The boy and I celebrated our 6 years wedding anniversary last week by escaping to the Hunter Valley for the weekend. Normally when we’re in the Hunter we buy a whole lotta wines and cheese and that’s our dinner haha but this year we decided to splurge and dine at Muse Dining for their 7 course degustation menu and opted for the matching Hungerford Hill wines ($160pp) and alternate premium wines ($200pp). The light faded super fast so apologies for the progression of dark to darker photos, I swear it’s not an indication of how much I was drinking 😛
There’s a trio of ‘snacks’ before we start, we’re advised to eat the taro chip with a dollop of black and white garlic puree first, followed by the ras el hanout spiced macaron sandwiched with a creamy labna cheese filling. We finish with the incredibly fragrant shiitake, lemongrass and ginger tea,
that had us nosily slurping up the last drop.
The Sashimi of Hiramasa Kingfish is the perfect starter, the curls of kingfish are fresh and zingy with the rice wine and eschallot dressing and I greedily scrape every smidgen of avocado because my god when will the prices of avos go down?! There’s pickled choko and celery which provide a pleasing crunch and I manage to chase each and every last grain of crispy wild rice.
The King Brown Mushroom ‘Noodles’ is spectacular in presentation, the deep black of the squid ink wafer contrasts against the almost pure white ribbons of cuttlefish and mushroom which are incredible tender and absolutely delicious swirled in the sake and miso cream. I know most people love the whole texture thing and would eat a bit of everything in one go but I chose to eat the wafer separately first, dipping a shard into the dabs of yuzu and ginger cream and slowly relishing the slight chew of each ‘noodle’. I think this was my fave dish of the night!
The hand chopped Venison Tartare is a hit, I’m quite taken by the crumbled hazelnut and what I initially thought were olives are in fact juicy blueberries. There’s a thin slice of apple on the bottom and some dabs of cultured goat’s milk to jazz up each mouthful. I would’ve perhaps loved a slice of toasted sourdough?
I have pretty low expectations when it comes to chicken because I’ve just been disappointed too many times but woah I was blown away by this course! The Little Hill Farm Chicken was super tender and was layered with a beauuuutifully creamy gorgonzola custard that had the perfect amount of saltiness balanced by the sweet corn polenta.
I was reaching max capacity when our final savoury course of 70 hour slow cooked Wagyu arrived but after one bite I was hooked and just could not stop eating it! The Wagyu was so ridiculously tender I could’ve used a spoon to cut it! And we absolutely loved the smokines of the charred broccollini which cut through the richness of the Wagyu. It probably didn’t need that large dollop of katsuobushi butter but hey I mopped up every last bit all the same 😛
After the richness of the Waygu, the refreshing palate cleanser of gin granita and a rainbow of sweet, juicy grape halves is greatly appreciated.
The first of our desserts is pretty in pink, a quenelle of buckwheat sorbet sits atop piped coffee cream with dehydrated raspberry and white chocolate pieces scattered throughout. I love the nuttiness of the buckwheat, it’s a pretty addictive flavour that makes me yearn for more.
And the extremely Instagram worthy finale of the Muse Coconut! A dark chocolate shell holds coconut mousse and vanilla coconut water- definitely one for the coconut lovers!
There was an optional cheese course for $10 and I chose the Le Conquérant Grand Camembert cheese because well, there’s always room for cheese! It’s deliciously ripe and creamy and I loved the little wedge of honeycomb!
And Noods went for the Tarwin Blue Gippsland cheese which was super pungent oh boy haha
Muse Dining was an incredible dining experience, the service was spot on and the sommelier took the time to explain all the wines which put us at ease. I absolutely loved the food and am already planning my next trip to the Hunter Valley for a chance to dine here again!
Muse Dining @ Hungerford Hill Winery
Sat & Sun: 12noon – 3.00pm
Wed – Sat: 6.30 – 10.00pm