The long-awaited Byron Bay farm project from the team at Sydney’s Three Blue Ducks recently opened and I finally had the chance to travel down from the Gold Coast to try it out. It’s the embodiment of what a lot of people preach – showcasing small-scale farming, local food grown without chemicals and community-driven businesses selling everything from bread to flowers.
It’s certainly a sight to behold as you turn off the M1 and almost immediately peel off the road into Byron Bay. It’s as picturesque as it gets as you climb out of the car and wander up to the huge tin shed. From the outside, it looks like an idyllic setting – a restaurant inside a ramshackle farmshed, all corrugated iron and raw timber pallets with a small grocer section of local goods.
I would suggest putting your name down for a table as waits can be as long as one hour (especially if you miss your name being called out a couple of times like we did). But in that time you can wander and check out the rest of the farm or see what’s cooking on the spit.
Three Blue Ducks is the on-site restaurant, a sister to Sydney’s kitchen-garden equipped diner of the same name, co-partnered by Robertson (former head chef of Tetsuya’s and expert on Channel 10’s Recipe to Riches). Bumping into my best friend’s mum (he’s a head chef in Singapore) while we were waiting for our table I was glad to learn that when he visited recently for a family wedding he had every breakfast, lunch and dinner at Three Blue Ducks. With thumbs up like that I couldn’t wait!
I visited twice while visiting the coast – the first we had takeaway from the open BBQ – the quarter chicken with sides was amazing but I ate it while watching my friends dive into the proper menu which is what I did this time. I couldn’t look past the porchetta – rolled pork belly with pancetta, rosemary and spices cooked over hot coals served with braised cabbage, massively long parsnips, roasted apple and rosemary focaccia (32).
Heaven on a plate in presentation and flavour. The pork was succulent, the crackling perfect and you could tell the vegetables had been pulled from the ground that very morning.
My better half had been raving about the Sri Lankan style vegetable curry since our original visit and there was no way she was going to steer clear of one of the best currys she has ever had. Served with seasonal vegetables, chickpeas, beet leaves, coconut sambal and yoghurt – this was one dish that could make a meat eater like me change teams.
This is a one of a kind restaurant that takes care of all your foodie needs no matter what time of the day it is. There really is no point on taking a gamble on restaurants in Byron Bay when you have this beauty taking care of your every whim. I would even say it’s worth hiring a car if youre visiting the Gold Coast to get down here – it’s unlike anywhere – you can eat in the restaurant or get takeaway and go and explore the farm. What more could you want?