Not so secret now but it’s true, the people of Newcastle are raising their game when it comes to the food they produce and devour. The enthusiasm, the time, the quality and the love they all seem to be putting in is inspiring and a definite breath of fresh air.
Never before, have I ventured into Newcastle but after this experience, you’ll definitely be seeing me there again. Things are changing rapidly; and for the better.
Where To Stay
An interrupted nights sleep is all I ask for and thanks to their extremely comfortable king beds, it’s exactly what I got. The Crowne Plaza Hotel, located on Newcastle’s waterfront, is an ideal place to rest that overindulged stomach and if you’re lucky enough, you can witness a magical sunrise or sunset from your window or the wharf.
Where To Eat
Over the years of travelling and eating, learning and listening; I’ve come to the conclusion that you need to respect your produce and the way you transform it into a life changing dish.
Newcastle’s culinary game changers seem to have a symbiotic relationship with each other, their chefs and cooks, the produce farmers and their customers. Quiet frankly, I think that’s awesome.
Let me begin with Subo, a modest and contemporary two chef hatted restaurant slash bistro nestled on Hunter St. Not your standard venue, Subo serve a single yet rather exceptional 5 course dinner menu which changes every 6 weeks, dictated by the ever-changing local and seasonal produce found throughout the northern New South Wales region and Australia.
Captained by husband and wife team, Beau and Suzi Vincent, both formally of Guillaume at Bennelong, have combined their experience, passion and drive to perfect and offer a rather fantastic single dinner menu, forging Subo as one of Newcastle’s best fine dining venues.
Subo is located at 551D Hunter St, Newcastle West NSW 2302.
You can make a reservation by calling (02) 4023 4048 or visit their website subo.com.au
Don’t let the size of kitchen fool you. Estabar offers a kickass all day breakfast menu with views of the beach. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are used to create mouthwatering dishes with generous servings to help jump start the day.
Estabar is located at 61 Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle NSW 2300.
Follow them on Facebook for more information.
Newly refurbished, The Lucky Hotel houses a impressive pub and an authentic Southern American BBQ restaurant where the meats smoked on low and slowly over hickory wood pellets at 115 degrees for up to 14 hours resulting in delectable chicken wings and smashing hot dogs.
Part of its refurbishment, The Lucky Hotel has snuck in quiet a somewhat spectacular beer garden, enveloped in lush greenery and rusted steel, only elevating the dining experience within.
The Lucky Hotel is located at 237 Hunter Street, Newcastle NSW 2300.
Call them on (02) 4925 8888 or visit their website theluckyhotel.com.au
Awarded the coveted chef hat in its first year of operation, Restaurant Mason has anchored itself as another of Newcastle’s best fine dining venues. Formally from Michelin star restaurant, The Ledbury in Notting Hill, London; head chef Chris Irvine has devised a modern Australian menu with an influence of French, British and Asian flavours.
Restaurant Mason offers a minimalistic and intimate ambience and plentiful servings enough to tame a grown man.
Restaurant Mason is located at 3/35 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300
Make a reservation by calling (02) 4926 1014 or visit their website restaurantmason.com
Judith B. Jones once said ‘Cooking demands attention, patience, and above all, a respect for the gifts of the earth. It is a form of worship, a way of giving thanks’.
Attention, patience and above all, respect; you never quiet understand her words until you’re shown first hand the distance and the depth a chef is willing to go, to offer a phenomenal dish. One of those chef’s is Ben from Three Beans Espresso’s Apothecary Kitchen, located on Tudor St, Hamilton.
Ben’s zeal drives him to learn and educate himself in offering the freshest produce, locally sourced or even home grown. From growing his very own mushrooms, using and testing out various soils such as coffee grinds to up-cycling milk, where surplus milk is used to carefully nurture Heirloom Culture, creating a range of live probiotic dishes. This is the fire that would place Newcastle on the culinary world map.
Three Beans Espresso is located at 103 Tudor Street, Hamilton NSW 2303.
Call them at (02) 4961 2020 or visit their website threebeaninseason.wordpress.com
Throw a bunch of organic food lovers into a [what seems like ] deserted bank and you get Momo Wholefood Cafe. High ceilings, resurrected furniture, a few plants, vibrant paintings and a feeling like your dining outside, but inside – makes sense?
Momo Wholefood Cafe is located at 10 William St, East Maitland NSW 2323.
Call them on (02) 4933 7849 or visit their Facebook4 page.
Fancy a good read with your coffee and toasty? The Press Book House is wrapped, wall to wall, roof to floor, with recovered and aged books that pair well with their delicious homemade dips and locally sourced bread.
The Press Book House is located at 462 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300.
Give them a call on (02) 4906 9024 or you can follow them on Facebook.
Fresh bagels baked in-house every mornings, Papa’s Bagel Bar raises the dough when it comes to epic sandwiches. And if you’re feeling naughty, they’ve also got a few dessert bagels that’ll make your personal trainer love you even more. As with every other eatery in Newcastle, all the ingredients are sourced locally, even the dinnerware are handmade in Newcastle.
Hit up Papa’s Bagel Bar at 569 Hunter St, Newcastle West NSW.
Follow them on Facebook.
The only dedicated tea room in Newcastle, The Tea Project specialises in exquisite, high quality, naturally flavoured & hand crafted tea. From Green Tea Sauvignon to Raspberry Popcorn, The Tea Project has it all.
The Tea Project is located at177 King Street, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300.
Follow them on Facebook for more information.
So, if you consider yourself a foodie or immensely appreciate food, the ingredients and how it’s made, Newcastle is a must visit. I cannot emphasise enough how much you need to check it out. Eat, drink, explore and more importantly have fun in Newcastle.
This would not have been made possible without the help and hospitality of Destination NSW. Visit their website destinationnsw.com.au or follow them on Facebook for more information about news and events on whats going on in New South Wales.