The drive to lunch at Margan Restaurant last Sunday was just beautiful: a quiet (save the swarms of motor bike riders) scenic road trip from Sydney from the F3 along the winding Paynes Crossing Road. Later Lisa Margan said it’s easy to remember the directions – think Route 66 and halve it (Tourist Drive 33.) From Broke follow Millbrodale Road. We ended up staying in the Hunter Valley overnight for Food Fight but if, with a designated driver, we had returned home we may have taken her round trip suggestion driving back along the Putty Road.
We’d headed straight to the restaurant, instead of first checking into our hotel, and were in need of refreshment. Suggestions please. On a warm sunny day, the Margan Frizzante was offered first at the Cellar Door. Perfect. Refreshing. Not only did it hit the spot, but what a delightful change to be offered a cellar door tasting from a decent glass. Nose in. Tiny bubbles tickling the palate.
Prior to the visit I didn’t realise the restaurant has a kitchen garden. “Our carbon footprint – just 20 muddy steps from the garden” the menu says. There was time to stretch our legs before lunch.
Chooks – “Rhode Island Red (glossy, russet colour) Barter Brown (brown with white flecks and tail feathers) Australorp (pure black) Italian Leghorns (long legged, pure white and bossy!) They have lots of personality which keeps them off the menu!” – supply free range eggs to the restaurant kitchen.
“Being farmers, we are committed to looking after the land so that it is able to look after us for generations to come. As such, we are determined to ensure our carbon footprint is as small as possible.
Our one acre fruit and vegetable garden is a labour of love as well as a sustainable way we can reduce our food miles. We base our menus around the seasons and produce harvested straight from our Kitchen Garden.
What is not used in the kitchen goes to the chickens who very kindly supply us with eggs for the menu and compost for the garden (the chicken or the egg?). The water falls from the sky, so we offer you fresh rainwater, filtered and free.
The wine comes from the grapes grown on our vineyards right here in Broke Fordwich and made in the winery behind where you sit.
We freshly prepare most menu items from scratch in our kitchen, including our signature gelati, pasta, butter, olives, smallgoods, pastries,etc. In addition to what we lovingly grow, we source locally.” the Margan Restaurant menu proudly declares.
Thankfully, we hadn’t had breakfast: not even a stop for coffee on the way. Because we feasted (and drank) the afternoon away while looking out from the dining room verandah.
The same care that is taken with the seasonal food philosophy displays itself in the food presented on the plate. Thoughtful. Classic. Updated. Not overworked and tricky. Just a celebration of the season.
Lunch Menu Spring 2012
Binnorie goats curd and baby beetroot salad with thyme, hazelnut and blackcurrant vinaigrette
See Saw Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Porcini crusted venison carpaccio with pickled red cabbage, smoked potato and pumpkin aioli
Margan Rose (Shiraz Saignee) 2012
Spanner crab with garden asparagus cream, salmon pearls and baby herbs
Margan Chardonnay 2011
Vitello tonnato – poached veal, seared tuna, olive, radish and caper salad
Margan Merlot 2011
Potato gnocchi with spring baby vegetables, swiss brown mushroom and truffled pecorino
Margan Aged Release Semillon 2007
Tagliatelle with prawns, zucchini, rocket pesto, lemon and shaved bottarga
Margan Frizzante (Semi Sparkling Semillon) 2011
Free range quail with beluga lentils, cotechino and parsnip cream
Margan White Label Barbera 2010
Squid ink risotto with swordfish, chorizo and peas
Margan White Label Semillon 2010
Crispy ballontine of chicken with white polenta, mushroom ragu and salsa verde
Margan Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Twice cooked pork belly, crackling, broad beans, cauliflower, pistachio and poached prunes
Margan Shiraz 2010
Roasted lamb loin, pressed shoulder, skordalia, eggplant, spinach and ricotta
Margan Aged Release Shiraz 2007
Margan 2009 Botrytis Semillon
Vanilla and cinnamon pannacotta with calvados apples, pear and oat crumble
Tiramisu semifreddo with mascarpone cream and poached strawberries
Banana tarte tartin with rum & raisin ice-cream and butterscotch sauce
Chocolate delice with salted peanut brittle, crème fraiche and orange
Selection of gelati
Affogato: Gelato with praline, a shot each of coffee, amaretto or frangelico
From this new spring menu we savoured these.. And of course sipped the matched Margan Wine suggestions..
And left very happy and contented.. To check in to our room and have a nap..
1238 Milbrodale Road Broke NSW Australia
+61 2 6579 1372
Margan Restaurant is now certified with Green Table Australia as well as the WFA Entwine program (first & only Hunter Valley winery) for their environmental sustainability initiatives and has been awarded:
Winner Sustainable Restaurant Award, SMH Good Food Guide 2011
Top 10 Regional NSW Restaurants – Gourmet Traveller 2012
Winner Best Restaurant, NSW Tourism Awards 2010, 2011
Winner Best Restaurant, Hunter Tourism Awards 2010, 2011,2012
Silver Best Restaurant Qantas Australian Tourism Awards 2010, 2011
Winner Best Regional Wine List, SMH Good Food Guide 2011
5 Star Winery James Halliday Wine Companion 2009-2013
Did I mention service? What a marvellous change to have a team on the floor that are knowledgeable, professional (that is with hospitality their chosen professions) and welcoming.