A gourmand’s haven awaits in regional New South Wales, where chef-hatted dining, freshly caught seafood and homegrown heirloom vegetables are the order of the day.
Go beyond Sydney’s inner-city foodie scene to experience exceptional dining in the leafy surrounds of regional New South Wales’ tranquil landscapes. With the freshest farm-to-table fare, hand-plucked ingredients, celebrated local produce and scenic vistas, these hidden gems are well worth the drive out of the city. From rustic, Mediterranean-esque share plates amid the Blue Mountains to refined seafood along Byron Bay’s iconic coastline, and a cosy, chef-hatted restaurant in an old-school farmhouse – the best in regional NSW dining is waiting for you.
Discover our collection of New South Wales properties here.
Raes Dining Room, Byron Bay
From the white rendered walls to views of aquamarine ocean peeking through the native bushland of Byron Bay’s Wategos Beach, Raes Dining Room is the place to see and be seen. Executive Chef Jason Saxby dances between modern Australian flavours with a Mediterranean flare, delighting the palette. Indulge in the three-course a la carte menu, offering delights such as Australian Bay lobster and rich wagyu sirloin, or partake in the hand-selected six-course tasting menu for the ultimate journey into Chef Saxby’s culinary vision. Vegetarians and vegans won’t miss out, with a dedicated menu of creative produce. Stay a 30-minute drive away at Sanctuary in the Pocket to complete your quintessential Byron Bay getaway.
The Zin House, Mudgee
The team of chefs led by Kyle Bowett have transformed the rustic charm of a modern farmhouse into an award-winning dining experience at The Zin House. Awarded a 2023 Chef’s Hat, this cosy restaurant elevates the sleepy New South Wales town of Mudgee to a foodie’s haven, developing menus that hero homegrown ingredients under the guiding principles of authenticity, generosity and quality. Conveniently located 10 minutes from Evanslea Luxury Boutique Accommodation, The Zin House invites you to gaze across the sweeping countryside hillscapes and lush vineyards while feasting on a luxurious six-course seasonal menu, designed to last for hours and served share-style among loved ones.
Pipit Restaurant, Pottsville
Inspired by the coastal scenery and located between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, Pipit Restaurant is renowned for its two-chef-hatted, wood-fired masterpieces, harnessing the best local farm and sub-tropical produce. Think bold, balanced flavours, fresh seafood and farm-to-plate ingredients that incorporate the relaxing coastal atmosphere of this unique region. Changing with the seasons, Chef Ben Devlin’s specialty menus pay homage to only the best of the best of New South Wales’ ingredients. Get up close and personal with the culinary team by taking advantage of the intimate counter that overlooks the open-plan kitchen, where complex, elegant bites are created, before retreating to the nearby Oaks Casuarina Santai Resort.
Megalong Restaurant, Blue Mountains
Under the guidance of Executive Chef Colin Barker, the team at Megalong Restaurant strive to work in harmony with the land and make the most of simple ingredients. This vision is captured by the farm-to-plate seasonal menu, crafted to utilise only in-season ingredients harvested at their finest from the onsite LOT 101 farm and local suppliers. The restaurant boasts 360-degree views of native New South Wales bushland in the beautiful Blue Mountains region, only 30 minutes from the boutique Lilianfels Resort and Spa. This hidden gem is well worth a visit not only to taste the passion and creativity of Chef Barker, but to truly experience the notion of symbiosis dining.
“Let local shine” is the motto and lifelong vision for BLAQ’s Executive Chef Mate Herceg, who takes the theory of ‘fresh is best’ to new heights in the stunning Blue Mountains town of Blackheath. Escape and embrace the region’s natural beauty with a stay at the charming Parklands Country Gardens and Lodges, five minutes from this exquisite restaurant, where the ingredients are plucked directly from the onsite gardens and Chef Herceg’s personal farm. The charred and grilled section of the seasonal menu showcases local meats cooked to perfection, immaculately accompanied by minimalistic herbal sauces, embracing primal and elemental cooking.
Wolgan Dining Room, Wolgan Valley
Take in the sweeping native bushland views that surround the elegant and secluded One&Only Wolgan Valley resort, boasting five-star opulence and fine Australian dining. Wolgan Dining Room is located in the Main Homestead of the luxury retreat, and serves authentically Australian cuisine, highlighting the bountiful freshness of seasonal and sustainable produce. The team of chefs strives to construct an epicurean fine-dining experience through the foraging of native ingredients and sourcing local, gourmet produce to showcase the taste of ‘here’ in dishes varying from Wolgan Valley lamb rack with jus to Rangers Valley beef tartare.
Rick Stein at Bannisters, Port Stephens
Transport your senses into a world of culinary bliss with the buttery texture of Bass Strait scallops and the briny richness of Nelson Bay tuna dancing on the palette during each mouthful at Rick Stein at Bannisters cliffside seafood restaurant. Perched high above the cobalt blue waters of Port Stephens, the restaurant is perfectly placed to make the most of the local catch and combines culinary finesse with the freshest ingredients to highlight the depth of ocean flavours. Simple cooking techniques ensure the locally caught seafood is the hero of every dish on the menu, each dressed in light and tangy sauces to elevate the delicate flavours.
Ates takes the notion of family-style dining to another level with its tasteful and rustic Mediterranean share plates. Think fresh, creamy scallops doused in chicken-skin butter and organic roasted carrots served in flavoursome garlic yoghurt, laid out along the spine of the dining table. The magic of the gastronomical journey comes from the use of seasonal local produce cooked to perfection in the 150-year-old ironbark-fuelled oven located in the heart of the open kitchen. Make the most of the gorgeous Blackheath region with a stay at the nearby Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant, boasting sweeping views of the mountain ranges.
Beach Byron Bay
Seasonal, regional ingredients produced in the Northern Rivers region are celebrated in chef Alanna Sapwell’s refined Beach Byron Bay menu. Living up to its name, the seafoam-white, beachfront pavilion, which is a short stroll from 28 Degrees Byron Bay, takes up a special place along the shore of Clarkes Beach. It offers two dining experiences: the Beach Kiosk takes on a casual approach to seasonal ingredients with iconic Australian meals, from a hearty bacon and egg roll to a vibrant avocado toast, while the Beach Restaurant dishes up refined Mediterranean-inspired flavours. The hyper-seasonal, seafood-focused menu treats you to the tender meat of Coffs Harbour Southern Rock lobster crepes served with zesty lemon butter, and juicy roasted lamb rump.
Muse Restaurant, Hunter Valley
Join the passionate foodies and culinary masters from around the world that flock to the monumental glass building that is Muse Restaurant. Nestled in the breast of the Hunter Valley mountains, within Hungerford Hill Winery – ten minutes from Château Élan at The Vintage – this award-winner offers the best in contemporary Australian fine dining. Head chef and restaurant owner Troy Rhoades-Brown champions the freshest regional produce and home-grown heirloom vegetables with an ever-changing five-course dinner menu, which has earned the restaurant two Chef Hats. Expect wood-fired delicacies, fresh agnolotti pasta topped with house chorizo, and succulent Black Angus tri-tip on a bed of local mushrooms.
Featured image: The Zin House, Eurunderee.
Discover our collection of New South Wales properties here.
Tickled your tastebuds? Take a look at The Top 10 Restaurants in Bali for 2023.