Biota re-run

I could not visit Bowral without going to Biota, the restaurant holds a special place in my heart because that is where TimmyC proposed to me. We have been there multiple times; the first visit was an eye widening, jaw dropping meal as we had never had that kind of dining experience before. The second time, I didn’t love it as much and I was starting to wonder if they were doing unusual things for the sake of being avant-garde and the third was a casual encounter on the bar side trying to eat as many croquettes as I could.Keen to add it to my birthday dining list, TimmyC booked weeks in advance so we didn’t miss out.Cooler months Five courses ($110.00 pp)

Snacks~Pear and cheese. This reminded me of a sheep milk cigar I had at MoVida, the outer layer is chewy and sweet which offset the tartness of the cheese.Kangaroo and Acacia jerky This was really tough jerky (but I guess most of them are), but the kangaroo flavours were subtle which is good because I don’t usually enjoy the strong aftertaste of kangaroo.Tasty Dory roe fish smoked roe with charcoal lavosh bread, garlic oil and salsa verde. I could not believe how much I enjoyed this. When I ran out of lavosh bread I started slathering it on the rye loaf.

Molasses and Rye loaf with cultured butter. I found the crust a little too tough and chewy but that is my personal preference.  The soft bready centre created a wonderful transportation system to get all the tasty dory roe into my mouth.

The bread is hiding in the fur pouch.Mains~

Creamed eggs, spanner crab and persimmon. This was perfection. The richness of this dish reminded me of the delicious crab dish from Noma but the flavours reminded me of a burnt butter sage pasta.Whipped potato, hen yolk and cabbage buds confit hens yolk, whipped potato, garden Brussels sprouts and egg white pearls. I was really surprised that the cabbage leaves were more sweet rather than bitter. The whipped potato was light in flavour and texture which went well with the rich yolk and refreshing cabbage leaves.Peek-a-boo, there is the egg yolk!Pastured fed beef cooked over coals beef cooked over coals with leeks and potato. My favourite things on a plate. The beef itself had lots of flavour but the leeks and potato it to another whole savoury level. I would have preferred a bigger portion but that’s just me being selfish.Dessert~

Sheep yoghurt and our honey. Tim was ready to hand over his plate when they said sheep yoghurt, but he was probably glad that I prompted him to try it first as he was scraping the last of his bowl while I was finishing up with my photos. There was no strong aftertaste that I usually find with most sheep dairy products. The tartness of the yoghurt was sweetened with the perfect amount of honey and I loved the abundance of the finger lime. It was so ridiculous how good this dessert was even though it was so simple, it was just a perfect balance of flavours.Mandarin and goats milk custard. The mandarin powder coating had a slight bitterness to it but it quickly dissipated as the delicate sweetness of the meringue and centre hits the palate. The softness texture of the ball with the icy sorbet reminded me of the snow egg from Quay.

It is so sweet that they put a candle in for my birthday.Beverages~ I ordered the non-alcoholic juice pairing which was really good and I loved how complex the flavours were ($50.00pp?).

Lemonade, smoke apple and pear juice, red grapes with cinnamon cloves and bitters and ending with caramelised pomegranate and grapefruit. 
I loved how the menu keeps evolving and changing almost every week to encompass local fresh produce. We really enjoyed our meal and the service was perfection. Ingredients are not puréed, chopped or foamed, they appear  whole and are paired perfectly with each other. It is almost like there was minimal cooking (but a lot of talent) and it was showcasing the best produce.

Venue: Biota

Address: 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral NSW 2576

Phone(02) 4862 2005

Entertainment book: I’m so annoyed I forgot to use my Canberra 2016/17 book, I told TimmyC he will have to take me again.
Biota Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Grazing Express Post

Entrees~ starting top left clockwise (all entrees $17.00)

Smoked Rainbow trout croquette with artichoke, burnt leek and parsley picada.

Pork belly 18hr slow cooked pork belly with braise carrot, soubise, apple and prune. This was by far the best entrée, the sweetness went well with the salt of the seasoned protein and the pork belly itself was cooked very well.

Tuna olive oil rare poached Yellowfin tuna with crisp octopus, chorizo and cauliflower. This was the one I chose, but I didn’t like the texture of the tuna, the octopus tasted to ‘charred’ for me and I found all the components very disjointed from each other.

Asparagus manchego custards with almost crunch, shaved raw asparagus, broccolini and green pea.

Mains~ starting top left clockwise (all mains $33.00)

Ox cheek braised in Pedro Ximenez sherry with glazed heirloom carrots, horseradish and parsnip puree. This was my pick of the mains. It is a heavy comforting style kind of dish and the stickiness of the sauce paired perfectly with the naturally sweet vegetables.

Beetroot and lentil salad roast baby beetroot and fine green lentil salad with goat’s cheese fritter and garden herbs. My friend ordered this entree as a her main meal

Chicken free range chicken breast with bacon marmalade, radish, zucchini and roquette sauce. Is it wrong of me to order a dish based on the fact that it had bacon marmalade? Yes, apparently it was. I didn’t really enjoy my dish despite the chicken being cooked to perfection while being kept moist. The roquette sauce was waaaaay too over powering and the skin was really salty but the vegetables were pure, fresh and simple.

Fish baked ocean trout loin with grains, salsa verde and red wine trout jus.Desserts~ starting top left clockwise (all mains $33.00)

Mousse white and dark chocolate mousse with seasonal berries, garden fruits, almond milk sorbet and toasted milk crumbs.

Caramel salted hazelnut frozen caramel and salted hazelnut with chocolate parfait, chocolate aero and pastry tidbits. A mixture of easy to please kind of dish but I didn’t find anything exciting about this at all.

Orange flourless orange cake with fennel and coffee ‘dukkah’, orange butter and marmalade ice cream. I would have ordered this dessert for the marmalade ice cream itself, it was AMAZING. It was just lucky that every other aspect of this dish was brilliant too.

Tira mi su classic Italian dessert made with rum flavoured Italian cream cheese, espresso granita, fig and chocolate biscotti. The coffee was so intense, we could not finish it and that is coming from me who is a huge tiramisu fan. p.s. Don’t forget to use your Entertainment voucher!

What’s in season: December

In season: December

 

Vegetables

Asian greens (bok choy, etc), asparagus, beans (green, flat and butter), green cabbage, capsicum, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, cultivated shiitake mushrooms, onions, peas (sugar snap), potatoes, radish, Silverbeet, spinach, snowpeas, sweetcorn, tomatoes (at last!), watercress, witlof, zucchini

Herbs, spices and aromatics

basil, chervil, chillies, coriander, curly parsley, dill, flat leaf parsley, garlic Italian Purple, ginger, majoram, mint, oregano, rocket, sage, spring onions (aka green onions, aka shallots – not eschallots), tarragon, thyme, watercress

Fruits, berries and nuts

apricots, cherries, gooseberries, grapefruits, loquats, mangoes, melons, oranges (Valencia), papaya, passionfruit, pineapple, plums, raspberries, red, white & black currants, strawberries

What’s in season

With the warmer weather approaching and everyone opting for BBQs and house parties rather than restaurants, people should be buying fresh local produce and take advantage of what is in season.

I never remember what is in season, but I avoid buying fresh produce from overseas. I came across a handy guide from The Food Co-op that I thought I’d share with everyone so we get the best of our local fresh produce.