Staying fresh: Sean Moran.
Staying fresh: Sean Moran. Photo: Jennifer Soo

Scott Bolles

Ravaged by the recent bushfires, the Blue Mountains has more heartening news with Sean Moran from Bondi's Sean's Panaroma taking over the restaurant space at the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden. Once a major drawcard for Blue Mountains visitors, the restaurant slipped dramatically off the radar in recent years.

Mount Tomah is just a 10-minute drive from Moran's Blue Mountains farm, which appealed to the chef.

"I really want to use as much local produce as possible. We've sourced rabbits for rabbit rissoles; there are yabbies in the area. I'm now producing Murray cod in the dam on the farm [that] I'll put on the menu," Moran says.

The kiosk is also part of the deal, with Moran looking to replace some of the standard kiosk-fare with healthier options such as  falafel rolls. He'll also plant a kitchen garden.

"I've been trying to keep it [the deal] hush hush because there is a trial period to see whether we want to take it on. But it is looking really promising," he says.

Moran has adopted a new name for the restaurant, Tomah Gardens, but says "the kids" who work for him call it Mount Panaroma. Our vote goes with the kids.