Muse Restaurant

Fun, finesse, flavour combined... Muse Restaurant.
Fun, finesse, flavour combined... Muse Restaurant. Photo: Supplied

Hungerford Hill Winery, 2450 Broke Road Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320

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Opening hours Mon-Thu Closed ; Wed-Fri 6:30–9:30pm ; Sat 12–3pm, 6:30–9:30pm ; Sun 12–3pm
Features Licensed, BYO, Accepts bookings, Wheelchair access, Private dining, Degustation, Family friendly, Romance-first date
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Troy Rhoades-Brown
Seats 75
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 02 4998 6777
Free wine for Citibank cardholders here

This sleek, architect-designed space impresses from the outset with its soaring ceilings, high-backed chairs and stunning sandstone fireplace. Theatrics come with the territory and it's a joy to watch chef Troy Rhoades-Brown at work in the expansive open kitchen. While the chef's devotion to simple, seasonal produce is evident, each dish is an eye-opening display of the finest technique. A playful amuse bouche of pâté macarons and pork crackle meringue is the first in a succession of exceptional plates that include pan-fried sea scallops with black garlic, beautifully cooked blue-eye trevalla with diamond clams and pickled cauliflower, and a lovely, light-cured ocean trout in a yoghurt moat dotted with avruga and pomegranate pearls. Precisely cooked peppered venison comes with roasted onion, goat's cheese and quinoa, while passionfruit and dark chocolate with vanilla cream combines fun and finesse. Service is consummately old-school.

And … Expect palate cleansers that pop.

Charming, civilised, exciting.
Best bit An ode to fine dining.
Worst bit Each passing dish is a distraction.