Chez Dominique at The Whale officially opened

Merivale has officially opened the doors to Chez Dominique at The Whale in Narooma - a new intimate farm-to-table pop-up in collaboration with local French-Australian chefs and Chez Dominique founders, Elsa Marie and Julian May.

Drawing on humble French roots and creative seasonal cooking, the menu celebrates local South Coast produce with authentic, fuss-free dishes that let the ingredients speak for themselves. Merivale’s Jenn Black and team are delivering the restaurant service, delivered in harmony with Chez Dominique's aesthetic and approach to cooking. In true French-bistro style, the menu is written up daily on blackboards and will change frequently depending on the fresh produce available.

Think Narooma oysters with pepper berry mignonette; Tathra Place Farm Maremma pastured quail salad with brussel sprouts and caramelised walnuts; locally-caught fish of the day in escabeche with carrot, fennel and coriander; and Martin Ridge Farm rolled pork shoulder with roasted carrots, chards and mustard sauce. To finish, there is Elsa and Julian’s favourite Rhum Baba with chantilly cream lit alight at the table and enjoyed with a specially curated rum degustation, if so desired. Having moved to the South Coast last year to learn more about organic farming and to give their food a unique meaning, Elsa and Julian are proud to have built close relationships with local farmers, producers and artisans with whom they will create the ever-evolving menu. Vegetables and fruits are picked from four local farms that the pair cherish in Moruya (Borrowed Ground, Queen Street, Old Mill Road and Stepping Stone), supplied by local green grocer Southlands, and harvested from The Whale Inn’s own kitchen garden. Free-range eggs are from Bega Valley, free-range chickens from Camden Valley and dairy is provided by Tilba Real Dairy. Grass-fed heritage breed pork, beef, quails and ducks are courtesy of Martin’s Ridge and Tathra Place, Elsa and Julian said: “We have fallen in love with all of the incredible ingredients the Eurobodalla Shire has to offer. We have a strong passion for local, high-quality, sustainable produce and wine, and can’t wait to share our cooking with the local community.” When it comes to drinks, Merivale’s Victor Costa (Bar Topa, The Paddington and will’s) has curated a cocktail list with flavours befitting the coastal surrounds. The wine list has been designed to align with Elsa and Julian’s food philosophy and features sustainable and minimal intervention winemakers and organic and biodynamic wines, alongside classic, easy drinking Australian and international drops. Merivale purchased The Whale Inn and Restaurant in June. The pop-up will run for the next few months, accommodation remains open and plans for the evolution of the property will be announced in due course.

Chez Dominique at The Whale 102 Wagonga St, Narooma NSW 2546 Dinner service only - Wednesday-Saturday, 6-10pm Ocean Lounge for snacks and cocktails - 5pm till 10pm

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