When it comes to contemporary culinary creations at reasonable pub grub prices for less than $20, you cannot beat Bellbird Dining + Bar located on the ground floor of the colossal Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney’s South West. Diners can also enjoy art exhibitions, shows and displays and take a walk around the big open spaces, check out the graffiti art at the water towers and the bountiful kitchen garden.
Since our last visit more than a year ago, a number of changes have taken place like the new al fresco dining area which complements the main dining room. Diners can now enjoy all the natural light and garden views while enjoying a meal knowing they are protected from the elements. From where we were seated, we could see a huge wood-fired oven that is almost ready for firing up. It may be able to catch the last of the long evenings before winter starts, either way, hot pizza coupled with a cold craft beer or glass of wine certainly sounds a very good idea anytime of the year! It all feels really established now, no more so than in the garden which is bursting with all things of edible goodness.
We were just beginning to settle at our assigned table when Head Chef Federico Rekowski came to say hello. He had just harvested a bunch of fresh herbs from the garden. Bellbird Dining signature approach is farm-to-table, with 60% of produce coming fresh from their own garden. We noticed several kitchen-trips by staff grabbing a handful of this and a sprig of that. A big supporter too of local producers, especially with cheese, the amazing figs and the new local inspired beer and wine list that is now on offer.
Bellbird Dining + Bar has recently launched a new brunch/lunch menu so we went to check it out.
Large size coffees -$4 each were first served, a flat white for me and a long black for Steve. We were introduced to their preferred coffee blend, The dc ‘Reale’ coffee beans, a Melbourne based roaster.
Then came two freshly baked rolls served with butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Warm, crusty on the outside, soft and airy on the inside, served as an accompaniment to your food order. There is something truly heart warming about this combination.
Catch of the day! The first dish that Chef Federico brought to our table was the Cured SA Swordfish – $20. The fish was cured in soy sauce, mirin and bonito flakes giving a unique Japanese flavour profile. Adding an explosion of flavours were charred baby onions, crispy shallots, sweet miso paste and Japanese mayo. Definitely a must try.
Nothing tastes better than a tender, moist and juicy Eco Farmed Pork Belly – $20. Melts in the mouth moments. The chili sauce works wonder for this dish, it complements the savoury taste of the pork along with the braised cabbage, julienne carrots, shallots, pickled spring onions, and enoki mushrooms.
Figs are in season and Bellbird’s rendition of this delicate fruit is moreish. Roasted Leppington Valley figs – $18, prosciutto, walnuts, blue cheese and truffle dressing on a plate, honestly how can you resist! Washed down with iced tea – $5.
For dessert, we opted to try out the House Made Coconut Sorbet and Coffee Affogato – $7 and Bellbird Custard Tart – $4. There’s something magical about the way an affogato blends with dessert, you get that bitter and sweet, cold and hot taste, makes a popular show stopper. Lastly, the tart was buttery with a creamy filling which was a perfect finale to a wonderful lunch.
Open 7 days for breakfast, brunch and lunch, closed on public holidays. They also offer a vegetarian and kids meals.
Bellbird Dining + Bar 1 Powerhouse Road, Casula NSW 2170 Tel (02) 8711 7077 Opening Hours 9-3 PM WEEKDAYS / 9-2PM WEEKENDS
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