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  • Quentin Von Essen

A Favourite for All Seasons - The Cellar Restaurant

With a long-standing reputation for excellence, a visit to the Hunter Valley is not complete without a meal at The Cellar Restaurant. Just a short stroll from Hunter Valley Gardens, The Cellar Restaurant specialises in Contemporary Modern Australian cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood, tender lamb and vegetarian dishes utilising fresh local produce.

With varying international backgrounds, the new owners and chefs Gary Schofield, Masood Saberian, Vanessa Blake and Nicole Saberian all share a passion for food and a desire to introduce new and exciting flavours to the Hunter Valley.

The Cellar Restaurant is, in a word, "unique" and without a doubt one of the finest restaurants in the Hunter. Located on the grounds of the Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, you could quite easily overlook this beautiful little lunch or dinner destination.

With a new and invigorated seasonal menu, the new owners are determined to keep The Cellar Restaurant a summer and winter favourite for both locals and visitors to the Hunter Valley.

In winter there is no better place to be, with the spectacular centrally located fireplace keeping diners warm over the colder months, and in summer you can enjoy the longer warmer evenings while dining alfresco. This is by far, one of the most central and most convenient spots in the Hunter to go for a meal.

This menu is refreshingly diverse and well thought out with inspired influences and an emphasis on fresh seasonal produce.

Starting with entrees, you will discover everything from Sydney rock oysters, to delicious fried baby squid, chilled ham consommé and even charred Queensland prawns. The selection of mains is equally as tantalising, and includes a choice of crispy skin blue eye cod, pork belly, lamb tenderloin, grassland beef eye fillet and twice-cooked duck. With these menu choices, you soon come to realise why The Cellar is considered one of the Hunters most outstanding restaurants. Leave room for dessert which comes with a choice of five mouth-watering delights. It really doesn’t matter what you choose whether it be the caramelised white chocolate with peach, nettle and rosemary; the hay smoked parfait with coffee, banana and hazelnut; the lychee, yuzu and pepper meringue or the milk chocolate mousse with jaconde, cherry sorbet, fennel fronds and blackberry – you will not be disappointed. For those lacking a sweet tooth, there is always the smoked mascarpone with prune jam, rye bark, walnut crumb and comté cheese. The wine list is just as generous and includes an extensive range of excellent local Hunter Valley wines.

With its wonderful setting, warm, attentive service, emphasis on simplicity of ingredients, great execution and presentation, The Cellar Restaurant is up there with the best in local and regional dining. It’s a summer and winter favourite amongst both locals and visitors to the Hunter. Visit for more information.

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