The South Coast Food & Wine Trail

Honey fig, soft brie and cracker

Honey fig, soft brie and cracker

Do you have fond memories of your vacations and reminisce the happy times, good food and good company with loved ones? Do you sit at the office daydreaming about that mouth-watering glass of pinot while tucking into the roasted duck breast with fig sauce you had while touring the south of France?

I am looking forward to the coming Easter break this weekend because we are heading down to the south coast of New South Wales for a food and wine trail. And I am so excited I’m going to show you the photos from our trip in advance. So here it is, our food and wine trail of the south coast.

Well, not quite. These are photos from our trip last year. We loved the trip so much, we are heading there again this weekend. CSP loves variety but I’m a creature of habit. And I can’t agree more with May West who once said, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful”.

So bring on the south coast and this time, I promise better and more decent photos. I only had a small Canon automatic camera during our last trip but now that I have discovered this weird and wonderful world of food blogging, I have upgraded the tools of the trade so to speak. Most importantly and I’m sure you will agree, I need to brush up on my photography skills too!

Two Figs Winery, Shoalhaven

Two Figs Winery, Shoalhaven

Two Figs Winery at Shoalhaven Coast was one of the first of many wineries that we visited.

Wooden picnic bench overlooking the Shoalhaven river

Wooden picnic bench overlooking the Shoalhaven river

It had a beautiful view of the Shoalhaven river from a picnic bench.

View of Shoalhaven river atop Two Figs Winery

View of Shoalhaven river atop Two Figs Winery

The view of the Shoalhaven river atop Two Figs Winery is serene because you can see as far horizon where rolling hills are dotted with grazing cattle and horses. You can hear the occasional bird while sipping wine on the picnic bench.

Little black winery poodle of Two Figs Winery

Little black winery poodle of Two Figs Winery

There is something about winery dogs and I am not surprised there is a book with beautiful pictures written about them. The one at Two Figs Winery is the cutest black poodle you will ever see.

Tasting medley of Two Figs winery

Tasting medley of Two Figs winery

The standout from the medley of tasting wines at Two Figs for me was the clean and crisp rose.

Touring the south coast will never be complete if you don’t visit Berry. It is approximately 140km south of Sydney and the leisure two-hour drive along the Princes Highway will take you into the heart of this little town of about 2,000 residents. Its main street boasts some great restaurants and cafes which proudly use fresh local produce such as gourmet cheeses, jams, local meats to create some great culinary experiences for both locals and visitors alike.

City dwellers are attracted to this location for its laid-back feel and friendly locals.We had lunch at the Berry Sourdough Cafe and were truly impressed with the level of creativity on the menu.

Beetroot gnocci with duck confit and spinach

Beetroot gnocci with duck confit and spinach

CSP had a mouth-watering beetroot gnocchi with duck confit and spinach where the delicious pasta  had soaked up all the wonderful flavours from confit. A scattering of roasted peanuts added some crunchy texture to the soft gnocchi and tender duck pieces.

Slow baked lamb shoulder with kipfler potatoes

Slow baked lamb shoulder with kipfler potatoes

I have a weakness for the words “slow-cooked” and I think restaurateurs are well aware of their customers’ weaknesses too. This slow-cooked lamb shoulder with kipfler potatoes was tender and had all the flavours of a meat cooked for 4 – 5 hours and the kipfler potatoes did its job in making sure the sauce did not go to waste.

Bread and butter pudding with poached pear and double cream

Bread and butter pudding with poached pear and double cream

For dessert, we shared the bread and butter pudding with poached pear and double cream.

One of my favourite places in the south coast is Gerringong, a small coastal town approximately 130km south of Sydney. It is merely a two-hour leisurely drive from Sydney. It has a population of 4,000 people. Among the main attractions of this beautiful ocean front suburb is picturesque Werri beach.

Beachside homes on Werri beach, Gerringong

Beachside homes on Werri beach, Gerringong

Unlike some of the more popular beaches in Sydney, there is hardly 200 people even on a good day and the surf also attracts its fair share of locals. An added bonus of visiting Gerringong is to swing by into the neighbouring suburb of Gerroa. It is only 4km from Gerringong along Fern street and Crooked River road.

