Alex: For some, winter is nothing but a cold and gloomy nightmare with everyone reminiscing about the summer months chilling by the beach. For others the colder months is a time in which we can rug up, turn on the fireplace and enjoy some really good, hearty comfort food.
And if you’re like me and enjoy being transported somewhere to experience something different and wonderful then hopefully I can justify the reasoning as to why I felt as though I had entered a winter wonderland at the newly refurbished Hydro Majestic in the Blue Mountains.
On this particular night, the weather was miserable and the temperature was reaching a frosty 10 degrees. Something that I haven’t experienced since my travels throughout America. But as you enter the Hydro Majestic and hear the classical music playing, your mood suddenly changes. In the lobby you can sit down, relax, order a coffee and listen to the crackling of the fireplace as you look out of the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Megalong Valley.
Our reservation for the Winter Garden wasn’t until 6pm so we arrived early to explore the grounds and while it was cold, I felt oddly content rugged up in my scarf and coat.
Fast forward 20 minutes and we were finally able to enter the Winter Garden.
The Winter Garden offers a modern Australian gourmet dining menu in a refined setting with large floor to ceiling windows that gives grand standing views of the Megalong Valley. The restaurant is adorned with an ornate open fireplace, beautiful vibrant colours from the garish furnishings and décor.
They also offer a great outdoor area in which you can get a better view of the valley and beyond. But if you’re planning to make that visit now. I’d be layering up!
-2 Course Menu – $75.00 per person
-3 Course Menu – $95.00 per person
We decided on the 2 course menu simply because we knew we’d be able to try almost all of the mains. After we perused the menu and gave our orders we were brought a beautifully presented Amuse bouche of Cream corn custard with chives & caviar. This was actually a really light and delicate way to start the evening as it was a refreshing palate cleanser and wasn’t too heavy. The texture was quite grainy with a slight sweet hint from the corn.
I ordered the Great Southern lamb back strap, Baingan Bharta, finger lime and lemon myrtle, mint raita. A visually stunning dish that encompassed the very meaning of gourmet/refined comfort food that is perfect for a chilly night. The accompaniments of this dish were all delivered so well that it unfortunately made the star of the dish fall a little flat. The lamb was cooked medium, but was not rendered enough for my liking, making it chewy and also very fatty. Mum thoroughly enjoyed it so we did a swapsie halfway through.
Mum went for the 60 day dry aged rib eye, smoked potato, horseradish butter and red wine jus and hers was the winner of the night. (this is what I swapped mine for). The meat was tender and just melted in your mouth leaving nothing but a warm, rich flavour that was enhanced by the red wine jus. This is definitely a highlight on the menu and must be ordered.
Twice cooked pork belly, celeriac remoulade, roasted apple, red chimichurri sauce. Bianca thoroughly enjoyed her main, it was expertly cooked, the crackling was crispy and she begrudgingly let us try a few bites. Mum thought the pork was a little dry but Bianc loved it and she’s a whinge-bag from waaay back! Her only comment was the want for a bit more of the chimichurri.
Heirloom chocolate mousse, salted caramel, popping popcorn, Banana financier, crushed raspberries, pistachio Passionfruit brŭleè with passionfruit sauce. The dessert as a whole was decent but nothing particularly blew us away. The Brulee and the Chocolate mousse were stand-outs with the banana cake a little dry and uninspiring.
And with views like this, how could you not be persuaded to rug up, sit by the fireplace and stay the night at the Hydro Majestic with a hot chocolate in hand.
Until next time!