A couple of months ago, we visited the Hunter Valley/Broke region for the lovely wedding of Food Is Our Religion. Taking advantage of an overnight stay, it was off to Muse Restaurant for a long lunch the day before.
The restaurant itself is light-filled and spacious, with high ceilings and beautiful views of the vineyards. The lunch time slot offers the a-la-carte option as well as the tasting menu.
Taro chips and spiced macarons
I loved the various pre-lunch snacks. First up, the taro chips with black and white garlic puree, followed by the spiced macarons, which were filled in the centre with a creamy labna cheese and absolutely delicious.
Shiitake mushroom, lemongrass and ginger broth
The broth came in an interesting little contraption that resembled a smoking pipe. The broth itself was very fragrant and intense in flavour.
Cuttlefish and King Brown mushroom 'noodles'
Unfortunately, this was not my entree; I had a taste and it was amazing - ribbons of fresh cuttlefish and mushroom, served with sake and miso cream, ginger, yuzu and crisp ink wafer.
Sashimi of East Coast swordfish, honeydew
My entree was the swordfish sashimi; full of fresh and delicate flavours with local Lovedale finger lime, Semillon verjuice, Mexican cucumber, and organic wasabi.
Granita palate cleanser
The palate cleanser of gin granita and juicy grapes was a nice refreshment to have in-between courses.
Petuna ocean trout
The trout dish has an asian influence with the use of nori, wrapped around the ocean trout, and the use of Thai basil. The trout is served with spanner crab and sweet heirloom tomatoes.
70 hour slow cooked Wagyu
The slow cooked beef was a generous serving; the wagyu was so tender that I barely needed the knife to cut through it. The pairing of the wagyu with fermented wombok, wakame, sesame, wild rice, and shiso helped to cut through the richness of the meat.
I was super impressed with all of the savoury dishes; it was hard to pick a favourite. Having said that, it all pales into comparison to dessert; I didn't need to look at the menu to know that I'd definitely be ordering the famous Muse Coconut (no sharing!).
Did the dessert live up to the hype?
Hell yes, it was amazing. The impressive looking dessert consists of a dark chocolate coconut shell, coconut cloud mousse 'flesh' and filled with coconut water and vanilla bean. This is up there with one of the best desserts I've had.
Completely stuffed at this point, the petit fours rounded off a brilliant lunch.
I can see why Muse Restaurant is one of, if not the most popular, restaurant in the Hunter Valley. It's not ridiculously pricy fine dining either - our 3 course lunch was a very reasonable $95 per person.