Dreaming of a Mediterranean getaway? We’re talking a Croatian island scattered with olive trees and drenched in sunshine. Somewhere where long, leisurely lunches are not only accepted, but encouraged. Total. Bliss.
Well, dream no more. The Mediterranean is just a road trip away. The beauty of Croatia can be found in the heart of Bombay Hills at Bracu. Nestled in the beautiful olive grove of the Simunovich Olive Estate, the destination restaurant remains somewhat of a secret gem.
Escape the city and relax on the verandah of the Kauri villa (wine in hand, of course) or cosy up beside the fire inside. Better yet, there’s a private wine library available for when you really want to impress. Surrounded by an elegant interior and with views of the grove (there are more than 30,000 trees out there!), you’ll be magically transported to the Mediterranean in no time.
And if you thought the venue was stunning, just wait until you see the menu. At the helm of the restaurant, you’ll find head chef Logan Clark. Showcasing an ‘estate to plate’ philosophy, Logan and his talented team prepare contemporary fine food in Instagram-worthy style. Seasonal produce is grown in the estate’s gardens and sourced from local producers.
Pick and choose from the à la carte menu or, for a meal to remember, opt for the seven-course degustation—table for two, anyone? Both menus are equally impressive with entrees of coconut-marinated kingfish, venison carpaccio and a next level leek and potato soup (trust us: this is no ordinary soup).
For the mains, you’ll find pork belly paired with apple, cabbage and pumpkin as well as eye fillet cooked to your liking and served with corn, courgette and an unmissable wasabi butter. There’s also a vibrant duck dish that comes with beetroot, cherries and buffalo cheese—what a combo!
Stick around for dessert because the deliciousness continues. Choose between the lemon cake with white chocolate or a silky smooth caramelia chocolate mousse. Our pick has got to be the gooey yet fluffy blackberry marshmallow. The mouth-watering number is perfectly complemented with cream cheese, pistachio pastry and mixed berry sorbet. Order one for yourself because it’s too good to share.
Oh, and let’s be honest. No visit to Bracu is complete without fresh bread paired with the estate’s very own extra virgin olive oil. The Simunovich family first began cultivating olives on the beautiful island of Brac, Croatia (where the restaurant takes its name from) before establishing the Auckland grove. They now produce award-winning oil (including an incred truffle-infused creation) as well as skin care products.
Combine your visit to Bracu with a tour of the estate and enjoy an olive oil tasting. The Bombay Hills gem also has wedding packages and team building activities including clay bird shooting, knife throwing and archery.
Don’t fork out on those tickets to the Mediterranean—you can road trip there instead! Bracu is calling your name for a leisurely lunch that wiles away the hours. We’ll see you there.
Image credit: Lydia Arnold