Coming from the Sydney dining scene that’s full of the latest craze or gimmick, it was a real pleasure to enjoy true home cooking that is simple, clean and unpretentious.
Housed in a modern farm house, The Zin House overlooks Lowe Wines. Here, Kim specialises in a 5 course weekend long lunch valued at $85 per person plus the option to add The Zin House Wine Flight for an extra $35 per person.
This was actually the highlight of the whole experience at Zin House, and that’s not to say that everything else wasn’t spectacular, because it was, but I was just so impressed at how something so simple could be so delicious. Everything you eat is either home made like the rosemary and onion bread, dukkah, olive tapanade and herb butter, or locally sourced like the quail eggs.
I found the soft boiled quail eggs really enjoyable almost as much as I enjoyed watching Luke struggle to peel the tiny thing. Being too lazy and having very little patience, I simply lobbed the top off mine and scooped out the tasty little morsel. The yolk was still deliciously golden and soft and was absolute heaven spread on the warm crusty home made bread with a simple pinch of salt or dukkah.
This was just the right thing for a chilly afternoon in winter (the heated floors helped too). The soup was thick and creamy with a lovely herb flavouring. I only wish I hadn’t demolished all my bread as it would have gone perfectly dipped in the steaming cup of soup.
Carlo’s Wagyu Prosciutto
This wagyu prosciutto was absolutely divine. I mean just look at that marbling! The salty fatty meat had a delicious savoury umami taste to it that went excellently with the fresh slaw and tangy pickled beetroot.
Watching chef and owner Kim Currie in the open kitchen was kind of mesmerising. It’s so beautiful to see someone who just seems so natural in their art. No big fancy cooking machines in this kitchen, just Kim and a few of her staff loving what they do, casually cooking away, stress free, happy and relaxed.
One thing I really loved about the open plan is that it makes you feel like you’re at home eating a family meal. The relaxed vibe from the kitchen permeates the atmosphere of the restaurant (as does the mouth watering cooking smells), allowing you to leave your worries behind and enjoy a long and leisurely lunch.
Three Cheese Ravioli, Garlic and Chilli Mushrooms
The smell of the buttery mushrooms were almost truffle like with their earthy intoxicating aroma. Cutting into the little pasta pillows was an experience in itself with the gooey cheese mixture oozing out. Sharp, creamy, salty these were some damn fine ravioli.
Verjuice and Balsamic Braised Lamb Shoulder
It really felt like a weekend roast when this came to the table. The meat was incredibly tender falling apart at the touch and melting in the mouth. The rich savoury flavour was cut by the sweetness of the roast carrot and Jerusalem artichokes which were simply cooked and lightly seasoned.
Again I was blown away at the simplicity of this dish and how good it tasted. The carrots and artichokes were sourced straight from the garden outside, as was the salad. It really got me thinking, living in the city all these years, have I forgotten what real wholesome food tastes like?
High Valley & Jannei Cheese Selection
A nice respite between courses, the cheeses were of course, locally sourced with a soft and hard cheese provided with black sesame lavosh, and poached pear. The large green leafy plant you see is Borage. For years my parents have been growing this in our garden and I’ve never given it a second thought until it was presented before me. The flowers and leaves taste slightly like cucumber, with others saying they taste like fresh oysters. Either way it was great to see such an interesting and underrated herb being used.
Rhubarb & Hazelnut Clafouti with Honey Icecream
Oh how I love cake desserts. For years I’ve craved desserts with substance, only to be served some airy froth or mousse. But this thing was hearty. Warm and comforting with big flavour, the steaming cake was intermixed with chopped hazelnuts adding a satisfying crunch to the mix.
The Zin House is one of those special places you’ll want to keep a secret from people so you can savour it all to yourself. Alas it would be a crime not to tell everyone about it.
This was easily my favourite place in Mudgee and I believe it truly showcases what Mudgee is all about: Great food, great wine, great hospitality. The perfect place for a long leisurely lunch (although I definitely wouldn’t discount dinner). Zin House is an experience in itself and one that should not be missed in Mudgee.
The Zin House
329 Tinja Lane
2 Hungry Guys dined as a guest of Destination NSW