Friday, 24 June 2011

Harvest Café & The Byron at Byron Restaurant, Byron Bay

Last week I travelled to Byron Bay in northern New South Wales with Mr Ladybird and my in-laws for a short break. Byron Bay is located in northern New South Wales, and is only around 2 hours drive from Brisbane. A few years ago when we still lived in Brisbane, driving down to Byron Bay for a night or two was something I would look forward to tremendously, and since relocating to Sydney I have missed that convenience a lot. With recent flooding on the Pacific Highway, our drive from Sydney to Byron Bay ended up taking almost 13 hours... but it was worth it.

It was so lovely to visit Byron Bay again, and (don't tell anyone) but I think winter is the perfect time to visit the area. Blue skies, sunshine and warmer temperatures, less crowds, not to mention the beautiful landscape - stunning beaches, pristine forest and the breathtaking hinterland - there's a reason why you feel great after visiting such a pristine part of the world.

Byron Bay is also a great place for foodies to visit thanks to the great array of eateries offering the best of local produce. I'll be posting more on the food on offer at Byron Bay, but first here is a little look into two places I visited during my stay.

First, Harvest Café, which is located in Newrybar in the Byron Bay hinterland. This cafe is situated in a renovated house with sweeping balconies, and boasts a beautiful ambiance.


Sitting outside on the balcony under heaters was nice, and there is also seating available indoors.



I just loved the look of the sofas by the fireplace - so cosy...


We visited Harvest for breakfast on the weekend. We were keen to dine somewhere outside of town, and outside of Bangalow, so Harvest seemed like a good option. We started with coffees - a cappuccino ($3.85) and a latte ($3.85).

I ordered the Twice baked goats cheese souffle served with micro herbs, rocket, asparagus and smokey paprika oil ($18). It was delicious, and I couldn't help but wish that there was more of it as I was rather peckish afterwards.


We also enjoyed the breakfast special - a side of fresh, locally grown dragonfruit with passionfruit ($2.50). Honest to goodness - the best dragonfruit I have ever tried in my life - a far cry from the bright yet bland fruit I've sampled previously.


For my dining companion, Two poached eggs on toast with a caponata filled mushroom and potato croquettes ($18.70). Admittedly a little steep for what one would probably pay for such a dish elsewhere...


There are a few other vegetarian options n the breakfast menu.. delicious muesli, fresh fruit loaf and.. oh my.. buttermilk pancakes with poached rhubarb. My favourite aspect of Harvest, however, was the baking preparation taking place right in front of diners inside. Here, one of Harvest's chefs was busily preparing a spread of delicious baked goods... It doesn't get any fresher than that.


Strawberry and white chocolate muffins, brownies, chocolate tart, friands, scones... need I go on?!


Come to think of it, I did observe during my stay that Byron seems to lack a good patisserie/bakery in the town centre, so I would not hesitate in recommending a visit to Harvest even for morning or afternoon tea after seeing their freshly baked goods. Yum! :)


Later that day we headed to the beautiful Byron at Byron resort for a family lunch at their restaurant. My parents and younger brother travelled from the Gold Coast to catch up with us over lunch, so it was a family reunion of sorts. This 5-star eco-resort is worth a visit while in Byron Bay, and the restaurant setting is relaxed and takes in the lovely natural surroundings.



I also couldn't help but check out the pool while we were there - what a stunning sight!


The Byron at Byron restaurant menu offered plenty of options for all of us - something that can be hard to find when dining with a group with such varied palates. Most of the dishes incorporated high-quality, local ingredients, which is always a good thing.  The meals were of a high standard and enjoyed by all.
Here are a few of the dishes ordered by our table...


Toasted chicken panini with avocado, bacon, tomato and provolone cheese ($16)


The Byron Burger - Barcoo grass fed Angus beef, beetroot, lettuce, tomato and onion rings ($23)


My scrumptious dish - the Bruschetta of sourdough with Coopers Shoot tomatoes, ligurian olives and Nimbin dairy goats curd ($16)


Grilled local market fish, steamed winter vegetables, parsley and lemon beurre blanc and crispy sweet potato chips ($32)


Spiced butternut pumpkin and spinach salad with pepita, honey roasted macadamia nuts and farmers market sprouts ($18)


Winter tart of leeks and parmesan with rocket and pear salad ($22)

And how could I finish this post without mentioning the lovely lemon meringue pie my father baked especially for me? We enjoyed a piece sitting in the afternoon sunshine later that day and it was fantastic. My father is a man who doesn't cook often - so hats off, Dad!


Harvest Cafe
18 Old Pacific Highway
Newrybar NSW
Byron Bay Hinterland
Ph: (02) 6687 2644
http://harvestcafe.com.au/
Harvest Cafe on Urbanspoon

The Byron at Byron Restaurant
77-97 Broken Head Rd
Byron Bay NSW
(02) 6639 2111
http://www.thebyronatbyron.com.au/byron-bay/restaurant/
Byron at Byron Resort- Restaurant on Urbanspoon

11 comments:

  1. Great cooking runs in the family! Love your Dad's work.

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  2. Yummy, everything looks so good!

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  3. Oh gosh, the vibrancy of that dragonfruit! Kudos to you for the amazing photography skills :) Looks like an absolutely delicious adventure!

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  4. Your Dad's pie looks the best of any of the dishes! What a nice getaway for you too.

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  5. The lemon meringue pie looks pro! The crispy sweet potato chips with the fish look good too.

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  6. Oh my what a yummy post. The food looks so well presented which makes all the difference.

    Rose

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  7. loved seeing that Harvest Cafe and getting an update on Byron! looks delicious! thankyou, and yes the Lemon Pie, beautiful!

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  8. oh this does sound really good and I really like the fireplace. Haven't had a caponata filled mushroom before but it would be a nice combo.

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  9. Thank you for this great information on hospitality ...That was my best days when I had spent my days on Restaurant Byron Bay

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  10. Thanks for posting the yummy and mouth watering pics of these dishes and love to read from your side that there are places on the earth where these dishes are made.

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