If you're familiar with the Hunter Valley dining scene you've probably heard the name Troy Rhoades-Brown bandied about before. The guy was once Head Chef at the renowned Roberts Restaurant before opening up his own place, Muse, at Hungerford Hill in 2009.
Troy is a true champion and devises his menus on the availability and seasonality of local produce. If you're looking to escape the Gelato shops and Pulled Pork Sliders of Sydney this weekend, check out Troy's tips on the best little places to head out to in the Hunter Valley:
• Bistro Molines is a must do weekend lunch. Megan and myself have collectively worked for Robert and Sally for over 10 years. They have a passionate customer and staff following. A beautiful restaurant perched on the side of a mountain with unmatchable views and a dining room filled with love and generosity. Don’t leave without trying the figs … or the duck … or the charcuterie board … (you get the point!)
749 Mt View Rd, Mt View.
+61 2 4990 9553
• Keith Tulloch Wines: a tasting room with a difference, Keith Tulloch Winery provides wine tasting flights whilst you relax on comfy lounges and day beds, soaking in the beautiful view from the second-story location. The wines are exceptional and unique expressing regional focussed small parcel personality.
Corner Hermitage & Deasys Rd, Pokolbin.
+61 2 49 987 500
• Tyrrell’s Family Wines: an icon of the Hunter, Tyrrell’s offer the perfect blend of wine making history and a fantastic range of exception wines. Get there at 10am to take a tour of the winery and make sure to snap up a Vat 1 Semillon or Vat 47 Chardonnay on your way out.
Broke Road 1838, Pokolbin.
1800 045 501 for sales, or +61 2 4993 7028 for tastings and general cellar door information.
• Tinklers: Usher Tinkler is a third generation wine maker. He is young and talented with some of the best vines in the Hunter to his name. The Poppy’s Chardonnay is one to look out for. Usher’s wife, Ebony, is in charge of sales and marketing and is also now driving the established family orchid and planting out seasonal fruit and veggies. Pop into the cellar door and check out what’s in season. The best figs, plums, peaches, melons, table grapes, avocados and citrus in town!
Pokolbin Mountains Rd, Pokolbin.
+61 2 4998 7435
• Margan Restaurant at Broke Fordwich continue to advance their estate grown, estate made ethos. With a massive kitchen garden, wine, livestock and Michael Robinson (ex Bécasse) heading up the kitchen. The recipe is right for a great dining experience. Make sure you take a stroll through the veggie garden to walk off the insanely good soufflé de jour.
1238 Milbrodale Road, Broke Hunter Valley.
Cellar Door: +61 2 6579 1372
Restaurant: +61 2 6579 1372