221 Vincent Street Cessnock, NSW 232502 4991 3700
|Opening hours||Daily 12pm-3pm,6pm-10pm,winter 5.30pm-10pm|
|Features||Wheelchair access, Outdoor seating, Private dining, Bar|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Chef||Daniel Hunt and Gianni Slaviero|
|Payments||Mastercard, Visa, eftpos|
Inspiration has struck twice for Alexandra Morphett; first by renovating this heritage-listed pub (built in 1902), and then by installing Daniel Hunt in the kitchen. Enter through etched-glass doors and pass through a clubby bar to a light, bright dining room where the food is pleasantly contemporary, from wood-fired pizza at lunch to a full Mod-Med-Asian menu. Colourful baby heirloom vegetables team with cubes of deep-fried organic white polenta and pools of bright green chive aioli; spicy, crunchy, soft-shell baby mud crab is pepped up with julienned cucumber in fragrant nam jim dressing. Whole filleted flounder is simply presented with wilted Asian mushrooms and baby bok choy, while honey-glazed duck leg is nicely paired with the breast, crusted in pistachio crumble. Marmalade and sweet potato puree adds another dimension. The high point is chocolate mousse, piped onto a crisp chocolate sable and surrounded by a swirl of lush chocolate ganache, its richness balanced by a perfectly poached pear.