A Hunter Valley restaurant that's bringing something a little different to the table
This iconic venue has been bringing unique experiences to the Hunter Valley dining scene since its inception in 2015. Since re-launching at Pokolbin Village in 2020, EXP. continues to bring exceptional flavours and service to the area.
When Hunter Valley Chef, Frank Fawkner, first began thinking about what his very own restaurant would look like all those years ago, there were no simple or straightforward decisions. Instead, Frank and his team wanted to bring something truly different to the table, the result being EXP. Restaurant.
Since starting his career at Mount Broke Wines, a simple café in Broke, Frank discovered that food was, and always would be his passion. Soon after completing his apprenticeship at Hunter Valley Crowne Plaza, Frank packed his bags and headed to London where he climbed the foodie ladder, earning the title of Sous Chef at Tom’s Kitchen.
On returning to the Hunter Valley, Frank scored a job at another crowd favourite, Muse Restaurant, once again working his way up to become Head Chef and refining his own food style. Come 2015, it was time for Frank to move on and step up with EXP. opening its doors.
Originally set up at the Oakvale Cellar Door and Winery, EXP. Restaurant introduced us to a new way of dining that was experimental and one, quite frankly, we couldn’t get enough of. Since then, the team at EXP. has continued to challenge and surprise our palates with their delicious flavours.
Following the incredible success of EXP. Frank and his wife, Emma, opened Fawn Foods Kitchen & Bakery at Pokolbin Village in July 2018, offering fresh baked goods alongside a casual but equally delicious lunch and all-day breakfast menu.
Come 2020, the pair joined the two popular venues together at the Pokolbin Village location and has since continued their journey of high-quality food, service, and one of the Hunter Valley’s most unique dining experiences with EXP. open for dinner Friday through to Monday from 5.30pm.
“At EXP. our focus is to create a dining EXP.erience that is delicious, entertaining, and interactive.”
Every aspect of EXP. has been thoughtfully selected; the epitome of Frank’s style. That is, creating a menu that challenges and offers a fresh combination of flavours. Preferring to steer away from the typical entrée, main, and dessert formula, Frank has crafted a Tasting Menu allowing guests to experience a wide range of stunning flavours all in one sitting.
“Our beverages are about EXP.loration. Within our list, you will find local Hunter Valley favourites alongside a choice selection from other Australian regions. Why only Australian you ask? It’s about EXP.ression. We carefully craft our menus to express Australian cuisine and our wine list reflects the same care.”
Frank and the team are truly passionate about the produce and ingredients they use, sourcing local ingredients as best they can, with the intention being to provide guests with the cleanest and freshest of flavours. Mixed together with techniques that pay respect to the produce, you start to get the picture of what the EXP.erience is all about.
The chic, dark, and intimate dining room gives diners the option to choose a spot at the Chef’s Bar or Table Area. If you’re one who likes to indulge in something truly unique, trust us when we say the Chef’s Bar is where you’ll want to be.
The Tasting Menu changes with the seasons, but to get a brief idea of what to expect, you can explore the range of dishes here. On our recent EXP.erience, we had the opportunity to devour the tasting menu with flavour profiles still presenting in our dreams.
Whether it’s a romantic evening out or a curious dining experience that you’re after, book your seat at EXP. Restaurant at Pokolbin Village – you will not be disappointed.