Manfredi at Bells
107 The Scenic Rd, Killcare Heights, NSW
02 4349 7000
Just 90 minutes from Sydney sits Bells at Killcare, one of the state’s most recognisable and distinctive boutique hotels. Nestled within its incredibly beautiful grounds is Manfredi at Bells, a regional restaurant that has earnt a fine reputation for authentic Italian cuisine.
Karina and Brian Barry are the husband-and-wife team behind Bells at Killcare. Inspired by its beauty and potential in 2007, they had a vision to develop the space as a luxury world-class retreat along with an authentic regional restaurant and day spa. This is where Stefano Manfredi and Julie Manfredi- Hughes came into play. Taking over the helm of the restaurant in 2007, they assisted Karina and Brian with their vision, redesigning the entire dining experience at the property and creating what it is today.
The result is a beautiful retreat that offers world-class hospitality with a side of innovative Italian dining. Its success is no surprise, considering the background of Stefano. Fondly known as the master of modern Italian cuisine, he made his mark on the Australian culinary scene in 1983, when he opened The Restaurant – Manfredi in Sydney. Three decades on, and he continues to be one of the best in the business.
No matter which kitchen Stefano is in, his passion for sustainable and seasonal produce shines through. He oversaw the planting of extensive kitchen gardens at Bells at Killcare, inspiring a more pastoral approach to the menu. A substantial portion of farm fresh eggs, honey, herbs and vegetables come straight from the on-site gardens and surrounding grounds, while other items are specifically imported from Italy, ensuring the flavours stay as authentic as possible. Stefano is joined in the kitchen by Head Chef duo, Jose Saulog and
Dean Jones, who turn these beautiful ingredients into fantastic dishes. Their hard work has seen Manfredi at Bells take home over 25 awards since opening.
The restaurant itself commands a prominent position on the property, with an elegant dining room, intimate bar, private dining room and alfresco verandah overlooking the immaculate gardens. Take a seat in any one of these spaces for a seasonal culinary experience designed around sharing with family and friends.
You might like to start the meal with a selection of antipasto, where cured meats such as San Daniele prosciutto, sopressa and pancetta are paired with pickled vegetables and fennel salamini. Grilled Western Australian octopus might come next, served with potato, celery, black olive and garlic mayonnaise, or you could skip straight to the pasta, where pappardelle is accompanied by a ragu of duck in red wine with peas and parmigiano reggiano.
In the main dishes, the full spectrum of local produce really shines. Whole grilled fish of the day is served with salsa verde and lemon, while roast suckling pig might come with pumpkin and chestnut puree, pear mustard fruit and sage sauce.
The approach to wine is just as measured, with Sommelier, Adam Lambeth, looking after the fine selection. Previously responsible for running the floor at the renowned Tetsuya’s, he brings extensive knowledge to the role, sharing his passion and pride with every guest that walks through the door.
Manfredi at Bells epitomises the overall quality of the entire property. Dishing up delicate and daring meals that champion local produce, it’s one of the region’s most remarkable culinary offerings.