Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Esca Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley

The vineyards of Bimbadgen
I've been fairly busy recently, Daryl is no different. I miss blogging more than ever! Thank God I'm jumping back into it now! 

The Bimbadgen Estate

Esca Bimbadgen
During the mid-semester break, I was a bit of a bum. Well bit might be the biggest understatement of the year. But now, I'm back to school, back to life! I kinda appreciate going back to my routine! I like the stress and pressure every now and then. Luckily though, I did do something new and sort of productive over the break- going to Hunter Valley. I've never been to Hunter Valley and as usual, I'm up for visiting new places and an adventure! I'll blog about that trip soon!

The kitchen at Esca

Dining Area.
Such a shame I didn't take a picture of the view.
When we were in Hunter Valley, my uncle treated us to a pleasant pleasant lunch at Esca Bimbadgen. The dining atmosphere was by far one of the most pleasant I've ever had. It was in a well lit spacious room with an amazing view of a green landscape and the town of Pokolbin. It's bliss.
Cream of French Onion Soup!
I'll attempt to cook this up soon!

And the Rye.
We were tasting wines the whole morning so our tummies were pretty much filled with wine. Thus, we didn't order any starters! However, there was a Cream of French Onion Soup with bread as a compliment from the kitchen. I love my onions, and especially my french onion soup. The onions in this soup were well caramelized. It was smooth, with a few bits and pieces every now and then. Thyme was thoroughly infused throughout the soup. It was some proper pucker- thumbs up! The bread on the other hand, wasn't warm which was a tad disappointing.

Twice Cooked Cowra Lamb, rosemary gnocchi,
and truss cherry tomatoes.

SPOT the gnocchi.
The thing that ultimately picked my interest was the lamb dish on the mains menu. So, lamb it was! The lamb was cooked excellently. It was so fresh, tender, and flavorful. I've never had lamb like this! It had a slight crust as well before the succulent tender surrender within. The sauce was a tad weak considering the lamb was really full-bodied. The gnocchi that came with it was screaming rosemary without the actual appearance of rosemary. That is wicked, it was a bit of a mush though. 

Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts!

Bimbadgen Regions 2009 Shiraz Viognier.
As for my side, I had sauteed spinach which hit all the right buttons. You wanna know why? There was loads of butter! And it wasn't overcooked anyhow as well. What would the dish be without the accompanying wine? I had a Bimbadgen Regions 2009 Shiraz Viognier- that was what was suggested on the menu. I'm usually a white wine person, but this went exceptionally well with the dish. Cheers!

My uncle had the same dish that I had except with an older wine. He also had a side of wedges, which I happened to pick out of- typical. The wedges weren't crunchy enough, they were served with an aioli. 

Steamed fillet of Coffs Harbour Blue Eye,
poached vongoli, green pea foam and baby vegetables.
A side of rocket, parmesan and walnut salad.
Such a classic.
The dish above was what my auntie had. She thought it was commendable. All the elements were intricately prepared. 

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