From arrival to “last-to-leave” our fine-dining experience at Biota was exceptional. Welcoming, friendly, helpful staff guided us through wine and food choices with explanations where necessary. They understood when to be unobtrusive and when to assist or answer our many questions – an aspect our table thought unusual in the Southern Highlands.
We began with in-house sourdough bread and biota’s own butter while we finished our complimentary glass of Centenniel sparkling brut rosé. I joined the men at our table with a pale ale then chose to continue with the local sparkling rosé to accompany my entrée of trout with smoked freshwater roe and native oyster + milk: a delicious blend of taste sensations.
My main course was lamb rump (I would think locally sourced) with sweetbreads, celeriac, almond farro and a beautiful red stick of rhubarb to complement the dish with colour and taste. My advisor, Jake, suggested a Clos du Mont-Olivet “Font de Blanche’ -Cotes du Rhone grenache blend to accompany it. I wisely agreed and found it a great mate for the perfectly cooked lamb. [This dish was also beautifully presented but I forgot to photograph it until after I had made a significant start].
Jersey milk icecream with frangelico and espresso coffee combined in a martini glass was a perfect end to my meal: I regard affogato as a de facto dessert.
But wait there was more; a complimentary plate of dessert morsels for our table to share – caramalised hazelnuts, honeycomb, bitter chocolate beetroot (?) ….
Before we left we were able to look over the individually tailored MKN Kuchenmeister hardware installed centrally in the 100 m² kitchen.
James Viles (far left) – Restaurant chef/ director James – was awarded a coveted Chefs Hat at the young age of 23, (which saw him one of the youngest chefs ever). He has since been involved in the opening of several highly acclaimed restaurants and hotels thoughout the Middle East and Australia, working alongside such chefs as 2-star Michelin Chef Hans Haas of Tantris (Munich) and Alain Ducasse of Spoon by Alain Ducasse (Hong Kong) . World renowned restaurant designers such as Superpotato (Tokyo), Spin Design (Korea) and BDC (Indonesia) have been an instrumental platform in Biota’s birth. He draws inspiration from elements of everyday life, which are put into practice not only in his food but the overall concept being Biota.
Shaun Quade (centre) – Head Chef – is working in tandem with James and drives the team behind biota’s gastronomic beliefs. He has always had a clear vision that he has consistently worked towards; a distinct realisation of a food ethos that contains the elements of seasonal quality produce, natural forms, texture, passion and pushing boundaries. His inspiration is ultimately the produce: from which all compositions are born. To then create food that is stimulating to all the senses and most importantly taste of itself in its most natural form. Shaun shows respect for the ‘grass roots’ making our own sourdough bread and cultured butter is integral to the humility of this kitchen’s attitude towards food. He has had the privilege of working with culinary institutions that push the boundaries and challenge conventional concepts of food preparation. These have been Quay (Sydney), The Royal Mail Hotel (Dunkeld, Victoria) and more recently Urbane (Brisbane).