On a holiday down the south coast of NSW last week I discovered a couple of gluten-free gems.
Just Delicious at Berry
The first one was Just Delicious, a cafe and deli at Berry, the very popular little town two hours drive south of Sydney.
Just Delicious is off the main drag in a side street two streets back, parallel to the Princes Highway. It's among a group of interesting cafes and shops that seem a bit less conventional and touristy than those on the main street.
Just Delicious is full of gluten-free goodies both sweet and savoury including salmon dill ricotta cake, roast capsicum, pumpkin and spinach frittata, smoked chicken rice cake, orange poppy seed macaroon and an orange and almond delight. You can find Just Delicious at 3/62 Albert Street, Berry.
The Muffin Shop at Mossy Point
Further south at Mossy Point where we spent a relaxing week is The Muffin Shop. As you would expect, it specialises in muffins including gluten-free ones. While the gluten-free range is not as extensive as the regular options, you can choose from three sweet varieties - orange poppy seed, chocolate, and apple and sultana cinnamon.
The savoury option is cheese pesto and olive. I didn't get to try the savoury one as they had sold out but my favourite sweet variety was the apple, sultana and cinnamon muffin. Unlike the gluten-containing muffins which are made fresh daily, the gluten-free ones are frozen. The staff defrost and heat them before serving.
The Muffin Shop also serves a variety of salads that are gluten-free including smoked salmon, roast beef, leg ham, chicken and a vegan salad bowl. You can find The Muffin Shop at 7/31 Pacific Street, Mossy Point. The telephone number is: (02) 4471 8599.
The River at Moruya
Our final south coast dining experience was at The River at Moruya, 20 minutes drive from Mossy Point and nearby Broulee. Recently featured in Country Style magazine, The River is a bit more upmarket than Just Delicious and The Muffin Shop. Its chefs are Tim Saffery, Tobie Patrick and Peter Compton, who have all worked in prestigious Melbourne restaurants. Country Style magazine says opening The River has allowed the three to bring their take on modern food to a rural setting.
While gluten-free options are not listed on the menu, like most modern Australian restaurants there are plenty of choices for coeliacs. As well, the staff were generally knowledgeable about which dishes contained gluten and they were happy to alter them to cater for my needs.
My choices were the grilled local nectarines, house-made prosciutto with goats cheese cream for entree, the fish of the day for main and a delicious chocolate mousse for desert.
While we all enjoyed our meals we felt adding a couple of other items to the lettuce leaf salad would have made it a bit more interesting. The River is in a beautiful setting overlooking the Moruya River. It would be a perfect spot for a romantic dinner for two.