Hospitality Business Magazine

Novotel’s new restaurant serves up the best of Barossa

rsz_barossa_novotel2016-10After an extensive refurbishment, Novotel Barossa Valley Resort has announced the opening of The Cellar Kitchen Restaurant and Bar. Previously Harry’s Restaurant and Bar, the restaurant’s new name and complete interior re-design, supports its inspired ‘paddock to plate’ food philosophy, following Novotel’s collaboration with Saskia Beer.

As an artisan food producer, cook and food educator, Saskia Beer has been a pivotal part of the restaurant’s transformation. Her company, Saskia Beer Farm Produce, has successfully engaged local provedores, growers and farmers as produce partners, enabling The Cellar Kitchen to serve up an authentic Barossa Valley experience that is seasonal and references the long standing food traditions of the region.

Taking design cues from Saskia’s food philosophy, the restaurants décor incorporates market like characteristics with a relaxed garden feel. Fitted out with a Charcuterie section and fresh vegetable and herb displays, the produce is positioned as the hero of the restaurant.

The space is styled with natural materials including exposed steel edgings, stone bench tops and timber furnishings. The central fireplace adds a touch of warmth to the space, whilst the Terrace Lounge offers unparalleled views over the Barossa Valley hillside.

General Manager of Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, Sarah Henderson, said “We are thrilled to finally be welcoming both locals and guests to experience our new restaurant concept. Saskia has been a great asset over this process and the team at Novotel have thoroughly enjoyed their educational excursions out to see the producers. This was a fantastic way for our team to truly understand where the produce they cook with comes from and how they can share this information on to our guests.”

Working alongside Novotel’s chefs and kitchen team, Saskia has developed a winter menu that gives guests a taste of the true Barossa Valley. Each dish has a story and represents the quality customers have come to expect from Saskia. “This has been an exciting project to be a part of and I look forward to seeing The Cellar Kitchen build lasting links within the Barossa community,” she says. “All my dishes will be produce driven not chef driven with ingredients as the hero. For me it’s really important to pass on our Barossa food heritage to visitors, which in turn helps us to maintain and build that heritage for the next generations.”

The new menu features local cheeses from Victoria McGlurg, smallgoods selected and aged by Saskia, fresh vegetables and herbs by Aldna Farms and Barossa Famers Market along with other small producers through the local farmers market. Saskia’s free range chicken, mushroom and bacon pie and suckling free range Berkshire pork scaloppine are must try mains, along with Suffolk Lamb from produce partner Hutton Vale Lamb and Ducks. Guests are invited to finish their meal with a gingerbread soufflé, lemon meringue tart or a cheese plate with Maggie Beer Quince paste and Barossa Bark.

Upholding its name, The Cellar Kitchen’s Sommelier has designed a detailed wine list comprised of Barossa Valley’s finest drops and local favourites to complement the menu. A skilled team of wine enthusiasts are on hand to assist with wine parings and educate guests on the origins of each bottle.

Another exciting element of the project is the availability to offer tailored food experiences provided by Saskia and her team. Guests will be able to immerse themselves in the Barossa Valley food scene by visiting local farms, producers and Barossa identities that will share their food and wine philosophies. “This isn’t just about a regional restaurant, it’s about sharing our community and inviting guests to our tables. That is what makes us different” says Saskia.