WINE & DINE

Ex­cit­ing hap­pen­ings on the Cen­tral Coast, CUP­CAKES GA­LORE, and hot new open­ings across the NA­TION.

Australian Traveller - - Shortcuts Wine & Dine -

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

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