DAMIAN Clay and Bec Gardner from Watermarc Dining are attracting attention for all the right reasons at their new Wangaratta location, where they warmly welcome guests looking to enjoy modern European cuisine in cool and thoroughly contemporary surrounds.
Both experienced and qualified hospitality professionals, Damian shared his thoughts with North East Living on what makes a truly memorable dining experience. What was the inspiration for the new look Watermarc Dining? We wanted to create a space that offered an ambience that made people feel comfortable, understanding that the way people feel when they dine out encourages them to return.
Furnishings, lighting, colour schemes and the floor plan were carefully selected to create a harmonious flowing room.
We wanted a place anyone could come to - whether just for a drink and nibbles or for the full dining experience – with a menu that offers something unique to Wangaratta without reinventing the wheel. What are some of your favourite dishes on the menu? Our menu encompasses all cuisines; having a diverse menu gives us the freedom to do whatever we like and respond to what our customers tell us they like.
We love seafood and how diverse it is - our philosophy in the kitchen is to create dishes that pack a lot of flavour and look good on the plate.
The beef carpaccio with rocket, truffle oil, Lilliput capers and shaved parmesan is a traditional Italian dish which packs freshness and flavour - it also looks great on the plate too.
Our customers have also embraced the southern Indian swordfish curry with mussels, coconut rice and fresh herb salad. Where do you find the inspiration for new dishes? In this industry it is important to eat out, do your research and draw inspiration from your peers.
By doing this you can find out what is happening within the industry and keep your finger on the pulse. What can we expect to see on the menu over summer? During the warmer weather our “slushies” have become really popular; we’ve perfected our lemon margarita as well as a “Frosé” (frozen rosé using a dry local version).
Our menu will highlight fresh salads like our Gamze smoked chicken nicoise salad, lighter dishes such as mussels opened in cider with crusty Milawa bread and aromatic mains like our crispy pork belly with bok choy, bean shoots, chilli and clams opened in XO sauce. What’s your favourite dish to prepare at home? Roast pork with roast vegetables and cauliflower puree is always our favourite meal to cook when we make the time. It’s traditional and never disappoints the children, and we all love crackling. What do you like about living in North East Victoria? The proximity to great producers, wineries, beers and the rich history makes the North East a pleasant place to live.
It also entices family and friends to make the trip up the Hume - there is always something happening or something to see.