Owner/Head Chef Frank Fawkner is a Hunter Valley local who took his passion for cooking overseas before returning to hone his fine dining skills at Muse Restaurant. Now he has branched out on his own and created a restaurant well worth making a special trip to visit.
EXP. Restaurant is attached to the charming Oakvale Winery in Pokolbin. The small interior is dominated by a jarrah-wood bar, which offers a great vantage point for an up-close view of the chefs at work.
At EXP. there’s an emphasis on local organic produce and the team pride themselves on knowing where every ingredient is sourced. The regularly changing menu reflects what’s in season locally. Spanish mackerel with cauliflower and tiger’s milk sees mackerel cooked under a smouldering log, the result cleverly treading the line between meaty fish and ceviche-style freshness. Beef cheek with fennel and tap roots is a gorgeously presented dish with a fine interplay between rich and tender beef and root vegetables with varying textures.
PSST! The tasting menu represents fantastic value for money and includes many smaller dishes not listed on the menu.