The Hunter Wine Bar, Mosman

Mosman has always been a hive of activity by day as shoppers venture into the boutiques and sip coffee in the cafes, but at night it’s been like a ghost town as residents shift out of the suburb to do their dining elsewhere.

Menus held together on clipboard folders are on the tables

Menus held together on clipboard folders are on the tables

But recently things have been changing in Mosman and only for the better.  Places to go for a drink and casual BYO eateries have been popping up resulting in the residents dining locally instead of heading out of the area.

Outdoor heaters for those cooler nights

Outdoor heaters for those cooler nights

A few weeks ago Mosman’s first wine bar opened, The Hunter, and it has proven to be instantly popular with enthusiastic locals flocking to this fairly small space where they can enjoy a glass of wine and some share plates either indoors or alfresco.  What I love about its position is that the entrance is on the fountain square which is an open pedestrian mall so with pedestrian access only, there’s no aggravating traffic noise to contend with.

Bar area

Bar area


I walk through the fountain square almost daily and over the last few months I have watched with interest this space that was once part of an indoor child’s play centre be transformed into an inviting and stunning space.  I really liked how the interior was being fitted out African-safari style and how the doors open onto the courtyard seemingly doubling the size of the venue as well as allowing for a drink outdoors.

13.09.17.1As soon as I saw The Hunter had opened for business I was keen to experience this boutique establishment.  It wasn’t long before the opportunity presented itself with Alfie’s class parents organising a social get-together one Thursday evening (minus the children).

We sat under the lanterns  with the billowing 'tents' beside us.

We sat under the lanterns with the billowing ‘tents’ beside us.

On that Thursday afternoon I happened to be walking nearby and, knowing the bar is very small and therefore difficult to photograph when at capacity, I decided to call in and take some photos before the Mosman-ites started arriving for first-drinks.  I loved the fit-out with its billowing tent walls and drooping lanterns, ropes covered with vines, plants scattered randomly making you feel like you’re out in the Savannah, cow-hide bar stools and a gamey menu offering wild boar, emu and crocodile.

Cow hide stools looking out to the courtyard

Cow hide stools looking out to the courtyard

The proprietor, Steve Hiles has worked with the Merivale Group and the menu has been designed by James McCall who is the head chef for Jones the Grocer.  It’s very much a shared plate menu which is an increasingly popular way to dine.

Between arriving home and heading back out again the weather had drastically changed and it was now a very cold evening and blowing a gale.  For the first time since The Hunter had opened, I saw the doors to the courtyard had all been closed to avoid everyone and everything blowing away.  When I walked in the bar was crowded and noisy.

Wild Boar

Wild Boar Little Dogs

Drinks and menu items are ordered at the bar and so Blacko headed straight there and came back with a glass of Chardonnay for me and a beer for himself.  I’m not sure what he ordered but the cost for the two drinks was $25.00 so you won’t find pub prices here.  We sat at the back of the bar in a group of around 20 and ordered a few shared plates between us.  Service is fairly swift and all our dishes arrived on the table piping hot so there’s no dithering with your food hovering in the kitchen and cooling down and withering on ‘the pass’.

The first two plates to arrive were the Dukkah crumbed beetroots with lemon mayo and the torn polenta wedges with a tomato chilli jam.  The vague waitress put down the dishes and walked away with apparently not noticing we were devoid of plates, cutlery and serviettes.  I shot up to the bar and asked if she could bring these things to the table and she said, ‘How many do you want?’  I know we’re eating ‘shared plate’ style but would it be too much to ask for one plate each?

The crumbed beetroot dipped in mayo had lovely contrasting flavours with crunchy dukkah providing a lovely diverse texture to the softness of the beetroot.

Dukkah coated beetroot

Dukkah coated beetroot $13.00

I found the polenta to be a little lacking in flavour and perhaps it needed a boost from some seasoning or cheese however when generously dipped in the chilli jam it was tasty.

