We’d travelled up from God’s country in Byron Shire to Mt Tamborine, another of God’s lands.
Speaking of God, we were here to check-out the new restaurant fittingly named Eden.
This well-located property is part of the revamped award-winning winery and cellar door to Mason’s Wines in North Tamborine and our first stop after an hour-and-a-half drive.
The family was in tow and luckily we’d included a souped-up wooden tricycle for a pent-up two-year-old. And off he flew. The grounds here are sizable and quite attractive.
The new restaurant, overlooking a lush green valley, is framed by a well-kept lawn with large and solid wooden outdoor tables.
The restaurant is also the front of house for the winery and the first port of call for a keen wine taster like myself. My wife, heavily pregnant, was trying in vain to bring to heel the toddler who was speeding full circle around the carpark through the lanes and grassy knolls on his hot rod.
Of course, taking my job seriously, I required a wine tasting. I knew I had limited time though.
Sarala, our up-front host on the day, was ducking and weaving while serving tables, and apparently she was all alone but nevertheless doing a fine job without help. She arrived, heaved a sigh and asked my pleasure in tasting.
This was a young woman with presence and a good knowledge of the liquid assigned her. She recommended, poured, I drank, swilled and spat; she poured, I slurped swilled and spat again. As this was going on, meals were at the ready, she’d run the food out to tables and return within minutes.
Without pausing, she introduced me to a new wine, and again I slurped swilled and spat. A new table of four arrived unexpectedly; her composure held tight as she sat them with menus and raced back.
With my new wines lined up and ready for me to taste and more thirsty punters joining the wine-tasting queue, I suggested to Sarala that she might let me pour my own while she attended the ever-mounting service requirements.
Her answer was swift, commanding and final; ‘I am sorry, but I cannot let you do that, we are directed here by the Responsible Service Of Alcohol laws’ and off she flew to deliver another meal. The only thing missing with our host’s frenetic service style was a moment to relax with her and enjoy some banter. I steadied my hand, slurped and spat the last drop of wine and began my overdue fatherly duties.
We sat outside and Sarala came to our table as if we hadn’t already met. ‘So, at Eden you can expect more than one person’, she went on to explain that they hadn’t had cause for more than herself until this very day.
And everyone who’s run an eatery will agree, it’s that wretched Murphy and his law that’s to blame. We ordered a platter of seafood and charcuterie. It came on stilts, an impressive scaffold sitting high off the table with a good wooden platter. This was a two-person affair and came with plenty to eat.
King prawns sitting lightly crumbed in a first-class pool of spiced and herbed tomato reduction. A well-flavoured gravlax and a house-made salmon parfait served in a small jar was perfection with ample bread and lavosh to spread its joy. Oysters Kilpatrick, all completed with wedges of potato and a young Mason’s sav blanc.
A local fresh-cut rhubarb (from a stall we had passed) was dessert. Stewed, glassed and topped with a crumble lid and garnish of mint and petals. The lunch menu here features a selection of tapas-style ‘light bites and nibbles’, ‘mezze platters’ as well as ‘superfood salad’ options. Also on offer are ‘open sandwiches’. A small but well-thought-out menu for a cellar door.
A view of the garden, not a snake in sight and the only temptations were sitting on our table. This Eden presents food and wine as God intended. The creators: Dylan Gittoes, the chef and Sarala Sharma, his multi-tasking Eve.
Eden’s – Mason Wines Mt Tamborine
32 Hartley Rd, Nth Tamborine
Ph: (07) 5545 2000
Lunch: Wed–Sun 11am–3pm
Dinner: Fri & Sat 5– 9pm
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