— Catch Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape on SBS Meals and streaming free on SBS On Demand. —


As Gino D’Acampo returns to Italy to discover the picturesque villages, cities and islands alongside his homeland’s shoreline, so why not enterprise out on a coastal journey of your personal?

Make a journey down the NSW South Coast to find plentiful produce, nice local weather, and cultural tales.

Listed here are 5 various meals locations to go to alongside the NSW South Coast – all are situated inside three hours of Sydney and Canberra.

1. Restaurant Santino, Wollongong 

One in all Wollongong’s coolest consuming venues is Restaurant Santino. Getting into this internal metropolis laneway restaurant is like venturing right into a brooding Italian restaurant of the Nineteen Fifties.

It’s the sort of place the place you’ll be able to both pattern a single bowl of freshly made pasta or feast on a three-course meal as you sip a Campari and orange and hearken to Dean Martin sing within the background.

“We would like clients to really feel transported to a different place once they come right here,” says Kevin Duarte, who co-owns the restaurant alongside brother Fred. “You can be in Wollongong, New York or Italy.”

Valerio Montesi, the restaurant’s head chef from Rome, has labored with the Portuguese-Australian house owners to create a singular Italian-inspired menu that’s culturally wealthy and filled with conventional flavours.  

To begin, there’s duck parfait with a cassata spin, served with a house-made panettone and preserved orange. Or, you’ll be able to attempt vitello tonnato topped with smoked beans and huge dried capers that give a crunchy salt kick. The group favorite foremost is spatchcock, flavoured with refined hints of chilli and garlic, dressed with a candy carrot agrodolce. Pair the chicken with a aspect of grilled romaine lettuce doused in melted pistachio butter, and chunks of dried olives and apricots for the final word sensory expertise.

2. Love Consuming Asian Meals (LEAF), Nowra

This informal Thai restaurant, situated off the Princes Freeway, is significantly unassuming however attractive.

Proprietor of LEAF, Thai-born Pakping Pichetpongthorn (who additionally goes by the identify of ‘Ping’) explains that she presents a method of conventional eating at lunch that stems from Buddhist tradition based mostly on communal meals choices.

“That is the true Thai means of consuming,” Ping says. “After a blessing on the temple, you’ll be able to take meals made by somebody you have got by no means met, who merely wished to share their cooking with you. This occurs day by day in Thailand.

“A la carte eating can be a western fashion of consuming. In Thailand, we eat many dishes from the one plate. It’s much more enjoyable.”

To style one of many spicier lunches accessible, order the Thai-style ‘bento field’. It options rooster wings with jaew dipping sauce; som tam (papaya salad) with fish pickle; larb rooster mince; sticky rice; and contemporary cucumber and lettuce.

The dinner menu at LEAF contains acquainted Thai classics like purple duck curry or pad Thai made with vermicelli rice noodle and king prawns. You’ll additionally discover dishes from India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia gracing the menu. Ping says LEAF’s broad tackle Asian delicacies symbolises the numerous historic influences on Thai meals.

“I simply ‘Love Consuming Asian Meals’.”

3. Bangalay Eating, Shoalhaven Heads

Whether or not you’re staying in a caravan, cottage or luxurious villa in Shoalhaven Heads, a go to to Bangalay Dining by the seashore is a should.

Holidaymakers can seize a takeaway bacon and egg burger for breakfast or take pleasure in South Coast oysters, charcuterie and discounted drops throughout pleased hour (3-5pm). Or, for a extra informal luxe expertise, you’ll be able to go the restaurant at dinner and pattern a feast of domestically sourced and foraged elements.

Diners can attempt Ulladulla venison loin paired with contemporary blackberries; kangaroo rolled in wattleseed and saltbush; or roasted lobster bug with bug head custard, salmon roe and finger lime.

The menu stems from Simon Evans, the manager chef’s long-standing relationship with Indigenous meals provider Something Wild, partnerships with small-scale producers, and a sustainable friendship with surrounding the land and sea.

“Rising up in Wales, I used to be at all times taught to prepare dinner what was round you in your village or city,” says Evans. “So right here on the South Coast, it simply is sensible to forage and use elements that develop round us naturally.

“Numerous the stuff they prepare dinner within the Sydney eating places can be sourced from down right here. So we’ve got a style benefit on our doorstep.”

4. Fisherman’s Wharf Café, Ulladulla

To expertise the true essence of seafood tradition on the NSW South Coast, eat on the Fisherman’s Wharf Café in Ulladulla.

This vacation spot, located close to the mouth of the harbour, has each historic and culinary ties to fishing within the area. The café and adjoining fish store are owned by Josi Younger (maiden identify, Puglisi). For over 40 years, the 73-year-old has run the companies with the assistance of her Italian-Australian household that has robust ties to the native fishing trade.

Younger says the household’s love of cooking seafood shines by the café’s menu. “We don’t simply supply pre-prepared fish and chips like a daily fish and chips would possibly,” Younger tells SBS. “Nearly every thing we promote right here, we make ourselves from scratch– from the breadcrumbs we use to crumb our fish to our fish muffins. I’ve spent a very long time testing all of the recipes we use. As soon as I’ve gotten a recipe proper, I don’t change it.”

The café is domestically well-known for its seafood chowder – its recipe is over 20 years outdated. Diners can even sit down within the cafe with a glass of wine and take pleasure in a fisherman’s basket, garlic prawns, seafood crepe, oysters or calamari. “I’ve owned this place for a really very long time. I’m very happy with it.”

“I’ve spent a very long time testing all of the recipes we use. As soon as I’ve gotten a recipe proper, I don’t change it.”

5. Rick Stein At Bannisters, Mollymook

You possibly can’t look previous this south coast seafood restaurant, perched excessive up on a cliff high above the headland at Bannisters. For many years, the identify ‘Rick Stein’ has been synonymous with a ardour for high quality seafood, worldwide journey and international flavours.

These themes proceed at Rick Stein’s Mollymook restaurant, as the enduring eatery manages to carry out the powerful job of residing as much as its namesakes’ status.

The kitchen makes use of contemporary, native seafood to make iconic dishes from Stein’s travels overseas and fashionable recipes that remember multicultural flavours. Attempt the Basque nation favorite, oysters Charentaise, which requires diners to eat oysters simply as Stein as soon as did in France. There’s additionally a Moroccan seafood tagine and Sri Lankan fish curry on the menu.

The restaurant wouldn’t be ‘very Rick’ if it didn’t additionally function easy seafood dishes carried out very effectively: from tuna sashimi to steamed entire snapper with ginger, soy sauce, crispy garlic and shallots.

“At the start, I try to hold the dishes so simple as doable,” Stein tells SBS. “I bear in mind being as soon as requested by a writer what my [food] mantra was. I mentioned ‘there’s nothing extra exhilarating than contemporary fish merely cooked’. So that is what I’ve caught to.”

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