Polenta

Torn Polenta Wedges $14.00

Next we had the Gatsby board that was chips, rolls, mustard and a tomato chutney.  The shoestring fries were fabulous with a wonderful seasoning that I was told was achieved by tossing the fries in butter and salt.  The idea is to spread the sauces along the soft rolls then fill with the fries.  This did take me back to high school when we would order a buttered roll from the canteen and fill it with either a packet of chips or twisties.

The Gatsby Board

The Gatsby Board $12.00

Blacko’s favourite dish of the night was the crispy school prawns with paprika salt and pomegranate honey.  You eat the entire prawn, head, shell and tail and when the waitress was taking our order she did explain that this is how they come.  ‘No problem to me’, said Blacko, ‘Exactly how I like them’.  He couldn’t get enough of these prawns.

Prawns

Crispy School Prawns with Paprika Salt and Pomegranate Honey $18.00

I was keen to try the wild boar so we ordered the ‘little dogs’ and they really are miniature hot dogs.  They arrived covered in parmesan and were filled with an onion jam and a hot mustard.  The little sausages were moist and juicy and the sauces a lovely compliment however they’re not cheap as they’re tiny and you receive two per serve for $16.00.

Wild Boar

Wild Boar Little Dogs with onion jam, parmesan and hot mustard mayo $16.00

We shared a salad that came out with large lettuce leaves and generous chunks of sweet potato, and roasted peanuts with a chilli and honey dressing.  This was a generous and quite filling salad and I really liked the honey dressing on the roast sweet potato and I felt this was good value for the price.

Salad

Roast Sweet Potato, peanut, crispy chilli, coz and honey dressing $10.00

The Hunter is definitely a very welcome addition to the Mosman food/plonk scene.  It’s a fantastic place to catch up with friends and in fact, it’s such a lovely social scene that we were surprised to find we were there for almost four hours.  As the weather warms up I can imagine this being an incredibly popular place to be.

Verdict:  Fabulous venue for a get-together but don’t forget to line your pockets.

The Hunter:  5 Myahgah Road, Mosman 2088
Ph:  0409 100 339

Mon – Tue : 17:00 – 00:00

Wed – Sat : 12:00 – 00:00

Sun : 12:00 – 22:00

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Comments

  1. Aside from the weirdo waitress, your dining experience sounds fabulous! I’m especially loving that sweet potato salad.

  2. Those little hot dogs and sweet potatoes look right up my ally!

  3. I always enjoy reading about the different foods you eat and seeing photos of them because culinary choices in my community are limited. That combining of sweet potatoes with lettuce would be something I would never even think would pair well. But it looks, and sounds, delicious. Once again, thank you for taking us on this culinary tour. Dining with you and your friends would surely expand my food experiences.

  4. Ooooh those crunchy prawns look so good, like fried whitebait, eat it head and all! Great joint, hubby and I are due for a date night, I think we may go here 🙂

  5. Love the decor at this place!

  6. I loved this place… Thank you dear Charlie, love, nia

  7. It sounds like a cool place to hang out & eat some lovely tasty snacks, to go with a lovely wine or beer,…I would like to go there. Hang out with you!

  8. Sounds like you enjoyed a lot of fun dishes and over 4 hrs of chatting not too pricey even if the initial drink order was a bit of a shock.

  9. Upmarket chip butty! I’m in!

  10. Very interesting dishes, I find the Dukkah coated beetroot and the Roasted Sweet Potato, peanut, crispy chilli, coz and honey dressing dishes very interesting.

  11. This looks like a great place. I love the dukkah beetroot. And a restaurant that serves chip butties is great by me. GG

  12. Sounds like you’ve found a new haunt, Charlie! Food looks quite good, atmosphere and location sound perfect!

  13. We tried it recently too, glad for your explanation of the gatsby fries we had that plate and thought it a bit odd didn’t realise it was meant to be a sandwich. A great addition to my Mosman bubble life!

