By Terase Davidson
I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to visit Mavis’s Kitchen, and now wonder why the hell it took me so long – when absolutely everything about this place speaks to my very heart and soul!
Upon arrival, the elegant charm of the old Queenslander awaits you at the foot of Mt Warning, embraced by an orchard of citrus trees, and the tranquil edible garden which lovingly feeds the kitchen and inspires its chefs, to create seasonal menu’s around what the garden provides, and local farms have to offer.
I was lucky enough to accidently plan my visit to coincide with a new menu – YAY! Being somewhat an indecisive creature when it comes to ordering off the menu (solely driven by my fear of ‘order envy’, I might add), my gorgeous waiter easily talks me into ordering the tasting board. A chef’s selection, showcasing ingredients from across the menu, giving me lots of different flavours to enjoy along the way. Winning!
Before the starter arrived though, we were treated to a gift from the kitchen; in the form of freshly diced pineapple (harvested from their garden), soaked in local Spiced Bam Bam Rum, from the legends just down the road at Husk Distillers.
My standout favourite from the tasting board was the chicken-liver patè, a stunning example of ingredients, skill and devotion to a classic French recipe executed to pure perfection. I seriously would not change a thing about this dish, other than wishing it came in take-home packs! My other fav from the tasting board would easily be the cured salmon, presented with a perfectly balanced dressing of salsa verde and baby capers on a bed of salad greens, freshly picked that morning from the garden. Oh, and how could I forget the delicately balanced warm fig salad with Gorgonzola – simply sublime I tell you! Okay, yep you got me, I loved every single mouthful of my tasting board.
Now onto the mains! I’m a sucker for handmade Gnocchi with burnt butter and sage, so I found it impossible to resist ordering the Beetroot Gnocchi with toasted almonds, parmesan, pear and truffle puree, adorned with beetroot leaves to finish. I’d happily eat this dish every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Yes. Yes it really is that good! And rumour has it, the owners, Peter and Charlie, have tried to take this dish off the menu a couple of times, but the regulars would not allow it, and I totally understand why, and I thank those regulars who raised their voice in protest for this dish!
Our other main was a confit duck, made in-house, using local free-range duck from Drake Creek, accompanied by seasonal greens, and the most decadently delicious dauphinoise I think I’ve ever tasted.
Mavis’s Kitchen is one of those rare destination-dining experiences, where you feel so relaxed and rejuvenated, kind of like you’ve had a mini holiday, when actually you’ve just enjoyed a most memorable dining experience. Such is the power of their food and the sense of welcome and belonging they have created.
Mavis’s Kitchen. 64 Mt. Warning Road, Uki | 6679 5664
Open Wednesday to Sunday | Breakfast 8.30–11am | Wednesday–Sunday | Lunch from 11.30am | Friday to Saturday Dinner from 5.30pm
Follow the good food vibrations on Instagram: @mavises_kitchen
Words and images by Terase Davidson: Terase is the founder of Taste Byron Bay. For more information contact: www.tastebyronbay.com or follow the fun on INSTAGRAM @tastebyronbay