Macualey’s Restaurant in Coffs Harbour is one of a handful of special places that Mr GG and I find ourselves returning often. The menu changes seasonally, and the venue hosts a variety of events, such as the recently attended “Fabulous Ladies Wine Soiree” and tonight’s Tapas themed evening.
The Spanish atmosphere was enhanced by Miel Crudo who provided Latino inspired acoustic entertainment in the background.
Mr GG and I relaxed into the ambiance and perused the drinks menu. For the occasion Macauley’s had added the Spanish Estrella Damm Lager to the menu and was featuring a Sangria which I was anxious to try.
It was the perfect choice and a great start to the evening. My Sangria was red wine based, but also included ginger ale and fruits such as apple, orange, and some sweet strawberries. The sangria was spiced with cinnamon and other aromatics and was a truly unique and flavorsome drink; perfect for the upcoming menu.
After agonizing over all the delicious sounding dishes we decided to leave the tapas selection to the chefs discretion. Everything on the menu looked so luscious, it would have been an impossible task to choose favourites.
The first dish out was the Duck Liver Pate served with grilled Brioche. I was sure the chef had read my mind! My eyes had fixed on this dish when we looked at the menu, and now it had materialised before me in all its rich, velvety, glory! So smooth and buttery in texture but so gamey and truly duck flavoured. The spread was finished with a thin layer of sweet sherry jelly, such a flavoursome pate, and a very generous serve too. The grilled Brioche provided the perfect smokey, crisp accompaniment.
We were off to a delicious start, the next dish was a grilled chorizo with a white bean dip. The chorizo had a lovely pork flavour and a nice amount of hot spices and smokey herbs. We dipped the chorizo in the smooth, silky, white bean dip and found that it was just sublime.
The Garfish was served in a crisp herb crumb and topped with a tabbouleh styled salsa which was lovely and tangy, there were hints of basil which also helped to fresh and the dish and give it an even more interesting flavour.
The Salt & Pepper Calamari was another winning dish! The calamari had a lovely light coating of salt and pepper seasoning and was served with the creamiest, tangy, garlic aioli. Brett was scraping every last smear of the dressing from the dish; absolutely lush!
The waiter then announced that he would be serving the “Plato de Carne,” or the mixed meat platter. This is designed as a sharing platter and the dishes started to appear one after another, including this delicious pot of meaty goodness. The Flamingo meatballs were a moist, soft and garlicky ball, smothered in a rich tomato sauce. To the side was another serving of chorizo, you know… you can never have too much chorizo in my opinion!
The Plato De Carne is served with some non meat side dishes, my favourite being the Patatas Bravas. These crispy baked potato cubes were sublime served with a tasty tomato relish and topped with a cheese and parsley layer.
Whilst speaking to the waiter I learned that Macauleys Restaurant had achieved recent success at the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards. It had been announced as a winner for the Best Contemporary Australian Restaurant NSW – Informal.
So a big congratulations to the team at Macauleys! It is always great to see local business excelling, especially in the area of food.
Back to the food and more dishes from the tasting platter arrived. I don’t know quite how to do justice to the Costillas de Res. These beef ribs were the epitome of sticky, melt in the mouth deliciousness. Marinated in paprika, sweet sherry, vinegar, garlic and oregano the meat was rich and full of flavour.
Also included on this platter was a Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder Pie which was served topped with a crispy polenta crust. The lamb filling was delicious and moist, distinctly lamb but in a rich sauce which carried the flavours beautifully. Mr GG took pleasure in using the polenta biscuit to “sop up” all the delicious sauces and wipe the dish clean.
Harrissa relish is a favourite of both Mr GG and myself, I love the robust flavours and the complex balance between hot, spicy and tasty. The relish served with these Crispy fried chicken wings was amazing. The perfect combination of smokey, sweet and hot! The flavour of the peppers shone through nicely and it was a fitting accompaniment to the chicken.
I would love to report that I devoured all the desserts above and below, but alas I couldn’t manage another bite. We decided to sit and enjoy the music of Miel Crudo a little longer with a glass of Gemtree Blood Stone Shiraz from MacLarenVale instead. It was a lovely choice, a delicious smooth, full bodied Shiraz, lovely peppery flavours, and well suited to picking at the last remaining meaty morsels on the table.
So whilst the Churros were calling my name, I reluctantly had to bid dessert adios.
So readers, do you have a favourite restaurant, one which you return to often? What are your plans for the weekend?Gourmet Getaways dined as invited guests of Macauleys Restaurant.