Located amongst the vines of Cockfighter’s Ghost Vineyard, Hunters Quarter is an outstanding restaurant run by the talented local chef, Brian Duncan.
HQ, as locals have affectionately dubbed it, opened in early 2016. Brian injected a lifetime’s worth of experience into the project, taking the lessons he’d learnt at the Michelin-starred Dorchester and Claridges hotels in London and placing it in the middle of a vineyard for all to enjoy.
The newest venture is focused on making fresh, local and seasonal meals of exceptionally high quality. Here, Brian instils his experience and exposure to a variety of different cuisines in a distinctive, considered menu.
The kitchen makes use of local produce wherever possible, which results in regular deliveries of Milly Hill lamb, freshly caught trout, olives, cream, cheese, olive oil, micro herbs and coffee to the bustling kitchen.
Brian heads a capable culinary team who combine these first-class ingredients with bright flavours using expert techniques. Start with a serving of porcini mushroom gnocchi delicately plated with baby spinach, caramelised onions and shaved parmesan; or the eyebrow-raising duck prosciutto with baby leaves, white peach and marinated feta.
Move onto a choice of mains that include a spice-crusted lamb rack with barley and caramelised onion ragout; Hiramasa king fish supreme served with mussels, tomato and basil broth; and herb-stuffed, corn-fed chicken breast served with baby leek, shiitake mushrooms and polenta cream. If you can fit in dessert, you won’t be disappointed with the peach and raspberry trifle served with champagne jelly.
The meals can be paired with a wine from the extensive list, which range from local Hunter Valley drops, to bottles from the Barossa and Western Australia. Winemakers from the on-site vineyard conduct regular training sessions with HQ staff members, allowing them to learn about the process from start to finish. This means all of the staff are knowledgeable about the tastes and potential pairings of each and every glass on the list.
HQ also offers a range of exciting cocktails. The most popular is the espresso martini, which makes use of locally roasted coffee beans. These delicious concoctions, along with the other delights on offer, are served in a modern, architecturally designed building that houses the restaurant and Cellar Door.
Featuring floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors, every seat in the beautiful restaurant provides panoramic views of the surrounding vineyard. It’s furnished with light-coloured wooden tables and a hanging feature ceiling, while pendant lighting shines from above.
The Cellar Door adjoins the restaurant and gives guests the opportunity to extend the culinary experience beyond the restaurant. It’s the perfect pairing of experiences, combining a smart and modern, yet casual dining destination with the chance to delve into the region’s best-known offerings.
Hunters Quarter is the best of both worlds. With something for every occasion, it’s a culinary dream come true.