Eat & Drink

Muse Restaurant

Award-winning dining in the Hunter Valley

If you consider yourself a bit of foodie, someone who loves seeking out chefs who take their food, flavours and service to another level, then the Hunter Valley’s award-winning restaurant, Muse Dining, has more than likely popped up on your radar.

Located on Broke Rd in the Hunter Valley, Muse Dining’s spectacular building sets the scene for what becomes a food journey to remember.

Chef and owner Troy Rhoades-Brown spent much of his younger years devoted to training under the best chefs in the industry with much of this time spent with Hunter Valley legend Robert Molines. Following a short stint at the Ledbury in London under the Brett Graham scholarship, Troy returned to the Hunter Valley and together with wife Megan they went about building their dream restaurant.

Troy’s philosophy of preparing all food in-house and treating all products with care and knowledge to bring out the best in each ingredient quickly put Muse on the radar of foodies and the foodie awards. Just twelve months after opening their doors Muse was awarded its first Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Chef’s Hat, and the accolades haven't stopped since. Muse has maintained its Chef Hat status each year since 2011 and in 2015 Troy and Megan were once again rewarded for their hard work, this time with Two Chef Hats.

HUNTERhunter recently had a Q&A with Troy and got the low down on life in the Hunter Valley and what Muse is all about.

HH: What sort of flavours or styles can someone expect when dining at Muse Restaurant?

Troy: Muse Restaurant is a contemporary Australia restaurant. Flavours and style are a combination of regional and seasonal ingredients. We concentrate on creating and evolving dishes that represent ourselves (the chefs) and our region.

HH: Muse Kitchen is just up the road, what's the biggest difference between to the two venues?

Troy: Muse Kitchen is a beautiful bistro that we created to offer a more casual lunch location in the Hunter Valley. They both express similar characteristics which focus on seasonal, local and quality produce. But in a more casual dining experience. The food style is primarily European.

HH: Where do you like to eat yourself in the Hunter Valley?

Troy: Bistro Molines, Margans, Cafe Enzo and Oishii

HH: With Newcastle being just down the road from the Hunter Valley what are your top 3 tips when visiting?

Troy: Park the car and walk! Newcastle beach, King Edward Park, Nobby's, the break wall and Darby Street. You will find fantastic gift shops, coffee, local artists, great people and you get a better feel for what the lifestyle Newcastle can offer.

HH:When you're in Newcastle what restaurants and cafes are your favourites?

Troy: Restaurant Mason, Subo and III Bean.

HH: What do you like most about living in the Hunter Valley?

Troy: I love the people, the produce and the beautiful landscape I love being a part of a talented community of creative and passionate people. I work and live in an area where the major focus is wine, food and leisure activities. It's a destination where people come to relax and enjoy themselves. I get to enjoy it all, minus the relaxing part!

Image credit: Nicole Butler of Nicole Butler Photography