Ben Palmer is the head chef at HARVEST restaurant. Since moving his career to Australia just 7 years ago, HARVEST @ New Hampton is Ben’s latest venture as he builds a strong reputation within a competitive food industry. As a food lover and traveler himself, Ben’s quirky character is reflected in his flavoursome dishes, giving the restaurant its vibrant competitive edge.
Using cuts that other restaurants don’t often use means the unusual menu can range from lambs’ brains to Duck Liver Parfait. “None of our food is wasted, we use all parts of the animal so our menu is constantly changing,” says Ben. With a different menu for lunch and dinner, each meal is served up with an element of surprise and sophistication using only the finest ingredients.
On Monday 23 June we went along to try out this amazing sounding menu.
Medley tomato, beetroot, salted walnuts, quinoa & goats cheese $16
Pan-fried quail, parsnips, bacon & black pudding $18 Potato gnocchi, cauliflower, sultanas, pine nuts & parmesan $17/26
Seared scallops, chorizo jam, olives, tomato and cucumber salsa $20
Citrus cured ocean trout, picked fennel, cucumber and radish salad $17
Duck liver parfait, pear and fig chutney, crostinis $17
Confit pork belly $31
Served with crispy ear, sweet potato and chorizo croquette.
Sirloin on the bone $32
Chargrilled 300g sirloin on the bone served with onion puree and harvest butter.
Junee lamb backstrap $32
Served with dried olives, pistachio, butternut squash and crumbed brains.
Palmers island mulloway $30
Served with pea puree, zucchini & buerre blanc.
Merrideth goats cheese, spinach aumoniere, parsnip and broccolini.
Roasted duck breast $31
Served with duck sausage, kale and lentil sauce.
Handcut triple cooked chips and saffron aioli $8
Broccolini and kale, lemon and almond butter $9
Roasted chat potatoes and garlic $8
Medley tomato, olive and labne $7
Pea, feta and charred zucchini $8
The New Hampton as a venue is amazing, just my kind of place, dark, candle lit and cosy. There was a good use of mirrors and the bathrooms, well it is not often that I walk into a bathroom and go wow in a good way!
We were extremely privileged that they opening the kitchens and dinning room just for us, so I don't think we say it at it's best and Ben wasn't the chef.
To start we had the Quail and Trout. The trout was delicious with subtle flavours apart from the sauce which really overpowered the whole dish. The Quail was good and perfectly cooked.
Next up was the Pork belly and Goats cheese. The Pork belly dish was perfect except the crackling on top of the belly was not crispy but more gelatinous. The flavour was there but his was very disappointing. The Goats cheese dish I thought was going to be packed with flavour, however the filo pastry wasn't cooked through and the whole dish was rather bland. The broccolini was just how I like it however, wonderfully crunchy.
For desert we had panacotta and creme bulee, a bit like the main course these dishes were ok but nothing to really write home about.
So, on the whole the meal was ok but as I said at the start I don't think we saw it at it's best.
I would give the venue 5 out of 5.
The staff also 5 out of 5.
And the food 3 out of 5.