Gerroa, New South Wales south coast

Gerroa, New South Wales south coast

Driving along a mountain ridge, visitors can catch a breath-taking glimpse of Seven Mile beach. Visitors and locals can be seen taking long walks along this beach on most days.

Wooden path to Seven Mile beach

Wooden path to Seven Mile beach

Having all this great food means working off the extra calories and there nothing quite like a swim and a run on the beach to burn it all off and Seven Mile Beach just further south of Gerroa had all the elements for a good workout before more great food! The panoramic view of this beach atop Gerroa lookout point was simply breath-taking with miles of uninterrupted coastal line as far as the eye can see.

Seven Mile Beach, south coast of New South Wales 1

Seven Mile Beach, south coast of New South Wales

We stayed at the Bellachara Boutique Hotel in Gerringong as the location was convenient to visit all the local beaches and it was a short drive to Berry. The restaurant and wine lounge at the hotel was average and was hard-press to rival the restaurants in Berry.

Bellachara Boutique Hotel, Gerringong

Bellachara Boutique Hotel, Gerringong

Beef fillet with cauliflower puree (2)

Beef fillet with cauliflower puree

We seemed lucky as there was hardly anyone staying at the hotel when we were there.

We decided to try the Bella Restaurant on our first night. I had the beef fillet and cauliflower puree. The fillets were nicely cooked to medium rare and the puree was creamy yet light and silky. Then again, every restaurant nowadays seem to have a dish with cauliflower puree on their menu.

Werri beach, Gerringong

Werri beach, Gerringong

The cold snapper with pesto and cucumber salad simply lacked flavour. Apart from its freshness, I could not taste much flavour from the fish and the pesto did not have the oomph to complement and bring out the flavour in the fish.

On the next night, we decided to venture into Berry for dinner. This time, we were not disappointed. One of more memorable meals of our trip was at the Hungry Duck restaurant in Berry.

Crab ravioli, seaweed salad and soy vinaigrette

Crab ravioli, seaweed salad and soy vinaigrette

The standout dish at this small restaurant  was the crab ravioli, seaweed salad and soy vinaigrette that was littered with a few Sichuan peppercorns.This Asian inspired dish was light, the ravioli succulent and the seaweed, vinaigrette and peppercorns all played their part in bringing out a symphony of flavours in the mouth.

Slow cooked beef brisket, konyaku noodles and Tasmanian shitakes

Slow cooked beef brisket, konyaku noodles and Tasmanian shitakes

True to my weakness, the menu coaxed me into ordering the slow-cooked Wagyu beef brisket, konyaku noodles and Tasmanian shitakes. Again, this dish had the wonderful flavours of a home-made stew and the noodles and mushrooms were there to soaked up the flavoursome broth.

Lamb wrapped with clour-eye mushrooms

Lamb wrapped with clour-eye mushrooms

The lamb wrapped with beancurd and clour-ear mushrooms resembled something I saw among the corals during one of my scuba diving trips. As nasty as this dish looked was as good as it tasted.

Pepik Pinot Noir

Pepik Pinot Noir

I was sipping a glass of Josef Chromy Pinot Noir from Tasmania and like most pinot from Tassie, the flavours were subtle yet full and this wine was delightfully versatile in matching all the different flavours from our meal.

Kaffir and Tahitian lime tart

Kaffir and Tahitian lime tart

For dessert, we had a Kaffir and Tahitian lime tart which came with a dallop of double cream. The tart itself was moist and the limey flavours danced and melted on my palate.

Berry Sports Hall

Berry Sports Hall

A trip to Berry would not do justice to this little town without a night visit to the Berry Sports Hall, the design of which was the winner at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in 2009. Designed by Allen Jack + Cottier architects in Sydney, it was inspired by the beautiful night sky of Berry.


