Hunter Valley Dining: Amanda’s on the Edge September 8, 2010Posted by pacejmiller in Food.
Tags: Amanda's, Amanda's on the Edge, Australian dining, contemporary cuisine, fine dining, Hunter Valley, lunch special, Pokolbin, wine country
Lunch on our second day at the Hunter Valley was another difficult choice. Ultimately, we went with the nearby ‘Amanda’s on the Edge’, one of the highest rated restaurants in the region according to a number of websites.
Amanda’s (as I like to call it), is one of those small cottage-like restaurants with a family feel to it. The photos on the website have been done very well because to be honest the real thing didn’t look nearly as nice. Not to say it wasn’t a classy establishment. It just wasn’t anything outstanding.
One of the reasons we chose Amanda’s was because of a deal we saw in the local ‘Dining Out’ magazine — a daily lunch special for $30, which includes wine, bread and salad.
However, as it turned out, you could only pick an entrée to go with your beverage, bread and salad, as opposed to a main course. It was slightly misleading because that means for $30 you might not really get a very full meal as the entrées are quite small. That said, we weren’t looking to stuff ourselves, and they did allow us to exchange one of the salads for shoestring fries.
We went with the special anyway, and selected the seared scallops (ordinarily $20.50) and the lobster and crab bisque (ordinarily $19.50), together with a Caesar salad and shoestring fries. We also ordered a dessert separately.
Truth be told, the food was good but not sensational. There were only four scallops, and they were somewhat overcooked in I suppose a Chinese-style with soy sauce and spring onions. I’ve had better scallops at proper Chinese restaurants. As for the bisque, I quite liked it, even though the it was a little on the salty side. The dessert, a big mix of fruity stuff, was just okay. Surprisingly, the highlights were probably the salad and the fries, which were excellent by side-order standards.
For the price and the reputation, I had expected more from Amanda’s. The staff and the ambience were pleasant (I think it would be a particularly wonderful place for a larger group of people looking to relax on a lazy afternoon), but the food has room for improvement.
6.5 out of 10