A belated happy new year to everyone out there and I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas and new year break! I wouldn't say that my holiday season was particularly relaxing as such but thankfully Sir D and I took a little break before Christmas and we headed up to Bells at Killcare on the Central Coast.
Killcare Beach (left); The fireplace in the cottage (right)
We stayed in one of the cottages on the Bells property which were cosy and well-stocked. There was a huge bed, a spa bath and a real fireplace! Yes I was quite excited by the fire - Sir D got it working every night and it did a good job of warming up the place which got quite chilly once the sun set. There was a breakfast hamper provided every morning which we cooked ourselves on the bbq on the deck, and the rest of the days were spent exploring the nearby beaches.
Seashell light on the table (left); Olives and parmesan crisps (right)
On the last night we headed to the restaurant to indulge in a three course dinner. The dining room is spacious and decked out in nautical blue and white tones and seashells. The waitstaff are smiling and pleasant and very attentive to our every need, and after we place our order a small plate of mixed olives and parmesan crisps arrives on our table.
Veal crudo with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and Reggiano - $24
My entree, the veal crudo, arrives and it is like a steak tartare of sorts, combining chopped raw veal meat with parmesan, olive oil, lemon and spring onions. It is a tiny bit chewier than steak tartare but not unpleasantly so, and the flavours are clean and zingy. Halfway through the dish though I am wishing that I left my parmesan crisp to eat with the crudo since the textures of the dish are starting to just feel mushy in the mouth.
Tagliatelle with rabbit bolognese and pecorino - $25
Luckily at this point I swap with Sir D who has ordered the tagliatelle with rabbit bolognese. It is almost the polar opposite of the veal dish with bold, deep flavours and perfect pasta, and little delicate curls of pecorino scattered on top. We both agree that this is our preferred entree.
Roast duck breast with pickled turnips from our garden and citrus sauce - $39
For the main course I order the roast duck breast. I don't really like pickles and the pickled radishes are so vinegary and sour it makes me pucker! I leave most of these behind on the plate, but the duck is pink and succulent and pairs well with the orange-y sauce and I have no problems finishing that off.
Grilled grass-fed beef loin with roast garlic, red wine sauce - $39
The beef is also a standout, it's super tender and is cooked perfectly to medium rare as ordered. I have a serious case of food envy - while the duck is nice I'm secretly glad that we agreed to share our dishes because I think Sir D has picked all the winners tonight!
Tartufo di Amadei chocolate - $16.50
Onto desserts! I'm set on ordering the chocolate tartufo dessert and it arrives in all its chocolatey glory on a creamy sugary base that tastes like a creme brulee, minus the crunch factor. The tartufo itself is like a giant chocolate truffle with cocoa powder dusted on the outside and creamy chocolate innards.
Strawberry semifreddo with rhubarb, blood orange and strawberry jellies - $16.50
Initially we can't decide what other dessert to get but then we spot a red wobbly dessert heading towards a few tables. Upon consulting the dessert menu we realise it is a strawberry semifreddo with rhubarb, blood orange and strawberry jellies. It wobbles towards our table and we attack the jellies, each with their distinct flavours with my favourite being the strawberry. The jelly cones sit on top of a thin biscuit disc which sandwiches a frosty strawberry semifreddo and it's the perfect way to end a fantastic meal.
With our bellies full we head back to our cottage without forking out a cent (since the meals are included in the accommodation package). We get the fireplace going and lie back in a food coma watching episode upon episode of various TV series in bed. Relaxation indeed.
107 The Scenic Road
Killcare Heights NSW 2257
Ph: +61 2 4360 2411
Restaurant open 7 days from 6pm; Friday to Sunday from 12pm