View Larger Map

Two Figs Winery
905 Bolong Road (Entrance Back Forest Road)

Berry, New South Wales 2535
(02) 4448 5003

Berry Sourdough Cafe
23 Price Alfred street

Berry, New South Wales 2535
(02) 4464 1617

Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery on Urbanspoon

Bellachara Hotel
1
Fern street
Gerringong, New South Wales 2534
(02) 4234 1359

Hungry Duck
85 Queen street
Berry, New South Wales 2535
(02)  4464 2323

Hungry Duck on Urbanspoon

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This entry was posted in South Coast of NSW, Travel / Places of Interest and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The South Coast Food & Wine Trail

  1. Brittany says:

    I hope you enjoy your trip to NSW! Happy Easter!
    I often daydream about trips or exotic places! I just love travelling..and all the food that comes with it.
    As for your food advice around Sydney, all those dishes look really delicious! I’ve never really explored the foodie scene of Sydney.

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Brittany, thanks for visiting. I KNOW I will enjoy my trip. The south coast is a beautiful place with such wonderful food and wine. And lets not forget the friendly locals who always make our trips so much more enjoyable!

  2. Cheah says:

    I enjoyed the piece of Chopin music by Yundi Li. This post is very informative and incidentally my daughter is a music instructor too, majoring in piano.

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Cheah, I’m glad you like the Chopin nocturne. This piece is very close to my heart. Since your daughter is a music instructor in piano, I would love to hear her critical views and comments on my music posts. I have been playing the piano for as long as I can remember.

      The food posts seem to be getting all the attention though I should understand since food is in the centre of our daily lives.

      My hope is to get food lovers to enjoy music as much as I do. Our lives would be richer because music can show us beauty beyond that succulent scallop or that crispy piece of pork rind. One can truly find happiness when music becomes a part of our lives as much as we appreciate our food.

  3. I love this part of the world! We were hoping to go to Berry this Easter break. I hope we have time because you’ve just induced a craving! :P

  4. the kaffir lime tart sounds amazing and lol yes im a sucker for any thing with the words slow cooked!

  5. Vivienne says:

    Enjoy your time down south this upcoming break! Look so relaxing there with the great food, I’ve never been there before so must try to explore out of Syd…hmm the crab ravioli looks soo good!

  6. the kaffir lime tart sounds amazing and lol im a sucker for anything with the words slow cooked too!

  7. I fell in love with Berry last year and the sourdough bakery is just stunning, I could go back to Berry just to have breakfast there again!

  8. What an amazing trip! Your pictures are fabulous!

  9. Your pictures make me want to visit there…and all these yummy food… I totally need a vacation! Thank you for sharing!

  10. sugarpuffi says:

    looks like a fantastic trip! ive yet to visit berry and you’re tempting me!

  11. What a great trip! We haven’t been to that area yet, but I can tell by the scenery and the food that we need to move it higher on the list. Beautiful and delicious!

  12. Carolyn Jung says:

    The color of the beet gnocchi is stunning looking. I bet it would be great with that rose you enjoyed earlier in the day, too. ;)

  13. What a fabulous trip! Food, wine and memories – all to be repeated a year later. Have a great time :)

    Love the Josef Chromy Pinot Noir – have enjoyed it on many occasions!

  14. I’ve always wanted to go to Berry, still haven’t gotten around to it. Hope you both have a lovely time. I wish I had time to day dream in the office today, I would definitely have been somewhere else, may be in Melbourne eating some chocolate pavlova at Chokolait, lol.

  15. Susan says:

    I was just in Berry last weekend. I hadn’t been there for years. There are some beautiful places around there. Kangaroo Valley is so beautiful too.

  16. Chanel says:

    I love the South Coast, and Berry, and the words ‘slow-cooked’! I agree the view at Two Figs Winery is just beautiful. My husband proposed on one of our trips down south, and we visited that winery the following day, so lots of fond memories :)

  17. Shhh, keep Gerroa a secret! It’s a stunningly beautiful place…

  18. Thank you for sharing your experiences on this wonderful trip! Good food, good wine, beautiful nature, and beautiful music – who needs more in life? :)

  19. Heather says:

    Thanks for your time for composing “The South Coast Food & Wine Trail | ChopinandMysaucepan”.
    Iwill undoubtedly end up being returning for more reading through and
    commenting here shortly. Thanks, Santos

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