North East Living Magazine - - In the Restaurant -

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.

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