Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley’s signature restaurant, Redsalt, is breakfast buffet paradise by day and a polished white tablecloth dining experience by night. Focused on local produce, the menu at the property’s on-site restaurant is equipped with a substantial selection of steaks on their grill section.
It’s Friday night and we’ve just checked in at the hotel after driving up from Sydney, building up our appetite along the way. We’re seated by the window at Redsalt, a nice spot to take in views of the gleaming pool. A glass of 2017 Sparkling Blush ($10) from nearby Peterson House makes for a fine start to our a la carte dinner (after all, when in Hunter Valley…).
You can never go wrong with fried cheese. So we don’t regret our decision to order the fried aged manchego with rocket and macadamia pesto ($10) to start. The little morsels feature a crunchy exterior and a melty cheese interior.
A trio of Iberico jamon on tomato sourdough ($12) is a trip down memory lane for me. I fondly look back on the large quantities of tomato-rubbed bread I consumed while in Spain. Of course, topping the bread with Iberico jamon takes it to a whole other level in terms of flavour.
But the chicken liver and foie gras parfait with housemade brioche, Botrytis jelly and tangerine puree ($21) is hands down the highlight of the night. It’s an intensely smooth parfait with a superb flavour – I don’t even need the jelly or the puree with it, but I gather others may like the sweet relief from the very savoury parfait.
Between two of us, we share the 33-hour slow cooked beef short rib ($43), listed as the feature dish. Served with carrot puree, caramelised Brussels sprouts, sous vide baby turnips and jus, the short rib is tender as can be.
To accompany the main, we opt for a multitude of sides. The mash potatoes ($8) are generous but aren’t quite as creamy as we were expecting. While the Gruyere cheese and cauliflower gratin ($9) could be cheesier, it’s still a pleasant complement to the beef regardless.
We figure that a fresh salad might cut through the rich dishes we’ve ordered, but end up settling for a salad containing goats cheese anyway (life is too short to forgo cheese!). The warm grilled peach and goats cheese salad ($9) balances sweet and salty well.
We’re spiralling into food coma territory, so we don’t even have room to order dessert. Instead, we flounder back to our room for a good night’s rest – only to wake up for an epic breakfast. For those staying overnight, the breakfast buffet at Redsalt is well worth it.
Read more about my weekend getaway at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley here.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
Address: 430 Wine Country Dr, Lovedale