SOUTH on Albany
3/65 Queen St (cnr Albany St), Berry
02 4464 2005
Combining a relaxed, country town vibe with sophisticated city slick food, SOUTH on Albany showcases the best of the South Coast in a place that feels just like home.
John Evans and Sonia Greig had always dreamt of opening a restaurant on the South Coast. They moved to the area in 2008, but it took the couple five years to find the ideal space in the picturesque town of Berry for their new venture. The concept for SOUTH on Albany – modern European dining – is the perfect combination of John’s extensive experience as a chef and Sonia’s front of house expertise.
John is Melbourne born with Welsh heritage. Trained in the UK, he worked at the Michelin-starred The Arkle, before moving to Australia and working at a number of landmark Sydney restaurants, including est. and CBD, both under the Merivale Group. The latter represented his first head chef position and a huge stepping stone in his career. Next, John and Sonia built a loyal following with their restaurant The Northbridge Bistro, and then ran the award-winning Restaurant at the 3 Weeds in Rozelle.
John’s impressive background in restaurants, and his desire to work with the South Coast and Southern Highlands’ ever-expanding larder informs the overall ethos of SOUTH on Albany. He excels in bringing his city style to the country, putting a local stamp on his food by sourcing produce from small suppliers and farmers that he has supported since his Shoalhaven sea change.
The oysters come from Greenwell Point, pork arrives fresh from Nowra Hill and sourdough bread is produced in Berry. An array of artisan cheese is sourced from Gerringong and Robertson and the honey hails from Yatte Yattah.
John also works closely with small-scale farmers who grow vegetables and herbs specifically for the SOUTH on Albany kitchen. There’s also welcome drop offs from keen gardeners in the area and deliveries from Greenbox food co-op.
The regionally focused and ever-changing menu attracts both locals and visitors, presenting them with fresh, inventive fare. When you visit, make sure you try an entree that is sprouting with flavour – for example, the citrus-cured king fish with smoked Pecora Dairy yoghurt. For a main, try the pink-roasted lamb rump with carrot puree, sugar snaps, crisp kale, lentils and Madeira jus or the pan-roasted fillet of local snapper with crushed kipfler potatoes, roasted broccolini and citrus and fennel sauce.
For dessert, the peanut mousse with popcorn ice cream and milk chocolate caramel is hard to go past, or, for a more unique taste, try the liquorice poached pear with brandy snap, cassia cream and pistachios. As for wine, look no further than a recommendation from Sonia. She selects the wines for the list, focusing mostly on wines from New South Wales, with a particular emphasis on the Shoalhaven Coast and Southern Highlands. Many wines are offered by the glass along with local craft beers and ciders.
You’ll feel welcome from your very first step inside, with staff who are always happy to share their wealth of knowledge about the local area, wineries and activities for visitors. Located just a two-hour drive from Sydney’s CBD, SOUTH on Albany is the perfect dining destination for a memorable meal that makes local produce shine.