Dinner on the first evening was at the newly-opened Zebu, situated along the waterfront of Rydges Hotel. Far from your snooty or daggy hotel restaurant, Zebu’s trendy bar area is heaving with young crowds enjoying $10 pizzas and ‘Hump Day’ discounted drinks when we arrive. Actually, Zebu appears to have some sort of special promotion running almost every day of the week.
Not feeling terribly hungry, I opt for an entrée of ‘Scallops with chorizo & chilli jam’ in place of a main. Seared scallops rest atop discs of chorizo and are topped with chilli jam as well as what appear to be pieces of bacon. Swirls of basil purée adorn the platter elegantly.
Monsieur Poisson goes for the richer option of a 300g scotch fillet served with our choosing of roasted Kipfler potatoes and Béarnaise sauce alongside. Cherry tomatoes roasted with balsamic vinegar which are charred and blistered are sweetly soft within, while the Tasmanian King Island pasture-fed steak is a perfect medium rare as requested.
Dessert consists of a macadamia and praline parfait flanked by a passionfruit jelly, honey tuile and a very large dollop of cream. Despite its creamy appearance, the dessert is actually quite light but the parfait could do with the crunch of a higher proportion of praline.
A couple of drinks later and we are admiring the last of the sunset’s dappled rays. Bliss.
Rydges Hotel, 1 Hay St, Port Macquarie NSW
Tel: (02) 6589 2822
Opening Hours: 7 days 6:30am-12 noon (breakfast, buffet breakfast until 10am only)
12 noon-12 midnight (woodfired pizzas, casual dining & bar)
6:30am-11:30pm (coffee & cake)