Sometimes the best food is when you least expect it or necessarily aren’t even hungry. Whist on Holidays up in Yamba just randomly driving around checking out the sights I need a coffee hit. Bun is driving and we end up in a little seaside hamlet called ‘Angourie’. On the ‘main road’ I see a restaurant, it’s not really even open yet for dinner but I see a couple of waitresses milling about. Thus began a wonderfully unexpected couple of hours in culinary delight at ‘Barbaresco’, an Italian eatery across the road from ‘Spooky Beach’.
After checking out the menu the coffee idea quickly went out the window and we realized we at least needed to nibble on some entrée’s. It’s a tough choice deciding, the ‘Starter’ menu is filled with great options such as char-grilled Yamba Prawns with capsicum puree, chickpea panelle and lemon oil or Octopus with Kipler potatoes, olives, snow pea tendrils with saffron mayo. My coffee craving is quickly replaced by red wine and I sample a Coombe Farm Pinot from the Yarra Valley which goes down a treat.
As the holidaymakers and locals start arriving looking tanned from the day’s beach adventures our starters arrive. We dig in, I ordered the Rotolo and it is utterly fantastic. You could say ‘Rotolo’ is a bit of an anonymous Pasta dish and even call it a cousin of Cannelloni. This dish is wrapped pasta filled with mushroom, spinach, ricotta drizzled in burnt butter, sage, sprinkled with almond flakes married up with a great truffle oil flavor. Its clean, fresh and not too rich with just the right amount of burnt butter as the truffle oil leaves a nice aftertaste.
On the flip side of the Rotolo, Bun ordered the Flathead Croquettes in a little Caponata sauce with capers and lemon zest. It’s a savory dish and the croquettes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside which is nicely filled with the flathead, it’s a perfect match with the Caponata which gives it that warm savory ‘this is grandma’s recipe’ taste.
As we are very satisfied we decide to skip a main meal and go straight to desert. We considered sharing the ‘special’, a Blue Eyed Cod, with a salad of fennel, pine nuts, and red onion with orange segments drizzled in Chardonnay dressing.
Desert is a great choice though, we order “Local Pirate honeycomb semi freddo with lemon curd and praline” and it’s a great mix of flavors. Put them on the spoon together, its magic and as per my usual I share it with a macchiato.
All the young staff are very friendly who happily answer every menu question and query about the local area with a smile. Google says Barbaresco is in Yamba, you could call it the best restaurant in Yamba that’s not actually in Yamba.
I know one thing, before we return to Sydney I’d love to explore the other dishes on the menu, in fact I’m calling them right now to head back to this delightful Italian eatery tonight, maybe I can try that Blue Eyed Cod.
Details : www.facebook.com ph. (02) 66463745
Summary : A day swimming at Spooky Beach and a night spent dining at Barbaresco, what a way to dream the summer away.
hallymustang rating : 4.5/5