64 Mt Warning Road, Uki NSW
On a steamy March day after the relentless heaving rain, my body craved nothing more than getting outdoors for some fresh air and adventure. Where else to go then but take a scenic drive along the Tweed River Way to Mavis’s Kitchen at the base of the eternally misted, ethereal appearing Mt Warning.
It had been two years since my last visit to this home away from home, and true to form nothing had really changed. It was still the same beautiful old Queenslander, beckoning you to tea; the same lush gardens and lawn; the same friendly casual service. I knew this was going to be a good day.
Like many of the better eateries these days, Mavis’s aims to keep a light footprint to preserve our earth for future generations. To ensure this they grow their own food organically in their beautiful kitchen garden, buy local, and keep happy chooks. Even the alluring building is recycled. Owners Peter and Charlie decided on a tree-change and bought their existing restaurant premises from the Gold Coast with them on semi-trailers, reconstructing it on this inviting parcel of land.
We arrived to take our table downstairs, nestled under the watchful eye of Mt Warning so our little man could run circles around the citrus trees and play in the giant cubby house nature made with one huge old tree. Service is casual, with a printed single page menu on the table, you go upstairs to order and pay. With just a handful of options for each course it makes deciding on which yummy nosh to eat a fairly easy affair, quite a nice change from other food empires where the list is never-ending and you have a perpetual fear of making the wrong choice. Sadly though the wine list is sorely lacking with by the glass drops far too average to live up to the meals and the location Mavis’s offers. They do offer local beer though, perfect on a hot day, as you sit and admire the domain you can pretend is yours, just for a few hours.
To start we couldn’t go past the irresistible offering of Air-Dried Bangalow Pork Fillet served with sourdough, rocket, parmesan and aged balsamic. What is it about Bangalow Pork that is always so supremely damn good? Air-dried was a new way of eating it for me and just sublime. Highly recommended. Our toddler couldn’t get enough!
For mains I had the 3 hour Slow Cooked Greek Lamb with Rosemary Salted Chips, Organic Green Salad, Persian Fetta and Tzaziki. The lamb was utterly tender and although the tzaziki agreed with nothing on the plate, I mopped up the delicious sauce from my partners plate with the lamb – perfect combo. The rosemary chips were a revelation, hands down best I’ve had in a long time.
My partner chose the Free Range Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Sweet Potato and Sage Mash and a green apple and radish salad with pork jus. Certainly the least fatty pork belly we’ve ever tried with the right amount of crispness and sweetness in each mouthful. A true winner.
I can never leave a restaurant without dessert so on this day I had to order a plate of scones. Perhaps not the wisest choice on a humid day but that alone proved how good the cooking here is. Warm, slightly bouncy, huge, and incredibly light and fluffy served with the most delicate generous whipped cream and homemade jam. I would come back for these alone!
Open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday and dinner Friday and Saturday you’re a lucky person if you can get in without a booking. Make a day of it and enjoy the idyllic Tweed inland area with a climb up Mt Warning or for the less enthusiastically inclined, a visit to the Tweed River Art Gallery. Or just pop in for a Devonshire tea, the scones really are worth the drive alone! Or if you’re feeling truly decadent, book into one of the rustic cabins on site for the night. It’s a decision you won’t regret.