Friday foodie: Birdman in the Bistro dining on the road in Boomtown


Sparrow samples the best food in the regional boomtowns of Mudgee and Newcastle

With agencies and media companies back in the office in force this year, Mediaweek Birdman in the Bistro columnist, and legendary Sydney diner, Greg Graham updates the Mediaweek audience with establishments that should be on their lunch list. There’s something for all budgets too.

This month Sparrow has been visiting two booming regional hotspots.

On the Corporate Expense account for a VIP client

The Zin House, Lowe Family Wine Company – Mudgee

What an incredibly special dining experience, a slow long country lunch to be savoured with 5+ delicious courses. The charming farmhouse restaurant only serves homegrown produce or locally sourced ingredients.

The dish you must try: the menu is seasonal so the dishes vary however on the day the fresh reginette pasta with Mudgee black truffles and pangrattato crumbed cheese was a standout.


Zin House

Jana at the new QT Hotel – Newcastle

An excellent new restaurant in Newy in the funky just opened QT Hotel. Cool location with great food and service.

The dish you must try: Dry-aged, Jacks Creek black Angus 120-day grain fed rib eye.


Jana at QT Newcastle

Fun team lunch

Light Years – Newcastle

From Byron, Noosa, and Burleigh now in Newcastle a fun, modern Asian dining experience that delivers big time with delicious flavors all around.

The dish you must try: Mud crab, prawn & scallop dumplings are to die for.

Yum – Light Years, Newcastle

Smokin Bro & Company – Three Tails Brewery & Smokehouse, Mudgee

Took me back to SXSW in Austin Texas with an incredible BBQ that was bloody sensational.

The dish you must try: BBQ tasting tray with brisket & pork plus mac & cheese, scratch beans, corn, and tater salad with spicy BBQ sauce.

Brekkie Favorites

Althea by Zin – Mudgee

WOW, what a great artisan bakery and French patisserie with incredible fresh delights. The croissants are out of this world with fresh juices and great coffee.

Althea by Zin

Table 1 Expresso – Warners Bay & Speers Point  

This award-winning café always delivers and its new location in Speers Point Park is special. Great menu with insta-worthy food, my favourite the extreme breakfast plank or the Harlem waffles

Cheap & cheerful lunch with crew & I’m paying for myself

Paragon Hotel – Mudgee

All the best pub faves with a great family-friendly selection. Great pizzas, beer battered fish & chips, great steaks from the grill, or stick with an excellent bushman’s burger.

Scottie’s – Newcastle

One of my favourite seafood places in Newy, you can’t go wrong with the excellent fish & chips or splash out on a lobster roll, the yummy king prawn pancake with grilled cheese, garlic chive & XO sauce, or the local lobster with XO sauce, fresh noodles, brown butter, and green shallots.


Pick of the Month: I will definitely return to Light Years for the mud crab, prawn & scallop dumplings with red vinegar, shellfish oil, and fresh dill.

Read other Birdman in the Bistro columns here.

To Top