One of Canberra’s most-experienced food critics and this paper’s longest-serving columnist, WENDY JOHNSON indulges herself with her top eating experiences for 2018
IF you’re ever heading to the south coast, Ulladulla area, take the time and treat yourself to lunch or dinner at Cupitt’s.
This special spot is tucked behind Milton, with magnificent views of lush, green, rolling hills and views to Burrill Lake and the Budawang region. It’s a winery, brewery and fromagerie. It has a massive kitchen garden with more than 50 types of veggies, herbs, flowers, fruits and leafy greens. It’s award winning.
Who could ask for anything more?
I recently dined at Cupitt with a large group, indulging in a set lunch menu designed to share. There wasn’t a complaint to be had.
We began with rustic sourdough bread, which we dipped into velvety olive oil and a tangy balsamic. It married beautifully with marinated olives, various types.
The sashimi of tuna and kingfish melted in the mouth and our tastebuds danced with citrus pearls bursting with flavour. Our second entrée, pork terrine, sat delicately on the plate alongside apple ketchup, crispy prosciutto and baby leek. The terrine was a perfect texture – not too dense, not too chunky – and the flavours were fabulous.
Mains were equally enticing, and all dishes carefully plated.
Fresh produce from the garden (zero miles from paddock to plate) makes each one vibrant. You could see staff whipping out to the garden to snip, pick and pull.
When Cupitt’s says it uses local produce, it means it. And you’re invited to wander through and explore the garden.
For example, the pan-fried, blue eye cod dish was created with zucchini, quince and a bright-red capsicum and almond relish. It was one of my top picks, both for presentation and flavours. We also enjoyed garden green beans tossed with lemon verbena oil.
Our second main was absolutely delish. Tender beef flank with figs, black vinegar and peppery rocket. So much care goes into designing the combination of ingredients at Cupitt’s.
There’s a mammoth, brick pizza oven that’s fired up on weekends for casual, outdoor dining. You can enjoy a cheese board, charcuterie platter or ploughman’s lunch (prices vary depending on what’s included on the day). And don’t forget to visit the wine tasting area.
Set menus at Cupitt’s are two courses for $60 ($21 extra for matched wines) and three courses for $78 ($32 for matched wines).
At the helm in the kitchen is Russell Chinn, who has been with the operation for around eight years. He’s worked at some top-notch places overseas, including under Michel Roux at the three-Michelin Star Waterside Inn. It’s no wonder the food is so amazingly delish.
Cupitt, 58 Washburton Road, Ulladulla. Lunch: Wednesday-Sunday, 12pm–2pm (2.30pm Sunday); Dinner: Friday-Saturday, 6pm–8.30pm.Call 4455 7888.