia’s first boutique winery and only makes two wines – a Cabernet blend and a Chardonnay. Both varietals are award-winning and more remarkably are grown, vintaged and bottled entirely on the Lake’s Folly Estate. We now have a dozen of their 2008 Chardonnay sitting in our cellar!

Muse Restaurant at the Hungerford Hill Wine Estate on Broke Rd, Pokolbin
a forest of glassware
Amuse Bouche: tuna sashmi on pickled seaweed
Petuna Ocean Trout and citrus three ways
Lake’s Folly 1998 Chardonnay
Wild Atlantic Sea Scallopps, marchetti proscuitto, sweetcorn and saffron cream, basil oil
These scallops were plump and meaty – one of the many highlights
Lake’s Folly 1992 Cabernets
Confit duck, roast garlic and spinach tortellini, parsnip espuma, brown butter and balsamic reduction
Slow-cooked Hunter Valley venison, celeriac and onion puree, Jerusalem Artichoke, chervil, sweet blackberry sauce
The venison sliced like butter
the celeriac and onion puree was delicately balanced
this was a refreshing palate cleanser
2001 Chateau Doisy Daene dessert wine
Hazelnut Panna Cotta, Sauterne and blueberry granita with star anise spun toffee
textures, textures, textures!
turkish delight petit four

Muse Restaurant and cafe is run by two food talents –  Troy Rhoades-Brown in the kitchen and Megan Rhoades-Brown running the floor. These are two youngsters to watch!