The Mid North Coast has added to its growing list of reasons to visit, in the form of a new Bellingen outpost of Three Blue Ducks, set to open Thursday, 13 July. The restaurant, which will seat 80 inside and 100 on its undercover, heated terrace, will be tucked into existing accommodation, The Lodge Bellingen.
Chef and owners Darren Robertson, Mark LaBrooy, and Andy Allen worked alongside Head Chef Julien Vasseur to create a menu that highlights local producers and farmers.
- Levenvale Farms, who produce organic, grass-fed Bello Beef.
- The Patch Organics, who grows organic chicken and veggies.
- Nautical Wholesale Seafood, who sells wild-caught fish.
The venue will also work with Coffs Coast Mushrooms and Promised Land Organics.
“The inspiration behind the menu came from ingredients growing in the area and seeing how we could complement other offerings around Bello,” says Robertson.
“This led us to create a more Asian offering, which makes sense, and we love to eat that style of food and work with spice, lemongrass, ginger, chili, and makrut. We’re going to be serving dumplings, pickles, dirty duck with sour plums, pork bao buns, pot sticks, yuzu éclairs – all sorts.”
Starters are broken into three sections: raw, dumplings, and bao. There are also smaller plates and larger plates, and finally, desserts, which include coconut and kaffir pudding and a cheesecake with miso-caramel and citrus. Guests can dine a la carte or opt for an “$80 Feed Me!” Menu with a chef’s selection.
“The menu draws from some of the favourite dishes we’ve cooked during our travels and at our other locations over the years, combined with new dishes, to keep it fresh and exciting for us, our staff, and people who drop in,” says Robertson.
The drinks menu will focus on NSW wine, including drops from local Jilly Wines, as well as brews from Travla, co-created by Andy Allen and actor Travis Fimmel, and Woolgoolga Brewing. Coffee will be provided by long-standing Three Blue Ducks partner, Single O.
Three Blue Ducks will be tucked into The Lodge, a 6.5-hectare retreat with 30 rooms in Dorrigo National Park on the NSW Mid North Coast. The restaurant was fitted with furniture made from natural materials and features exposed beams and a fireplace. An outdoor dining area overlooks Dorrigo National Park. Robertson describes the space as cosy and comfortable.
“The idea is for people to relax as soon as they walk through the doors,” says Robertson. “We want them to feel at home, to kick back and enjoy the food and drinks. I’d recommend exploring the area before or after a visit.”
Robertson says the team chose Bellingen, or “Bello”, as he calls it, as it had visited many times over the years. He calls it a beautiful town with loads of epic producers and an awesome community.
“It’s somewhere we love spending time,” he says.