Hello, hello, hello! I’m a little late to post this, but that’s because Mum and I have been on a trip back to her hometown of Orange, NSW! We went primarily to visit my maternal Aunt and Uncle, who live there, and also to take a gander at some of the local fare and wineries. Orange has become quite a foodie destination, we’ve been hearing a lot about it’s local produce and the food festivals and were sad we missed the last one. But despite it being so freezing cold, we had to head up while Mum was still on leave and I was able to take a day from work.
It was lovely to see the relatives again after so many years. After my maternal grandmother passed away we haven’t really been back to Orange, where we used to visit quite often before. It was a delight for mum in particular to see how much had changed for the better in Orange since we last went, and I was glad to see the family and to have a bit of an explore. The rainy, cold weather meant we didn’t have to compete with other tourists, and at one winery in particular we were in time to taste some freshly bottled wine! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Eating gluten-free in Orange isn’t quite as difficult as I expected it to be, although it was a bit more on the expensive side as I wasn’t too keen on the option of Fish at some of the cheaper places. I’m not always a seafood person, I’ll be honest. But the reason I was so pleasantly surprised at the gluten-free foods in Orange is that often when I go to a new place I find I struggle to find anything gluten free that isn’t fish. But a recent trip to another restaurant had put me onto trip advisor. So I was using that as our guide. Well! I wasn’t disappointed.
Our first proper meal out was at a bar called Percy’s Bar and Kitchen. It was incredibly crowded as they had two functions on that night, but we managed to snag the last spots at one of their high tables and rushed to order our food before the function goers. It was nice and warm, and although it was very loud the atmosphere was pleasant. Unfortunately their live singer struck up not long after we sat down, and the volume on the speaker which was extremely close to our table was almost unbearable. Some of his songs were good, but my ears were ringing even after we left!
Their prices aren’t exactly cheap, which I’ve come to expect from any place with the words bar or dining in their name, but in the case of my meal it was worth it. They had a few gluten-free options, which was very pleasing. I ordered the Beef brisket, and Mum had the San Choy Bau. We wouldn’t recommend getting the San Choy Bau as a stand alone dish, as the portions were very small. You should really only get it as a shared dish as the menu suggests. But we shared mine and that filled us both up nicely. I was really impressed at the Beef Brisket. Normally such large chunks of meet become dry in the middle and don’t have much flavour, well – not this beef! It really blew my mind, and it was far more reasonable a meal for that price, and it really made an impact on me in terms of the richness of the flavours and the lovely texture.
Next morning Mum went to an exhibition, and I hit up town to seek some warmer clothes. I’ve had to retire a fair few things, much to my extreme annoyance, because the sleeves aren’t long enough and some of them are starting to get holes. But I managed to get some warm, very cheap clothes whilst in town, and then it was off to the wineries! We went along the Pinnacle Road route, or Mounain Run, stopped at Rowlee, Borrodel and Phillip Shaw, and had a stickybeak at each. Orange is home to a lot of cool climate and cold climate wines, which as I discovered means there aren’t any sweet wines, as such. However, I finally met some less sweet wines I really liked! Borrodel also stocks some absolutely amazing apple cider, which I bought for a friend. It wasn’t sickly sweet or sugary, but crisp and delicious and very more-ish! And their view is just stunning. I highly recommend going to Borrodel in particular! Especially if you want to see Kangaroos!
Then for lunch we stopped at Union Bank Wine Bar and Restaurant, as it’d been recommended to us, and also had a few gluten free options to choose from. Once again, I’m not sure their prices often match what you get on the plate, which I suppose is part and parcel of being a wine bar, but I can say their pork belly is the most delicious I have ever eaten in my life. I cannot get over it, the caramel sauce, the smoothness of the meat! We shared two dishes there, the pork belly and the chilli con carne fries. I was in heaven with the pork belly, however, even between two people it was such a small portion size it left you wanting, and I was a little disappointed with the chilli con carne fries. The serving size was large but the chilli con carne topping was pretty thin on the ground, and didn’t seem to have any meat in it at all. I could be wrong about that being the norm, but I have only ever had chilli con carne with meat in it. So there was that. But again, I cannot tell you enough how delicious the pork was! And it was in such a lovely building that it was on the whole a really pleasant experience, although we wish we had snagged the table by the fire!
Overall our stay was lots of fun, and it was good to catch up with our relatives and see the sights. With a little preparation and booking ahead, you can definitely have a good gluten-free time in Orange!