We decided to have dinner at Twine Restaurant on our last night in the Hunter Valley.
1. Black angus grange beef fillet, truffled potato puree, roasted swiss brown mushrooms, red wine jus and mustard
2. Complimentary bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
3. Bacon wrapped spatchcock, with chestnuts and pan fried cacciatore sausage
4. Tempura zucchini flowers filled with prawn and blue swimmer crab and lobster bisque
5. Asian duck trio: duck wonton miso soup, peking duck spring roll with nam jim and tea smoked duck breast with Asian greens and star anise glaze
Funny story here, we actually wanted to have Twine on an earlier night. Drove all the way there on the horrible Hunter Valley roads (actually I don’t understand why the roads are so bad. There are parts with hundreds of fixed pot holes. My car has sport tyres, it was horrible – we felt every single bump!) and they were closed. My fault for only checking opening hours and not checking opening days. Twine is open for lunch everyday but for dinner they are only open on Friday and Saturday for a la carte and on Sunday for their fixed fireside menu.
We started with a tempura zucchini flowers filled with prawn and blue swimmer crab and lobster bisque ($20). The tempura zucchini flowers were really nice and crispy. However, I was a little disappointed with the prawn and blue swimmer crab filling. The filling was very dumpling like, it was very dense and tightly packed in like mince. This seemed like a bit of a waste considering how nice and fluffy shredded crab and diced prawns can be. The lobster bisque on the other hand was absolutely delicious, really creamy with mild flavours. Somehow it kind of tasted like a mushroom sauce, which was weird.
For our second entree we got the bacon wrapped spatchcock, with chestnuts and pan fried cacciatore sausage ($20). The spatchcock was moist and delicious, the bacon was nice and crunchy and gave a whole dish a nice amount of saltiness. The cacciatore sausages were spicy and really enjoyable. The meats went really well with the side of mash and cabbage that was quite soft.
Moving onto our mains, first up we got the Asian duck trio ($37). This included a duck wonton miso soup, peking duck spring roll with nam jim and tea smoked duck breast with Asian greens and star anise glaze. The duck trio was nice, a little bit of Asian inspiration. The peking duck spring roll was probably my favourite part of this dish. It was a very generous serving and the meat was soft and flavoursome. The duck wonton miso soup was nice but I wish it was in a bowl with more soup than this cup, these just wasn’t enough soup to go around, made the wonton quite dry, since the wonton meat was quite dense like the filling of the zucchini flower. Finally, the tea smoked duck breast. This was nice but I don’t recall much of a tea taste to it. The duck itself was moist so thats good. Overall this dish was nice but the Asian inspired side to it could definitely be improved.
For our second main we got a black angus grange beef fillet, truffled potato puree, roasted swiss brown mushrooms, red wine jus and mustard ($38). The mash on this dish was so good, that little bit of truffle really did make such a big difference (in a really good way). Sadly, the mushrooms were a little too overpowering but that was easily fixed, we just cut them all up and had little bits with each bite, worked well! The steak wasn’t seasoned very much, which I assume was them trying to showcase the quality of the meat, but I’m honestly more used to steaks with a couple herbs and spices on it, just personal bias i think. I guess with all the other powerful flavours on the dish, probably wasn’t a bad idea though.
Nice place to dine, their Sunday fireside set menu sounds really cool too. I think they actually cook over an open fire, you get a mezze plate to start, followed by a main and finally finishing with desserts, all for $49 per person, not bad for a 3 course meal. Also, each month they change the theme of their fireside menu, the themes seem to work with the seasons and events (see full list below). Would definitely look into checking this out next time we are in the Hunter Valley.
- January: Summer Treats
- February: Moroccan
- March: Sea and Land
- April: Greek
- May: Spanish
- June: French
- July: Christmas in July
- August: Winter Treats
- September: Spring Flavours
- October: German
- November: Middle East
- December: Christmas Flavours
Check out some of our other food adventures from the Hunter Valley: