Address: Mercure Hunter Valley Resort, Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Road, Pokolbin
Open: Seven nights for dinner, lunch on weekends
Executive chef: Jean Marc Pollet
WITH a name inspired by the natural environment of the renowned wine and food region in which it sits, Elements has opened at the former Hunter Valley Steakhouse Restaurant site at Hunter Valley Gardens.
Executive chef Jean Marc Pollet has created a menu driven by a fusion of classic French cuisine with Australian ingredients, featuring local and seasonal produce (including some grown in the chef’s own garden) executed with a French flair. His signature dishes include snapper souffle with New Zealand scampi, and poached ocean trout.
In line with the menu revamp, the restaurant has a new look, thanks to artist Annemarie Murland.
Below is a selection of the Elements menu that also includes a selection of specials by Pollet. Two courses $58, three courses $68.
Entrees: Duck and mushroom pie in a flaky pastry with buttered broad beans from chef’s garden; twice-cooked cheese souffle with green asparagus, lemon myrtle fruit chutney; oxtail, vegetable and barley broth topped with a crusty parmesan pastry lid; rocket and goat cheese salad with roasted pumpkin, avocado and pine nuts; seared Canadian scallops and red caviar with cauliflower puree and English spinach, served in a tartlet.
Main courses from the stove: Roasted double lamb cutlets (cooked medium) spiced with ras el hanout, root vegetables and apricot tagine, preserved lemon and olive; braised corn-fed chicken leg with a truffled farce, parsnip puree, harlequin carrot from chef’s garden and caramelised pears; poached ocean trout and king prawn ‘‘bouillabaisse style’’ with fennel, tomato and saffron broth.
Main courses from the grill: Hunter signature select fillet mignon: cross-breed, pasture-fed 250g eye fillet wrapped with bacon and topped with baked mushroom, Paris mash and red wine jus; Black Angus viking cutlet: 140 to 200 days grain fed, 350g prime rib on the bone served with a balsamic marmalade jam, Paris mash and red wine jus; F1 wagyu sirloin: marble score 6+, 450 days grain-fed, 200g sirloin served with balsamic marmalade jam, paris mash and red wine jus ($15 surcharge applies to this dish).
Dessert: Kaffir lime creme brulee, coconut sorbet and sesame seed biscuit; cannoli filled with Frangelico cream, Belgian chocolate and candied pistachio nut; crepe Suzette, blood orange sorbet.