"We are passionate about offering a casual fine dining approach to our guests, concentrating on flavour and honest food and wine that people can relate to. By getting back to the basics we use as much regional produce as possible to really showcase what the greater Hunter region has to offer. In doing so, we have formed close bonds with small farms, vineyards and growers which forms the basis of our menus’ evolution. We also have 32 garden beds on the property which we utilize. In the future we will introduce livestock to the property, which is exciting for our kitchen team."
Spanner crab: sustainably-sourced crab from the team at Fraser Isle Spanner Crab with a radish leaf emulsion and mayonnaise made from fermented radish leaves; 48-hour braised short rib: cooked in onion juice and buttermilk, a by-product of our house-churned butter, served juicy and pink after being cooked for two days; red wine balsamic strawberries with strawberry curd, shortcake, and egg white.
Restaurant Botanica’s dedication to keeping things local is obvious once you see its four-acre vineyard. The plot’s grapes are transformed into the Small Harvest Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot that are served at your table – as well as the house-made Shiraz salt that seasons the bread (baked with organic stone-ground flours from Demeter Farm Mill in Gunnedah).
Restaurant Botanica’s own produce is grown onsite, via a market garden planted with heirloom seeds only. Crackle, the estate’s pig, pitches in as unofficial composter, and helps reduce the site’s food scraps. In conjunction with the Bin Trim Program, the restaurant is on track to meet its goal of eliminating 99.9 per cent of its food waste from landfill. The chef works with hero suppliers such as Little Hill Farm, which provides chicken and eggs from its well-cared-for birds. Sustainable seafood rules the menu, thanks to fresh-caught ingredients from The Good Fish Project, which is overseen by the Australian Marine Conservation Society. And Restaurant Botanica isn’t resting on its laurels – sure, its involvement with The Plastic Police program means that its plastic is turned into park benches and other useful designs. Eventually though, the team hopes to purchase custom-made pieces through the initiative, to close the loop. And they plan to be plastic-free by 2025.
“Chef Shayne Mansfield is now at the helm of Restaurant Botanica on the grounds of Spicers Vineyards Estate, not far from Spicers Guesthouse, and overlooking the beautiful Brokenback Mountain Range. Shayne is forever in search of new local farms and producers within the local Hunter Valley region and in turn showcasing these incredible ingredients within his menus. Vegans will find the restaurant worth the detour for the mushroom risotto alone." –Australian Traveller
Guest-focused New South Wales restaurant with a strong sustainable streak