Newcomer to the hotel Nic Wood has taken control of the kitchen, producing stunning fare perfect for the warmer months.
Wood, an industry veteran working at The Old Brewery and most recently an executive chef with the QT Hotels and Resorts franchise, has more than 19 years behind him, working both on the front line and in a managerial capacity.
He has divided the menu into categories including entree, grill, ocean, land, pizza, pasta and risotto, sides, dessert and cheese. Diners can enjoy everything from a steak to truffle mac and cheese.
On a recent visit, several items caught my eye including the 300g Angus scotch fillet, citrus poached ocean trout, the cinnamon salted cuttlefish and the smashed chocolate tart.
First up was the cinnamon salted cuttlefish.
Served with cucumber, chilli, coriander, mint and pineapple ($18.50) this dish was light, fresh with just a little bit of zing.
The sticky barbecue pork belly was next and served with a herb, salad and citrus ($18).
Hearty and delicious you could definitely share this one with a group of friends.
When it came to mains, my dining partners and I decided we would try, the 300g Angus scotch fillet ($38), citrus poached ocean trout and the African spiced chicken skewer ($32).|The steak was cooked perfectly and was super tender while the trout was picture-perfect.
Beautiful flaky, pink flesh lined the plate, with a sprinkle of capers and a handful of asparagus, diamond clams and lime butter foam, this dish was truly wonderful. The African spiced chicken skewer, roasted peppers, baby eggplant, onion and served with cucumber yoghurt was a showstopper. Colourful, tasty and plentiful, it was another dish that needed to be shared.
With little room for dessert, it was the smashed chocolate tart with dried and fresh raspberries, sugared peanuts and chocolate creme ($14) that got the nod.
Beautifully presented and a chocoholics dream, it was the perfect way to end the day.
The Rydges Hotel also holds Chick Chat lunches every month with the next one a spring racing theme with local Milliner Debbie Kelly.