WINE & DINE
Exciting happenings on the Central Coast, CUPCAKES GALORE, and hot new openings across the NATION.
A FINE FILLY
It’s off the beaten track and atypical to a region best known for its beaches and casual coastal towns, but that’s the beauty of the Central Coast’s latest dining destination, Saddles. Set on an 11-hectare property in Mount White, a quiet rural hinterland suburb, Saddles is becoming a culinary destination for ‘Coasties’ and Sydneysiders alike. While the restaurant was inspired by a painting of an Australian homestead, and the menu by our national love for a good and simple sausage roll and pie, a humble bakehouse this is not. The elegant space includes an oversized fireplace built from local sandstone, an ornate pianola, and a beautiful luxe bathroom, while the menu harnesses the best seasonal produce. We chat to front of house Hayley Cansdell – part-owner with husband and head chef Cameron – about this exciting new eatery. TELL US THE STORY BEHIND SADDLES… It was just under two years in the making. What started out as a cafe to get some coffee, a loaf of bread and a pie is a whole lot more today. John [Singleton, the restaurant is a project of The John Singleton Group] has wanted this cafe for more than 10 years and it is designed around a painting of a modest Australian homestead that now hangs in the dining room. Heath Harris, a great mate of John’s, is a local artisan saddler who lives a few doors down at his Strawberry Hills Stud – he worked with the designer, Michelle Leslie, to create the finishing touches, including the saddle chairs that sit alongside our bar. The restaurant’s hinterland location is a beautiful link for those who are travelling to and from the Central Coast for a weekend. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE
It is inspired by childhood bakery MENU? favourites such as the humble meat pie and sausage roll, but stepped up a few notches using the finest of ingredients. Everything is house-made including seasonal puff pastry tarts with caramelised onion, goats’ cheese and cauliflower shoots; pies with slow-braised beef, thyme, red onion and wine; a sausage roll with Berkshire pork and garden herbs; and if you’re daring, there’s even lamb brains with house-made mayonnaise. There’s a lot of interesting Australian produce used such as black Périgord truffles from Tasmania, Long Lane Capers from Victoria’s High Country, and dark chocolate from the Daintree. One IS SADDLES FAMILY-FRIENDLY? hundred per cent. It’s dog-friendly, too! The kids’ menu features house-made sausage rolls and potato scallops and families are able to explore the grounds around the dam. WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU GOT PLANNED?
We have a boutique that sells condiments, special ingredients and the beautiful tableware used in the dining room. In August, the garden centre will open [a nod to the site’s former life as a nursery] and Central Coast Cooking School will run classes with dates starting later in the year. saddlesmtwhite.com.au