I often thought, in our months in the eating-out wilderness, that the mountains have a plethora of great cafes, but once night time hits, the multitudes of moderately-priced eateries close their doors, leaving only a fraction of great options for evening meals that aren't in the 'higher priced' category. Zest have perhaps recognised this trend because they were formerly a daytime only cafe (Fresh Cafe) who are now trading at night, with Aussie-Mediterranean fare available all day.
Boy's face lit up at the first item on the menu - haloumi was calling his name. I, however, am trying to broaden our ordering when dining out, so cajoled him into other options, with the promise of haloumi at home this week.
Scallops in champagne cream sauce
Lamb kebabs with pita, hummus, red cabbage and tahini
From the dishes we ordered, it is clear that Zest don't have a specific Mediterranean country that all their dishes originate from. However, all dishes were well prepared and fabulously cooked.
I'm not much of a seafood eater, but even I could tell that the scallop and pasta that I stole from boy's plate was perfectly cooked and a fabulous combination of flavours.
My lamb kebabs were divine. Beautifully juicy and succulent, these babies were chock-full of flavour and pine nuts. Also on the plate was some chunky hummus, pita bread, red cabbage and a tahini dip that made me wonder if there was such a thing as tahini mayo. Whatever it was, it was the perfect pairing for the lamb.
The letdown of the meal was my pita bread. While other elements of the dish were well executed, this bread was not as super-fresh as you would get in a more authentic Mediterranean restaurant.
Despite the bread, the meal as a whole had me in fits of garlic-joy, and I'd happily return to see what else is on the menu.
Cnr The Mall and Megalong Street
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