The sort of restaurant you wish was in your home town
There are those restaurants you wished were in your home town. Garagistes, say, in Tasmania. The Royal Mail, all the way out in Dunkeld. Biota, in the middle of Bowral, is another one. Feel free to make the comparisons with Copenhagen's Noma (the worl'd best retaurant, says UK Restaurant mag). They share aesthetics: the Danish modern furniture with furs randomly strewn across the backs here and there, and the collections of sticks, moss and lichen in bell jars. They both have their own identity, borne of the same idea - to create a restaurant with a sense of place. To that end, Biota have their own greenhouse and kitchen garden. They have plenty of local wine on the list. And while you might not accuse the menu of being distinctly ‘Bowral' (that's probably a good thing, unless you're happy on a diet of straw boaters, white linen pants and etchings), it's certainly captured the current climate of Australian fine dining. Chefs Sean Quade and James Viles are masters of milks, smoke and grains. This is a kitchen of chefs who can really seriously cook. Take the potato cooked in smoked buttermilk, scattered with mustard seeds and sitting atop a tiny bit of blackened beetroot puree, covered in gently sautéed bitter greens. A scarlet hen's egg yolk sits on top of a blob of curd - it's sunny-side-up sleight-of-hand. It's interesting that Biota have chosen to EMD rather than serve a tasting menu, which is what you might expect with food of this calibre – we'd like to try more of them rather than fewer. Slow cooked, sticky pork neck with onion petals, blackened leek and broccoli tips is just one dish we'd like in a mini-size. But whatever - we'll take it however we can get it. A dessert of crumbled-up green tea sponge and roasted-then-powdered coconut milk mingled with fennel leaves and dried fennel pollen resembles rainforest floor: it's almost savoury and very light. Wow. More power to Bowral for supporting such a goddamn fantastic restaurant.
|Venue name:||Biota Dining|
18 Kangaloon Rd
|Opening hours:||Lunch Friday, brunch and lunch Sat-Sun|
|Transport:||Nearby stations: Bowral|