Biota- dining

                            bio·ta noun: “Animals and plant life of a particular region.” 

Ta-da! Like I promised, my Biota-dining in Bowral post. This restaurant is spacious and lovely inside. We were warmly greeted and seated near the kitchen area where we had prime seats to see the chefs preparing our dishes. They have a private dining room at the other side of the restaurant where they have TVs set up so you can watch the kitchen preparing the plates and not miss out on the action.

It was inspiring to see so much care was taken on presentation. Each leaf/vegetable/ garnish was placed onto the plate deliberately in a particular way with large forceps.

Before I had even started looking at the menu (I was too busy taking photos and taking in the lovely setting) we were served with fresh warm bread

‘eggs on toast’- compliments from the kitchen. How lovely, while you’re browsing the menu you get to eat delicious fresh warm bread served with a quail egg dusted in garlic ash sitting in a creamy sauce. Not a bad way to start the dining experience.    p.s. love the bowl!

This was my entree– banana prawns, cured scallop broth, cucumber with green tea and dill seeds. Wow this was very delicious and everything from the prawn to the cucumber tasted so fresh!

My partner’s entree– barbecued calamari, tuna ham dressed with sugar snap peas, celery and kohlrabi. This looked beautiful like artwork! I didn’t mind his entree but much preferred my own.

Pinapple with snow- compliments from the kitchen. Lovely palate cleanser.

Crackling pork neck, broccolini, amaranth cooked with blackened onions and licorice- the pork meat is very caramalised and sticky which made the inside a little dry but it was still very nice.

Lamb rump in olive caramel, baked carrots, oat milk, hazelnut and garlic ash- The oat milk and hazelnut made this a very unsual dish but delicious none the less. It takes great skill to get me to eat brussels sprouts so hats off to the kitchen.

After our mains were taken away, a waiter came to ‘de-crumb’ out table with a folded napkin bound together with a sprig of rosemary and cute tray to capture the crumbs. It made me giggle because I’ve never seen that before in a restaurant.

Dessert time! Caramel pear, raw cacao ice cream, warm buckwheat and malt- The chocolate chunks were so light and airy- almost like homemade ‘aero bars’. The creamy ice-cream was a refreshing contrast to the sweet caramalised pear. The wafer log was unbelievably light and delicate.

Cold infusion of eucalyptus, blood plums, rhubarb and hibiscus preserve, native lime- A very unique dessert with all flavours being very floral and fresh. A dessert for the adventurous at heart.

Traditional italian thick hot milk chocolate (left)– when I saw the size of the hot chocolate, I knew it was going to be strong! Just imagine stirring cocoa into hot milk at a 4:1 ratio. I couldn’t finish it, it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to sweet and it was also a little lumpy.

biota ‘fairtrade’ coffee (right)– my partner said that the coffee was a bit bitter and not the best he has had.

The warm atmosphere at ‘biota-dining’

The relaxed atmosphere of the ‘biota-lounge’ with a more ‘down to earth’ menu. I would love to come back and try the ‘biota-lounge’ menu, the croquettes and mini wagyu burgers sounds delicious!

The lovely tranquil surroundings makes it an ideal nice stop/overnight stay/day trip from Sydney/Wollongong/Canberra.

They even have their own vegetable garden at the side, no wonder everything tastes so fresh and delicious!

Their menu often changes so check out the website (which is very lovely btw) for the current menu. The photos on there are stunning.

Biota Dining on Urbanspoon

The circus is in town! (well sort of)

——-20/08/2011——-

I was lucky enough to win Cirque du Soleil- Saltimbanco tickets through an Optus promotion but because it’s not coming to Canberra, I’m going to the Wollongong show!

What it included: 2 x tickets to the Saltimbanco performance on 20th August, 2 x Tapis Rouge lounge passes, 2 x Behind the Scenes passes after the performance and Cirque du Soleil Merchandise pack to the value of $100!

What an awesome excuse to go through Bowral on the way there! I’ve been recommended to go here by several people, but it was such a great dining experience it get’s it’s own post.

Even after a 3 hour lunch we still managed to have room for a side of waffles before we went into Tapis Rouge. Sugar Cube- exactly what the name says! A cute small cube-like shop front which smells as sweet as it tastes. Boasting fresh waffles accompanied by Connoisseur ice-cream, the smell was too inviting to pass up!

How cute! Wafflepops!

MMMM Connoisseur ice-cream!

He wanted vanilla ice-cream and I wanted waffles with cinnamon sugar. This was the compromise!

After we had wiped our mouths of waffle crumbs it was time to go into the Tapis Rouge. The decor was fun, colourful and quirky which I guess is the theme of the ‘Saltimbanco’ show.

They were offering free beer, wine and juice as well as an assortment of food:

*Veal skewers                                      *Asparagus and smoked salmon

*Oyster in a chilli sauce with a parmesan crisp

*Mushroom tart                                   *Smoked trout omlette

*Roast beef with horseradish sauce

*Grilled halumi with pancetta and cranberry sauce

*Cream eclair                                       *Custard profiterole

*Strawberry mousse with sponge base

The food was ok, nothing to rave about, the highlight for me was definitely the show and the back stage tour. These athletes turned artists are nothing short of amazing! ‘Saltimbanco’ is Cirque du Soleil’s longest running show.

***Stay turned for my post about ‘Biota’ coming up soon!***