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Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Hill Eatery

We finally visited enough restaurants to use a Dimmi voucher. $50 dollars off a meal sounds like a good excuse to go out for dinner. We had a selection of places, but wanted something warm and simple. No thought process, no analysis of different textures, just plain normal good food. 

We came to a conclusion of the Hills Eatery. A consummation of organic goodness that makes you feel like you did something for the environment just by sitting down and using your fork.
The owners went with an eco crusader theme with the food and with the decor. Provenance is key, the vast majority of the interior is recycled but it still looks stylish, a definite kudos to the designer.

View from our booth


Carpets on the walls 

They actually use the rustic sink

All tables use recycled timber
We got to the restaurant at 9pm (Thursday night, late) for an 830 pm booking, late as usual. But the staff didn't seem to mind.
We were greeted warmly by staff and the owner and showed promptly to our booth. 

We sat down and had drinks whilst looking through the menu.

Batlow Cider $8.50
Garden Fresh Cocktail w/square one cucumber vodka, , pimms no.1, fresh lemon, apple & rhubarb syrup, cucumber & mint, topped with tonic $16

This was the point where I realised I forget the memory card in the camera. I had a run down the main strip in Bondi looking frantically for a SD card. I finally found a tourist convenience store where I felt violated with a grand price of $22 for 2GB, but I had no choice. I quickly ran back to the restaurant to come to my partner's choice of entree where I was pleasantly surprised.

Jamon Wrapped Mushrooms $13
Beef Skewers $15
Jamon is Spanish for ham. The ham was cooked to perfection, not dry but still crispy, with mushrooms inside, it's a knockout dish, if only there were a few more servings. The beef skewers were grilled and served hot with a Mojo Verde, this is a Spanish green sauce made with vinegar, oil and coriander. The sauce really brings out the flavour of the beef and adds a much needed kick to a basic dish.
The portion sizes were a bit smaller than what we wanted and we were feeling quite peckish by 930, and couldn't wait for mains.

Duck Fat Potatoes w/ Saffron Aioli $12
Duck Confit w/ grain salad of quinoa, lentils, barley, almonds, sunflowers seeds and dates $29

Barramundi w/ baby corn and smoked eggplant puree $26

Aside from peeking duck, probably the crispiest and juiciest duck I've ever had. The vegetables were excellent soft, moist and a contrast to the crackling duck skin. The insides were juicy and minimal chewing was required, always a good sign.

The wedges on the other hand were a massive let down, how does a combination of duck fat soaked potatoes with aioli infused with saffron could be so bland! The slices were simply way too big and this really failed as a compliment side to our mains. The barramundi our other main was another great dish. 

The recommended fish of the day goes in line with the restaurants theme of provenance. The fish is locally sourced on the day and you can really taste the freshness, this was not as flavourful as the duck but the subtle tastes and textures don't overpower the mouth, very well made.

Oolong Iced Tea w/oolong tea, raspberries  fresh lime, mint, jose cvervo tradicional & St Germain topped with elder flowers $16

Chocolate Brownie w/ raspberry sorbet $14

Pavlova w/ strawberry, pineapple, mango, banana, raspberry with lemon sorbet & passionfruit sauce $14

I'm a sucker for brownies, doesn't matter if its the $2 home brand, its really hard to mess it up. The Hill Eatery is no exception, continuing with its strong mains, the brownie was different, but, good different. Infused with nuts and a side of mouse was delicious. The raspberry sauce showcases the restaurants maintained theme of seasonal and local produce the sauce is tangy and suits really well to the sweetness, it effectively cuts the sugar, so you can have as much as you like without getting sick of it. Well done guys, Beautiful!    
The Pavlova, a fresh tasting dessert with a tangy sauce, it'll definitely wake you up. Recommended if you like tangy and sour desserts, as opposed to sweet and rich, definitely worth trying once, very fresh and crisp flavors.      
The Hill Eatery is a great dining experience the food is fresh and seasonal, and cooked to perfection, and staff are very knowledgeable and attentive, we had the benefit of the owner being present which always means top-notch service.
The only sting was the price, value for money was not one of the highlights. Two entrees mains and desserts and 3 drinks cost us a total of $177.50. 

Not one of the cheaper places to visit. The unfortunate point is in comparison to several 1 and 2 Chef's Hatted places we have visited that would cost a similar amount, but I guess the location demands a premium.

If you like fresh, healthy and seasonal produce and don't mind spending a few extra dollars, definitely worth a visit, great service, creative and well made food done with a bit of gusto.

Happy Eating :)

S & S

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Address: 39 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
Phone: 02 9130 2200
Open: Mon- Fri 12pm - Late 
Sat - Sun 8am -Late 

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