I enjoy reading food blogs, more for the restaurant reviews than for recipes. There are quite a few Sydney food blogs around and I follow grabyourfork , awifescharmedlife,chocolatesuze regularly. Though I tried writing a few restaurant reviews for zomato.com when back in Delhi, I know I don’t really have it in me to be a food blogger. Read and salivate I can .Write, I better stay away. Same with travelogues. Even I find it hard to read through my travel stories :-X
So this post which I started with the intention of being either a review or a travelogue will instead be just a random recollection of facts from our second trip to Hunter Valley. After a drive around the Upper Hunter Wine Valley, we decided on Pokolbin in Lower Hunter this time. It is rather ambitiously named as the “Wine country”. A look at the map showed vineyards all around. Pointless though, since I was driving and husband doesn’t drink (I used to think that ‘mallu Christian men who don’t drink’ were an extinct species until he came along to refute my theory). And the organizer of the trip aka me, who was very meticulous when it came to the train timings, car pickups, driving distances and lunch and dinner options (obviously), overlooked the fact that wine/cheese factory tours happened only at certain times. So we had to satisfy ourselves with visiting just the tasting rooms. And the sculpture garden at Misletoe wines – but the kangaroo sculpture which looked huge in the brochure turned out to be rather tiny and most of the sculptures are in a pretty bad shape anyway. And then there was the Hunter valley garden, which is huge but since we reached just 30 minutes before closing time, we skipped that too. We would have skipped it anyway considering the 24 dollar entry fee –I am not a huge fan of plants and flowers and feel that all gardens are more or less the same.
The kangaroo sculpure at Misletoe Wines
The day before we left, I had gone through the websites of all restaurants listed in the Pokolbin tourist brochure checking out their menus online (and prices-Pokolbin is not easy on the wallet when it comes to fine dining). We finally decided on the Verandah for lunch. The view is really nice, a dinner with that view would be an unforgettable experience .We went for their Australian Tapas Tower which was very good value for money and gave the chance to taste quite a few of their dishes. It was followed by the dessert tasting plate, which was not that impressive. We also had a taste of kangaroo meat for the first time – I found it similar to lamb, but softer.
The Tapas Tower
The Dessert Tasting Plate@ Verandah
The highlight of the trip was the dinner :-D
I was in no mood for anything after the Tapas which was heavy enough but we went for dinner at Maneeya Thai restaurant, which was just opposite to where we were staying. I don’t even remember what I ordered .And husband,who loves everything spicy, ordered Jungle Curry , ignoring the ‘very hot” warning on the menu. “It’s really hot” warning from the waitress was dismissed with “make it extra hot” .And boy, hot it was. Hot enough to make your eyes water and your lips go red. More Hot than spicy, because of all the chilli flakes that we could see floating in the curry. We seriously suspect that the waitress dumped a few spoons of chilli just to prove her point.
A very hot ending to an otherwise nice trip:-D