A spring inspired menu launches at QT's Jana
It was 2017 when we first learned that the art and design focused hotel brand QT, would be moving into the heritage-listed David Jones building, bringing with it a new and exciting future for the Newcastle Mall and city centre.
On our initial introduction, the transformation could only be described as breathtaking with the floor-to-ceiling glass windows creating a dramatic yet welcoming space. Sophistication was high on our minds as we made our way through to the hotel's dedicated dining area, Jana. A secluded and exquisitely styled 75-seater restaurant space, Jana offers guests a mix of relaxed dining options from alfresco through to private dining.
NB... A tip for those who are dining, whilst it's tempting to stay on ground floor and settle into Jana for the evening, we recommend beginning your QT experience at the Rooftop bar, taking in those iconic Newcastle views from the open-air bar space.
The launch of Jana's spring menu gives us good reason to return, with chef Shayne Mansfield once again making use of the finest ingredients from the region, with a seasonal menu that captures the essence of the warmer months.
The second seasonal menu change since Shayne commenced his role as Executive Chef at QT Newcastle. The spring menu has been crafted for sharing, this new shared direction came off the back of the demand from guests who were dining in larger groups especially on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Like Jana’s winter menu, the spring menu is approachable with sustainability at the forefront, the spring signature dish - Mother Fungus Mushrooms - is a perfect example with the remaining mushrooms pickled (using Shayne’s grandmother’s pickling recipe) to create another profile for future dishes.
Other menu highlights include the smoked heritage carrot tartare, and the suckling pig which is floated over spent gin grains, topped with smoked potato and consommé to the side.
If you plan on coming with an appetite, the 1kg+ Hungerford bone-in oven-prepared rib, from Branxton's Hungerford Meat Co. is a must. Accompanied by duck fat potatoes and spring leaves, this dish perfectly represents Jana’s focus on highlighting our region’s premium produce.
The whole fried snapper can't be overlooked if seafood is your menu preference. Sitting atop a chilli tamarind sauce, the dish is paired beautifully with a coconut and pickled cucumber salad, making for a fresh and zesty taste experience that transports you to somewhere far warmer and more exotic than King Street Newcastle.
If you still have room for dessert, the passionfruit pavlova is a sweet and tangy way to end your dining experience, and one we couldn't say no to.
If you plan on visiting Jana, keep an eye out for Shayne's pickling jars which are on display in the restaurant, a reminder of his dedication to plating up modern renditions of recipes passed down through generations. Whether you're yet to visit or seeking to try the new menu, Jana always makes for a memorable dining experience and one you should be visiting sometime soon.
Photography supplied by QT Newcastle.