A group of friends and I headed to Byron Bay for an extra long weekend to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. It was the first weekend of Spring and the weather was fantastic. We walked to the Byron Bay Lighthouse and the most eastern point of the Australian mainland. We hit up the beach, some beach cafes and walked about town (looking for Thor / Chris Hemsworth). I really wanted to check out the Three Blue Ducks of Sydney fame which has another restaurant located at The Farm in Byron Bay.
The Farm is actually an 80 acre working farm housing Scottish highland cattle, pigs, chickens.
A lot of produce is grown on site – all of which is used in the restaurant. There are three businesses located on site – the Three Blue Ducks restaurant and its produce store, the Bread Social and Flowers at the Farm. There’s a playground and plenty of space for kids to run around.
Bookings are not taken so it was a 40 minute wait for a table of six, unless we wanted the weekend BBQ. We placed our name on the list and walked around the Produce Store and the working farm while we waited.
The Produce Store sells fresh vegetables, as well as tea, salts, chocolates, oils and so much more.
It ended up only being about a 20 minute wait as we were soon called to be seated at a table outdoors. Bottles of tap water were brought out and poured for us. Our waitress came out asking if we wanted to hear their lunch specials, except the specials were sold out. Our drink orders were taken and it wasn’t long before our waitress came back to take our lunch orders. I ordered the strawberry faux-jito ($10) with strawberries, mint, lemonade and lime to begin with.
I also ordered a starter of the Bread Social sourdough ($6) with handmade cultured butter. It was only after I received the sourdough, that I realised I should have simply walked over to the bakery and bought an entire loaf (for $7.50) and shared that with the table. Rookie error, oh well. The bread was fabulous!
For my main, I knew I wanted something with seafood in it as we were right on the coast. I decided on the mussels with yellow curry, turmeric, greens, rice an charred lime ($29). This was not a disappointment. It smelled absolutely divine, and yes it tasted even better. A delicious and aromatic curry, that wasn’t too rich, which coated every single mussel but didn’t take away from the plumpness and juiciness of the mussels. My only minor complaint was that it didn’t come with bread to mop up that curry! I would order this dish again in a heart beat.
J ordered the pork rack with cider braised lettuce, lentils, roasted apple, celeriac cream and beer mustard ($34). That piece of pork was one huge slab and he found it difficult to the finish the entire thing.
My other friend ordered the Farm pea and whey risotto with ricotta, pickled shallot, lemon and mint oil ($18), and said it was one of the best risotto dishes she’s had in a long time.
Some other friends shared the Ploughman’s Board ($27) which had salumi, sobrasada, cheese, radish, pickles, olives, mustard and sourdough.
Another friend ordered the local pasture-raised beef and ale pie ($33) with potato, gremolata and Farm root vegetable remoulade. The pie came without the pastry and instead was served in an iron pot. My friend was very happy with the quality and taste of the pie, and completely satisfied.
Most of us shared dessert – I ordered the roasted apple, pear and rhubarb crumble with burnt citrus ice cream and macadamia ($16). The portion size was very generous and it seemed like the crumble had come straight out of the oven. I loved all of the roasted fruits and the crunchy crumble. It tasted very much homemade and was a wonderful way to finish off our lunch. My only complaint was the small scoop of ice cream melted too quickly and soon disappeared.
We all enjoyed our whole experience at The Farm – from the window shopping of Three Blue Ducks products, visiting the animals, the laid back vibe and of course the food. There were no complaints from anyone. Service was friendly and the food didn’t take long to arrive (although we did have a late 2pm lunch). It was a little difficult trying to get someone to bring the dessert menu around as it was pretty late in the day, but that didn’t spoil the afternoon for us.
On weekends, the outdoor BBQ and Argentinian grill is fired up for those wanting a simple take away meal with BBQ vegetables. Customers are encouraged to sit on the lawns and listen to the live music playing. There are guided tours run by the farmers at 10am daily. Or you can easily do it yourself by wandering around the property.
A must visit if you’re in the neighbourhood.
Three Blue Ducks
11 Ewingsdale Street
Value for money 8/10
FPJ score 24.5/30