Six Eateries to Seek Out When You're Road Tripping from Brisbane to Sydney
Swap servo stops for leisurely long lunches.
in partnership with
We're calling it: 2021 will be the year of road trips. After all, there's never been a more perfect time to scratch that travel itch by hitting the road. The best thing about road trips? You can take your time and truly explore.
The best part about road tripping around New South Wales is, when it comes to eating, we're not stuck with servo snack foods and truck-stop drive-thrus anymore. The Brisbane-to-Sydney route is a foodie paradise for those in the know. Whether you're taking the coastal route or heading inland, if you're exploring NSW by car, you can eat very well indeed. Start planning your pit stops and overnight stays around these one-of-a-kind establishments.
Please stay up to date with the latest NSW Government health advice regarding COVID-19.
There's a good reason Pipit has scooped up multiple awards since it opened 18 months ago. Its constantly changing set menu showcases the best of the Northern Rivers with a focus on ethical, local produce. You're unlikely to find red meat on either the short menu (five servings) or the long menu (nine servings), but Pipit creates bold flavours with experimentation instead, via woodfired cooking techniques, smoking, fermentation and wild foraging for native ingredients, including bunya nuts and lemon myrtle. It aims to surprise and delight with every new seasonal dish, but some favourites tend to stick around, like a tasty waste paste (fermented greens) and kelp madeleines with grouper fat caramel.
THE WORKSHOP KITCHEN, TAMWORTH
If you're heading inland instead of following the coastal route, stop to take a photo with The Big Golden Guitar and treat yourself to a memorable lunch at The Workshop Kitchen in Tamworth. The forerunner of regional fine-dining since 1986, it has an impressive, globe-spanning list of 201 wines. The dining menu is also broadly international: you'll find arancini alongside pork bao, curries and the specialty Filipino-style leche flan. The common thread is an emphasis on championing fresh, local produce and the techniques of its open, wood-grill kitchen. With ingredients this good, the dishes needn't be overcomplicated. Take, for example, the Jack's Creek Beef wagyu rump cap, aged for six months and cooked perfectly over charcoal, served with seasonal vegetables, truffle potato mash and spiced slaw.
BIRDIE NOSHERY, ORANGE
Birdie Noshery is a new venture from the team behind Orange's renowned Lolli Redini. Here, it's less fine dining and more fun posh nosh. Birdie Noshery is an all-day, community-focused hangout, which means more grazing and share plates, plus some fancy brunch dishes. Have a spritz or house cocktail at the bar, enjoy south coast oysters with live music, sip a sherry with your croquetas and antipasto, or fuel up before the day's drive with the world's fanciest breakfast cheese toastie of truffle gruyere, smoked ham and dijon bechamel. There's a changing daily specials board for larger dishes, and a wine list of the finest local and international drops. If you're missing the urban wine bar vibe, Birdie Noshery is the perfect pit stop.
BISTRO MOLINES, POKOLBIN
When you're heading into the Hunter Valley for a wine pilgrimage, you owe it to yourself to make a quick stop in Provence. Robert Molines, the chef at Bistro Molines, brings the essence of southern French cuisine to the heart of NSW wine country. That means seasonal fare with locally sourced ingredients, including some from his own kitchen garden. Think classic French dishes, such as duck à l'orange and filet mignon with gratin dauphinoise. The rural chic ambiance of the bistro is matched with an incomparable view of rolling vineyards. A premium wine list makes this spot a long-time favourite of foodies and wine-enthusiasts alike.
Before you reach the big city, take a detour to the northern beaches. Bert's Bar and Brasserie offers coastal European-style dining in the waterside town of Newport. Sit at the bar or in the lounge and enjoy a Bert's Marteeny while you graze on snacks from the Larder Table menu — think sourdough with cultured butter, steak tartare and anchovies in lemon thyme oil. Being this close to the water means fresh seafood is prominent across the entire menu, from the luxurious tidbits of oysters, crab, crudo and caviar to main dishes of pipis with vermouth or slow-grilled rock lobster. If you'd prefer to lean into the old-world elegance of the main dining room, opt for a multi-course sharing menu ($120–180 per person). Hot tip: you'll want to leave room for Bert's desserts.
Celebrate the journey's end in style. Nobu almost needs no introduction: this high-class Japanese fusion restaurant has outposts across the globe with its newest location opening in Crown Sydney. Here, Nobu Matsuhisa brings Nobu's signature dishes, such as black cod with miso, as well as new items fusing native and seasonal Australian ingredients with Japanese flavours. Key to Japanese tradition is the element of visual ceremony in multi-course cuisine. Simply put, this dining experience is not merely delicious, it's also beautiful to look at. It's the perfect way to finish your road trip — splashing out on Sydney's best.
Start planning your great escape to New South Wales this season by visiting the Visit NSW website.
Top image: Bistro Molines, MJK Creative
Published on March 15, 2021 by Stephanie Monteith