Rating: 14/20

  • Royal Hotel, corner Cork and Harp Streets, Gundaroo, 6236 8777
  • www.grazing.com.au
  • Owner and chef Kurt Neumann
  • Open lunch Friday to Sunday, dinner Thursday to Saturday
  • Licensed, no BYO
  • Wheelchair accessible, disabled toilets
Char-grilled Kangaroo loin with soft parsnip mash, homegrown Tuscan black kale and a savoury compote of garden rhubarb ...
Char-grilled Kangaroo loin with soft parsnip mash, homegrown Tuscan black kale and a savoury compote of garden rhubarb and rosemary from Grazing restaurant. Photo: Supplied

If you choose a restaurant for ambience, Grazing has what you're after in spades.

It's in the Royal Hotel in the village of Gundaroo, a building nearly 200 years old, with walls as thick as Arnold Schwarzenegger's thighs, wooden floors, tiny rooms from the days when people were half the size of Arnie and much less demanding on space.

You'll find yourself eating in a kind of general restaurant area, or smaller spaces with a few tables, or a private room - just you and a fireplace and an old wooden table. This is very atmospheric.

Last time we visited Grazing, Tom Moore was still chef, but he sold this year to Kurt Neumann, who was James Mussillon's chef at Courgette.

Neumann hasn't fiddled too much with the country heartiness of the menu, but he appears to have tuned things up a little.

The kangaroo dish is tail with beetroot in a tortellini. Duck is in a roulade with veal and wrapped in vine leaves whose provenance is given - they come from the Kyeema vineyard, which is Capital Wines, which owns this building.

Actually, lots of the menu is provenanced. The trout (Tumut) comes smoked in a terrine. Rabbit comes from Jindabyne.

Barramundi (farmed) main is with squid-ink pasta, local black olives (La Barre) and octopus (wild caught).

With all this sourcing, one of the best things is what you can source on site, with an extensive garden (and chooks) out the back, which keeps the kitchen thinking very seasonally.

Presumably there's some stinging nettle out there, because the menu features lamb cutlets and lamb shoulder with stinging nettle, minted potatoes and spring peas. Entrees are $17, mains $33 ($28 for vegetarian), and desserts $16.

For dessert, Neumann offers the likes of steamed carrot and ginger pudding with date ice cream. There are four children's meals ($15), and four dishes for vegetarians.

The wine list is exclusively local, with the best of the region's wines on offer (although by the glass, it's largely from Capital Wines), and Gundaroo cider on tap.