By Vivienne Pearson
Many eateries that are number two on Trip Advisor would be aiming for number one. But not The Green Bistro.
‘We were number one for a month,’ says chef and owner Nathan Sheehan. ‘It was a nightmare – we had people coming in, clicking their fingers like it was a fine-dining restaurant.’
It’s not that he thinks The Green Bistro is unworthy of accolade. It’s just that it is based at Club Byron (the Byron Bay Bowling Club) and Nathan has no interest in pretending this is not so. ‘Whatever we are, we’re a bowlo,’ he says.
Nathan is rightly proud of the consistently positive Trip Advisor reviews – he has put his years of cheffing experience into each dish, with many elements made from scratch. ‘Def get the calamari, just melted in my mouth,’ says one reviewer of the calamari that is served with a three-citrus mayo and a sheoak-smoked garlic confit. ‘You need to order the tacos, they are awesome,’ says another of the Indo Taco that is made with 8-hour- braised beef.
Nathan is equally at home serving funky entrees to hip young people and a traditional Sunday roast to club members. He is happy for everyone that the Bowlo’s bar offers, by his reckoning, the cheapest beer in town!
Trip Advisor reviews praise the amazingly low prices given the high quality of the food. Many also give a nod to Nathan himself. ‘Make sure you chat to him, because he is worth it!’ says one. Nathan brings various elements of his personality into the bistro – he makes chili sauces (including Krakatoa and Hairy Nun), he is a fan of vinyl (he spins discs each Wednesday, and ‘whenever I’m in the mood’), and he has transformed an unused bit of land next to the great outdoor seating area into an edible-food garden.
Many out-of-town reviewers note that they had some trouble finding the bistro. As locals, you should be fine – just get to the Bowlo on Marvell St, then head alongside the bowling green. How you review your visit on Trip Advisor is then completely up to you.
The Green Bistro, 18–20 Marvell St, Byron Bay. www.thegreenbistrobyronbay.com.au