  14. I love the idea of a safari like theme and the food looks pretty good. My favourite at school was getting a loaf of bread and a large serving of hot chips from our local chicken shop. We’d devour quite a few chip sandwiches in one sitting!

  15. This place does indeed look like a fantastic find and so close too! I wonder if you can walk to it? I just love walking to restaurants from my house, that way you needn’t worry about driving after a few glasses of vino! The plates are rather expensive but they do look lovely and flavourful. Looks like you found a keeper Charlie.

    • Hi Eva, yes, we can walk to it. I enjoy walking for the same reason and after a big meal it’s always good to walk it off on your way home. It’s so nice not having to take your car and worry about parking as well.

  16. Wild Boar hot dogs at a steep price,
    The variety of foods Charlie look different and very nice!
    Always enjoy unique places to catch up with friends!
    The laughter and memories (if you can hear over the noise) never ends! 🙂
    Cheers! Joanne

  17. Wow so many things i’d like to try! Especially the torn polenta wedges! Been addicted to Polenta chips for a while now hehe

  18. Nice decor…and the prawns look delicious…yum!
    Hope you are having a great week Charlie 😀

  19. I love that place. Two tiny hotdogs for $16 sets it in the expensive crowd but the whole atmosphere appeals to me.

  20. Once in a while it’s nice to go out and meet friends in places where the ambiance is worth the higher prices. I can’t do it often, but when I do, it’s so enjoyable. This looks like a great place!

  21. About time Mosman had more options! I remember living there and always going elsewhere to eat 🙂

  22. I did a quick calculation / conversion and it seems very pricey. Nice for an occasional treat though. Pity about the waitress!

  23. Wow those little hotdogs are seriously looking very good right now. I can almost taste them in my mouth! Mmmm they’d go well with some beer.

  24. I love the sound of the safari theme, and it’s always nice to have somewhere close enough to stumble home from after a couple of drinks Charlie 🙂 Maybe it’s the few choices available at Mosman that allows for the higher prices? Perhaps that will change as more competition opens up in the area. How were the beetroot prepared exactly- were they baked, crumbed, then baked again? They do sound good xox

  25. How lovely to be able to watch your area transform like this – and that beetroot looks fantastic!

  26. Happy Wednesday!

  27. Sounds like a terrific place! Pricey, but worth it. We have loads of good restaurants we can walk to – so nice! I’d love to have this place close by. 😉 Fun post – thanks.

  28. Sounds like a great place – I could eat those shrimp endlessly (I’ve had head and tail before of course after deep fried to crispy texture) and I want to make the sweet potato salad at home… sounds interesting and I’d love the sweet potato and honey dressing flavor together.

  29. The food and decor look wonderful! Maybe they’ll boost up their portion sizes a bit…then you can stop by more frequently!

  30. The food looks good, though tad expensive for a new place. And what’s with not serving plates….ugh! Though it does look like you had fun.

  31. It is always exciting when restaurants begin to open in a previously ignored area. It sounds like this is a good addition! Those little boar dogs look and sound like real winners! Thank you for sharing!

  32. What a beautiful little wine bar. I will be taking a weekend day trip to the other side now!x

  33. Dear Charlie,

    I love school prawns and these seem like perfect food to knock back a few cocktails. Didn’t realise there is a trendy bar on this side of town as we have always been going to Hotel Mosman.

  34. Love a great casual wine bar with great tapas style, nibbily food! Looks fantastic!

  35. Sounds like a fun place to go.
    Love the crunchy prawns and the salad with sweet potatoes.
    Great review Charlie, makes me feel as I would have been there 🙂

  36. Thanks for adding this, now I have a reason to go back there

  37. The dukkah-coated beetroot and the wild boar dogs make me weep. The ambience doesn’t drive me wild, but those two dishes clearly do.

  38. Everything looks so good there…what a sampling, huh?

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