I'm a teacher, musician, blogger and uni student living in Sydney and always dreaming about living & experiencing a new corner of the world. Visit my blog at www.youngoldtraveller.wordpress.com.
Published April 9th 2017
Exceptional dining with panoramic views of Megalong Valley
I've heard about the renovation of the Hydro Majestic for a while now. Located near Medlow Bath train station, everywhere on the Hydro Majestic property overlooks the magnificent Megalong Valley. While the whole property has five dining options (all with a bar too), with the most famous one being The Wintergarden for high tea and dinner, my friends and I went to Boiler House Cafe on a lazy Monday for lunch.
The Boiler House Cafe offers an all-day menu featuring pizzas, pastas, burgers and other Australian cuisine freshly produced from the Blue Mountains. While it doesn't have direct views of the Megalong Valley as it has a viewing platform outside of the restaurant, the weather was beautiful enough for us to hop outside whenever we wanted a front-on view of the scenery.
After the friendly waiter took our orders, we all spent our waiting time by going out onto the platforms. It felt like we didn't have to wait at all, because we were all just taken away by the open valley. It was definitely a very rejuvenating feeling to be away from the city, and to appreciate the Great Australian Landscape.
View of the Boiler House Cafe from the viewing platform
As with any prestigious restaurants, Boiler House separates their lunch and dinner menus. It's also worth noting that there's only a 2-course lunch menu for $55 on weekends. The weekday menu that we had can be viewed here.
The outside was not Boiler House's only drawcard. Upstairs from the dining area is an art gallery, where you can immerse yourself in local art talent. History buffs would also be able to view a bit of Hydro Majestic's power station as soon as you walk in through the doors.
A bit of education on the history of Hydro Majestic
As soon as I walked in, I was immediately reminded of my restaurant experiences in Italy. You could see the vast wine cellar hanging above their gorgeous modern bar. The place had many rows of tables set up for big groups- there were at least 20 people in one of the groups. Still, the walls here would remind you of the fact that the hotel was opened in 1904.
To top up what was already an amazing experience, the food was also exceptional. One of my friends had a Caesar Salad ($21)- Hawkesbury cos lettuce, Pendle bacon, parmesan, garlic croutes, anchovies, soft Poached egg, Caesar dressing. The egg was poached perfectly, so there wasn't enough ooze that plastered the whole plate. Every ingredient was just so fresh that I could smell it while I indulged in my own meal.
Another friend of mine had Fish and Chips ($29)- NSW caught market fish, chickpea batter, mixed leaf, house made tartare sauce, lemon, crispy fries. I have to admit, everyone else on the table suggested him to order something else, as the Blue Mountains isn't somewhere I would consider close to the sea. However, being a seafood lover, he could not resist it. To our surprise, he said the fish was as fresh as it could get- even better than the fish he would buy himself at the fish markets. Having said that, it was the tartare sauce won him over. After listing a couple of ingredients, he resolved to say: "I'm never going to make a tartare sauce as amazing as this one, even if I had the recipe for it."
My other friend had a Sirloin. Unfortunately, this item is no longer served on the menu, so you might have to try and guess what the ingredients are. Hey! This just means Boiler House changes their menu on a regular basis! Win-win situation, might I add. My friend said that the meat was cooked just as he had asked-medium. The meat was so soft and tender, so that you could concentrate on the juiciness and freshness of the meat. The eccentric cooking of the different vegetables (peas, potato croquettes) also gave this dish its extra 'wow'. However, the winning element was the sauce. This was not your ordinary gravy, but had an amalgamation of unconventional ingredients that kept you guessing. "A memorable surprise," my friend commented.
And I- I had a Pork Farfalle Pasta ($28)- free range pork, local mushrooms, baby spinach, sauvignon blanc, cream cheese. As soon as I took my first bite, I said to my friends: "This is just as good as any pasta I ate in Italy, if not better!" The cream cheese was so soft that while I was indulging in my dish, it was melting all over my pasta. You might think that this only sounds enticing to a cheese-lover like me, but trust me, Italians love their cheese on pasta. There was a perfect proportion of all the ingredients in this dish, including the sauvignon blanc. Every ingredient was just so fresh. I don't know, I really don't think I can name my favourite part of the dish, as it was the blend of every ingredient that made it so extraordinary.
To say that this was an outing to be remembered might be an understatement. We slowly indulged in our meals. We shared our dishes. We listened to the birds. We listened to other tables' lively chatter. We took moments to simply sit still and absorbed the green vastness of Megalong Valley.
I should also mention that the service here is outstanding. The staff were always smiling, always giving recommendations, always so efficient. They definitely made our trip to the Blue Mountains even more worthwhile.
Right now, I'm on the Hydro Majestic Hotel website, looking for upcoming events. I'm looking for every reason there is to go back there. Like I said, there are five restaurants available at the Hydro Majestic, the most popular one being The Wintergarden that has grand standing views of the Megalong Valley, so you wouldn't even have to step outside to see the beautiful landscape. If we're so spoilt for choice, that just means we have to keep returning to Hydro Majestic, right?