02 4998 6777
Restaurant Wed - Sat 6-10pm
Café Open 7 days 10am-5pm
On a recent trip to the Hunter Valley (for our beautiful niece's wedding), we decided to pay a visit to Muse Dining which resides within the Hungerford Hill Winery.
We are sitting down to lunch in the cafe, which is sleek & quite modern with a very relaxed feel.
Having scoffed a huge breakfast earlier, I am concerned that I will not be able to manage three courses, so Buggles & I opt to share a starter.
We begin with Prosciutto and Salami by Robert Marchetti, Binnorie marinated fetta, crusty bread.....this is a great start.
The salami is laced with fat & is rich and delicious, the proscuitto is equally good; while the lush, creamy and wonderfully salty feta just works so well with both. The bread is indeed crusty & abundant. Most enjoyable.
Buggles follows this with Crispy Skin Berkshire Pork Belly cauliflower puree, apple and mustard leaf salad, pomegranate dressing.
The pork is very well cooked, superbly tender & moist while retaining a most crispy skin. The cauliflower puree is thick & creamy, the apple and mustard leaf salad with its contrasting flavours is very successful; the pomegranate adds a tart note which is much appreciated. Buggles loves this.
My Fillet of beef with roasted butternut pumpkin, binnorie marinated feta, rosemary, tomato and chilli relish is fantastic. The beef is cooked perfectly medium rare; the tomato and chilli relish has a wonderful combination of sweetness with ever so slight heat and combines beautifully with the gorgeous feta.
The Desiree potato chips, sea salt with roasted garlic aioli are seriously the best chips we have eaten in a long time. Very crisp and salty on the outside but really fluffy inside, they are very moreish.
The Salad of mixed leaves, peach and macadamia nut is also spectacular, very fresh & light & much needed alongside all this richness.
Of course, as always, there is room for dessert.
Buggles is drawn to Strawberries and cream ice cream, broken chocolate torte, meringue, fresh strawberries. This dessert is visually very appealing & thankfully also delievers in the eating. The ice cream is rich and creamy with a lovely strawberry flavour. The broken chocolate torte is good and very chocolatety; the fresh strawberreries are delicious alongside the sweet meringue.
I go with Citrus Curd Tart, Italian Meringue coconut sorbet, pistachio crumbs. This absolutely delivers in terms of citrus tartness, it has a real 'bite' to it. The coconut sorbet & pistachio crumb combine speactularly & the Italian meringue is light, sweet & fluffy. Fantastic.
The service at Muse is very friendly and well informed which of course just adds to the experience.
We love visiting the Hunter Valley and are glad that there are restaurants/cafes of this calibre available. They make visiting just that much more enjoyable.