cafe/restaurant · Hunter Valley

Muse Restaurant at Hungerford Hill

It has been AGES since my last post. I was kind of trying to make time to write something but I found that all I really wanted to do with any spare time was to just sit and not do anything.

So Matt and I recently celebrated our 4th year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe how time has flown by. It doesn’t feel that long ago that he proposed.

We celebrated this recent anniversary by having a nice lunch at Muse Restaurant which is in lieu of a gift. We have a no gift rule which works for us. It takes away the stress of trying to figure out an individual gift for each other. I should mention that his sisters also contributed to this lunch as part of our Christmas present and made it that teeny bit more special. Thank you so much girls, we really appreciate it.

This year we were pretty lucky that his dad could look after Juliet while we went to lunch. It was so nice to sit and eat lunch without having to worry about Juliet getting bored or throwing things off the table. However, all we pretty much talked about was Juliet. It was nice to have lunch without her but geeeezzzzz, we missed her so much.

Originally we planned to have dinner but they were already booked out. This worked out so well.

The temperature went above 42C that day. I have been so exhausted during this pregnancy already, add hot weather to the mix – I would not have made it to dinner. Usually, it’s bra and make up off way before 8pm.

So back to our lunch.

Muse is one of the more popular restaurants in the Hunter. If you google or consult forums or Facebook for highly recommended restaurants in the Hunter, Muse will be in the top 5. For a good reason too. The quality of the food and presentation is amazing.

We already knew (Matt already decided) what we were having that day for lunch – The Muse Tasting Menu.

YUM.

It kicked off with an interesting Amouse Bouche – Corn Coal. Basically, it is this gooey corn thingy (I’m really good with my culinary terminology aren’t I) coated with vegetable charcoal and served on top of a bed of real coals. The way to distinguish which parts were edible were the small dollop of salsa verde on top so if you don’t listen to the service staff, good chance you might actually bite into some coal.

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Corn Coal

First course started with a bang and was one of my favourites – Sashimi of Petuna Trout.

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Sashimi of Petuna Ocean Trout with citrus koshu, cucumber, yoghurt & whey

hang on, you’re pregnant and that says sashimi….

Yup, I ate sashimi that day. Big deal, it’s not like I injected heroin into my system or smoked cigarettes.

Second course was Matt’s favourite – Deer Tartare in a turnip ‘gyoza’.

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Red Deer Tartare & Pickled Turnip ‘Gyoza’ with puffed buckwheat, ginger, sesame & katsuobusbi

Third course was my pick out of the main courses – Farm Chicken with Jerusalem artichoke, crispy chicken skin, date & macadamia.

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I have to admit that when the wait staff told me there was a chicken terrine on my plate, I was a little doubtful. The last time I ordered a terrine of some sort, we were at a lovely two hatted restaurant, it was nice but it kind of left me wishing I had ordered something else.

anyhoo, point is – the chicken terrine was delicious. I wanted MORE.

Next course was Matt’s favourite of the mains – Spring Lamb Roast with roast onion, Binnorie Goat’s Cheese wrapped in kale and served with black garlic togarashi. The togarashi is the pepper stuff on top of the lamb.

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Shortly after the Palate Cleanser was served, dessert was served. I had been looking forward to this before we arrived – The Muse Coconut.

I don’t usually choose coconuty desserts but I read that this wasn’t your average ‘coconut’ dessert.

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The Famous Muse Coconut

See the coconut in the picture? It’s not coconut. The shell is made out of a dark chocolate shell and the coconut flesh is a light coconut mousse which is filled to the rim with real coconut juice. The shredded coconut on the plate is a mock coconut made out of something…I can’t remember what the wait staff said but I am pretty certain he mentioned something about white chocolate. The recommended way to eat this beautiful dessert is to crack the coconut shell and let the coconut water on the plate and eat the elements together.

The verdict?

AMAZING. I was in love with this dessert and I can’t wait to come back and have it again.

Our overall experience was Muse was pretty good, the only thing I complained about was right at the beginning. Our table was booked for 12 and we arrived at the restaurant right on 12 to find that the doors were locked. I was incredibly frustrated.

I rolled my ankle the day before, it was bruised, swollen and painful. Not to mention also preggers so standing outside in the 42C heat with no shade was very uncomfortable. There was a wait staff at the front desk who looked up and saw us with no acknowledgement and walked in the opposite direction. Personally, I think it would have been better if she had unlocked the doors,  sit us in the waiting area and advise us that they weren’t quite ready for service.

Nevermind, it’s a small detail and had no effect on the food whatsoever.

Overall, great experience. We can’t wait to come back.

 

 

 

 

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