Rick Stein at Bannisters Port Stephens
The celebrity chef's penchant for top-notch seafood continues at this Port Stephens resort.
It just makes so much sense: Rick Stein, the celebrity chef who made a name for himself — first in the UK and then in Australia — by making seafood his ingredient of choice opening a restaurant in Port Stephens, home to some of the best seafood on the east coast. Following the success of the first Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook, this outpost opened in conjunction with Bannisters Port Stephens in 2018. Stein, alongside his wife Sarah, engaged interior design Romy Alwill to present a breezy interior, splashed with terracotta, timber and Japanese watercolours.
Alongside Head Chef Mitchell Turner, Stein has designed a menu that celebrates the region — and its excellent produce. That starts with a selection of seafood straight from the sea — think oysters on ice (or served with spicy sausage) and sashimi of Nelson Bay yellowfin tuna, Eden kingfish and Tasmanian salmon — alongside a creamy black cuttlefish risotto. For mains, you can enjoy baked whole snapper, barbecued tuna steak, fish curry or, if you're happy to get your hands dirty, blue swimmer crab served Singapore-style with garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander.
After dinner, pop across to the Terrace Bar. It's a design feat, all millennial pink, splashes of mint, white, grey and blond wood, and overlooks the hotel's infinity pool, out toward the tops of the surrounding gum trees and onto the water.