Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2007 – awarded a chef’s hat
Where to begin? Is it the energy rolling off the packed tables – on a night when everything else in Cowra appears to be sedated? Or the calm expertise of Jerry Mouzakis on the floor, combined with the warm genius of Anna Wong’s kitchen? We suspect it’s all these things, but the trump card is a passion for using the best quality local produce, from Neila’s own olives and Chinese red dates to Cowra lamb. Bring your best wine to match sweetcorn-and-basil ravioli, or delicate tea smoked duck with sweet Asian pear. There is an intriguing play of flavours in a rabbit crepinette; and enormous satisfaction in deliciously slow-cooked duck with seaweed noodles, preserved pineapple and bok choy. Chargrilled lamb backstrap rests on a bed of creamy, nutty hummus. For dessert, a fresh fig and black sesame praline semifreddo is gorgeously good. Neila shows just what you can do with a regional restaurant; every small town in Australia deserves a place like it.