The Stunned Mullet

Jackie McMillan
15th May 2024

The Stunned Mullet is a regional gem. It’s easily the best restaurant in Port Macquarie, and—as a semi-regular visitor across more than a decade—I can say it is cooking at the top of its game right now. Dining here will set you back $110 per person to receive the pick of the menu across three courses, with only the Australian grain-fed Tajima wagyu attracting a surcharge. The restaurant will try to tempt you with an oyster add-on ($36/6) with pre-shucked but cleverly topped bivalves culminating in nahm jim.  

King prawns with fragrant oat flakes—which have been a bit of a signature across the last decade—never fail to please. Seared scallops with boudin noir and textures of corn were a good combination, attractively shaped into a floral wreath. There was plenty of Moreton Bay bug and a good kick of roasted chilli in the generous pile of linguine. Glacier 51 toothfish—always a pleasure to eat—allowed the silky white flesh to star against a clear Japanese clam soup (suimomo), savoy cabbage and daikon.  

The wine list here is an extensive tome that might defy what you expect in a regional area. With a massive range of Chardonnay, we found the 2022 Kooyong Estate ($92) to be the right balance between price point and quality. Desserts at The Stunned Mullet are decadent. For me personally, there were too many elements on the plate, but nothing clashed across the Japanese pepper gelato and the salty crème caramel. My dining companion cooed over the latter’s custard, which took him back to the Greek custard tarts of his Wollongong childhood. I was most taken with the clever spike of wasabi in my quenelle of gelato.