Elements Restaurant
(Inside The Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens)
2090 Broke Rd
Pokolbin, Hunter Valley NSW

Elements is the new restaurant inside the elegant and picturesque Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens.

It offers a French/Australian fusion menu put together by Executive Chef Jean Marc Pollet.

The menu draws on both seasonal offerings and local produce and much of the local produce comes from his own gardens on his 5 acre farm.

The restaurant is lovely inside - simple and elegant. Outside are absolutely lovely views overlooking the manicured gardens, a stunning fountain bubbling away further down the lawn and a spectacular large fire pit on the verandah crackling right in front of the windows.

We started with some lovely fresh house baked bread.

There are two choices as well, mixed herb bread or garlic bread - so we chose one of each to sample both and they were certainly nice.

We also had a serving of olives, balsamic glaze and virgin olive oil to nibble on as a nice appetiser to get us in the mood for food. It was so pleasant!

As we were in the Hunter Valley it certainly seemed only right to choose a local wine to have with our dinner. There were plenty to choose from on the wine list but we ended up deciding on a 2011 Scarborough Pinot Noir which was delightful. Our table water was nicely served chilled in a Cointreau bottle. 

For starters Mlady chose the Canadian seared scallops and blue swimmer crab tortellini and tomato salsa with Woodland first pressed Hunter olive oil.

It was a great pairing with the plump juicy scallops attractively presented alternating with fluffy tortellini filled with blue swimmer crab.

Down the side of the plate was a line of tomato salsa that not only looked great but added further flavour to the dish.

The scallops looked beautiful topped with red caviar beads that also tumbled off the sides onto the plate.

The tortellini was also a winner - either of these would probably have been enough as a starter on their own with the salsa.
Sir had the beautifully plated snapper souffle with New Zealand scampi, fennel foam and crustacean oil.

It was artistically presented with the scampi piled high on the souffle.

The dish was one of delicate and very subtle flavours with each combining nicely with the others while not dominating the dish. The scampi and souffle were nicely cooked too.

For her main course Mlady chose the traditional French coq au vin.

The dish was made from slow cooked corn fed chicken with Hunter Shiraz, tarragon, mushroom and onion.

It arrived quaintly presented in a lovely cast iron pan and it was a substantial serving of a rich dish with nice bold flavours. Mlady really enjoyed this. 

Sir went for the meatier fillet mignon - a favourite of his.

It was Hunter signature select beef, cross breed, pasture fed 250gm eye fillet that was wrapped with bacon and then topped with baked mushrooms

It was a nice piece of meat which had great textures and it was very tender and nicely cooked to order - medium rare.

For dessert Sir had another favourite, crepe Suzette. The crepes came with a blood orange sorbet and he thoroughly enjoyed them. Mlady of course chose the warm chocolate fondant, hazelnut praline and vanilla bean ice cream. It smelled delish and tasted great with good combinations that ticked all the boxes. 

Mlady sipped a lovely Moorebank Muscat Liqueur while Sir had a great 2013 Hunter Valley McLeish Estate Jessica's Botrytis Semillon.

Elements Restaurant is a sophisticated dining experience. The fusion of French classics and local Australian choices and produce works well. It's a lovely place with great service and the lovely food of Jean Marc Pollet to match.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Elements Restaurant and the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens. Thanks to Eliza, Kimberly and Cassie for looking after us. Special thanks to David Lowe for arranging our visit. 
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