We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Extremely disappointing food”

Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant
Reserve with
Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #13 of 74 Restaurants in Pokolbin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $39
Cuisines: Australian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Esca Bimbadgen is situated high on a hill in the heart of Hunter Valley Wine Country. Dedicated to the art of food & wine matching, Esca's modern Australian cuisine, fresh local and home grown produce and spectacular views make for a truly memorable dining experience. Esca's contemporary restaurant design features large glass windows and an open balcony allowing guests stunning wine country views over the Bimbadgen vineyards to the Brokenback ranges. Esca Bimbadgen is a regional restaurant, that uses produce sourced locally or grown on the Estate including lemons, figs and fresh herbs.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Extremely disappointing food”
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We were looking forward to our lunch here after previous visits. However, my partner and I have decided to give this a miss from now on as our last lunch here was really disappointing! We started with Crustacean thermidor- yabbie tails entrees, and realised afterwards that warning lights should have been flashing when the waiter told us a few different ways, the entree was very, very 'delicate'. We realised when we got the entrees, there must have been complaints. There was very, very little yabbie, and it was totally smothered in very cheesy sauce, so you couldn't really taste it. We were expecting more yabbie and a lot less cheese, so very disappointing as we paid nearly $60 for what was basically cheese sauce! My salmon main was quite non-descript and my partner’s seared barramundi seemed to be steamed or poached - both lacked any flavour or seasoning and accompanying vegetables and 'orzotto' were bland and boring. The highlight was the three polenta chips served with the salmon! We decided to give dessert a miss as we were already $200 down for a boring and flavourless meal. We can only assume the chef has changed - and the service from the young wait staff who kept calling us ‘guys’ - "How was the entree/ meal, guys?" - was annoying. Please address patrons respectfully. All in all, a huge drop in quality of the food and the staff could benefit from some training.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Snooby2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

513 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    274
    147
    49
    25
    18
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Poor food, good service”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Very disappointing. Entree of Crusteacean Mornay was essentially just the Mornay. We had mains of duck and eye fillet. The duck was tough and tasteless. The beef was meant to be medium rare but was blue. When this was pointed out to the waitress, the offer was to put the beef back on the grill and replate! You can forgive an off night but to have all 3 plates presented being of low standard you wonder if this is a regular occurrence. Considering the prices, $45 for a steak - unforgivable.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Tony C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
242 reviews
145 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“Beautiful views, great restaurant”
Reviewed April 28, 2013

I laugh to myself when reading comments about the Maitre d' who we felt was doing us a huge favour by agreeing to allow us to dine without having made a reservation. It was a spur of the moment decision. Return to Sydney immediately after visiting an elderly relative or, take some time to enjoy a nice meal in a previously visited restaurant. Yes, there were few names on the reservation list, yes, we were asked for our name and contact details, yes, there was a delay at times getting a drink or placing our orders however, we were given a premium terrace table for two overlooking one of the most beautiful views of uninterrupted countryside. Before seating us the Maitre d' explained there could be delays so, we knew what to expect. The food was fabulous! Tomato soup from homegrown tomatoes and with basil pearls was delicious. Yabbies served Thermidor style with salad of apples, walnuts and rocket was sensational. Barrumundi was cooked to perfection. Bimbadgen wines were a great accompanyment. A perfect Sunday lunch, lovely professional staff with big smiles, fabulous food and the Maitre d' warmed to us once the pressure of attending to large tables of patrons was taken care of. Go!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ontheroadsince73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Good food but understaffed”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

We went here based on a recommendation from a work colleague of my wife. The restaurant is part of the Bimbadgen Estate which has fantastic views out across the Hunter towards the mountains.

We didn't make a reservation and were prepared to wait the 30 minutes for a table; however, I did notice that the restaurant was only a third full and the reservation listing only had a few names so I was surprised when were asked to wait. We went downstairs for some wine tasting which was very enjoyable as always. We headed upstairs and sat on the lounge and waited on our table being ready; we had requested the table right on the corner of the balcony with an uninterrupted view.

Upon being seated we had the menu explained and were left to make some choices, we ordered food and a glass of bubbles. My earlier observation regarding the mostly empty restaurant started to make sense, service was pretty much none existent and we had to wait for quite a while our starters; they were understaffed and it showed.

When our first course did arrive my wife found a little bug on top of her soup, this wouldn't have been such a big deal if we could have gotten someone's attention to have it changed, but we couldn't, so I ate mine which was excellent and waited for out plates to be cleared before raising it as an issue. After showing the waitress the maitre d' promptly arrived with bottle of bubbles as an apology and the soup removed from our bill which was greatly appreciated.

The mains and sides arrived not long after and all were very good, flavours were fantastic and good portion sizes for lunch. We decided not to stay for dessert given we had been in and around the restaurant now for nearly 2 hours and had more wineries to visit but upon paying the bill we again received an apology which was appreciated.

At the end of the day we felt the bug in the soup was just unlucky and the rest of the food was great, service was slow but I hope this was just poor rostering by management and not cost saving. Would recommend for the views and the food.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Just a perfect afternoon to cap off our Huner Valley weekend”
Reviewed April 21, 2013

My partner and I have just come back from a weekend in Hunter Valley. We called on Sunday (the day of the lunch) at around 11:30 am and got a table for 1pm on the balcony outside. It was a perfect Autumn, sunny day. We decided to go with the degustation menu boy! It didn't disappoint. Whilst it wasn't of a Arzak or The Fat Duck or Quay or Vue Du Monde standard, we thoroughly enjoyed the ambience, the gorgeous views of the valley, the lazy afternoon and the fine food and the relaxed and friendly service which was attentive at all times. What more could you ask for?
The degustation consisted of a salmon pate, followed by baked figs with a duck liver mousse which I had to clean up with a bit of bread in the end (so delicious), then we had a rabbit terrine with red capsicum relish that was simply divine. And this was just the entrees! For mains, we had a salmon fillet with burnt butter sauce, polenta chip and roasted beetroot followed by smoked Duck breast with a vanilla pumpkin puree
Probably the only dish lacking for me was the dessert which was a passionfruit souffle with a shard of honey sugar on the side. Whilst it was perfectly cooked, it didn't wow us like the other dishes did with their perfect combination of flavour and ingredients. Dessert seemed a bit plain in comparison
Apart from that, we were really thankful to have the dining experience at Esca Bimbadgen, A lovely property, wines are getting better every time, the restaurant food was exceptional, the service just right and then you have that lovely valley views to finish it all off..A slice of heaven, perhaps? :-)

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank maveric74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant also viewed

Pokolbin, Greater Newcastle
Pokolbin, Greater Newcastle
 
Pokolbin, Greater Newcastle
Pokolbin, Greater Newcastle
 
Pokolbin, Greater Newcastle
Pokolbin, Greater Newcastle
 

Been to Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing