Fine dining in the Blue Mountains doesn’t get much better than at Echoes, Katoomba. From the immaculate service and live pianist to the breathtaking views and exquisite food, Echoes is one of those food experiences you don’t want to miss.
My mind’s weird. When I think of eating in the mountains, I imagine being sat in a fur loincloth, huddled round a fire in a cave hoeing into a huge leg of some prehistoric beast.
If you can picture that, you’re about as far as I was away from imagining dinner at Echoes in the Blue Mountains.
With its regal presence, Echoes Hotel and Restaurant is like a stately explorer standing hands on hips staring out over the Jamison Valley at the top of Katoomba.
From the front, the two-storey glass entrance showed the warm, welcoming interior of the restaurant, glowing in the evening air. The current building was designed around the original 1920s homestead as a retreat for award winning author Thomas Keneally.
Through the great glass doors, the staircase takes you up to the restaurant and bar, where the tinkle of ivories tells you local pianist Annie is at that keys of the grand piano. Her music flows through the restaurant, entertaining us in more ways than one.
You see, Annie’s repertoire is extensive, and spans genres. Trying to work out what song she was playing became a fun game. Expect anything from classical, to pop and heavy metal.
One of the many memorable moments of this meal – apart from the music – occurred right at the start and really set the scene for the evening.
Before we’d even ordered, the waiter brought us each out an amuse bouche of prawn toast.
A far cry from the strange, flabby triangles you get at your run-of-the-mill Chinese takeaway, these were crunchy, perfectly seasoned and delicious. A great way to start a meal in this modern Australian Asian fusion restaurant.
However, remember Mrs Romance and also our travelling companion Ben (man of Smaggle) are gluten intolerant? With hangdog expressions, they slid their plates towards myself and Carly, knowing they would never know the deliciousness of what had been served.
It was then that the waiter appeared again, asking if they were allergic to shellfish or gluten.
The change in their expressions when the waiter came back with two portions of gluten free alternative of smoked salmon was priceless!
They even provided some gluten free bread, which was excellent as it meant Carly and me could enjoy the amazing sourdough without feeling guilty.
From then on, we all ate like kings:
- Chilli caramel crispy skinned pork belly, son-in-law egg, Thai basil and peanut (Slow cooked for 14hrs at 72 degrees)
- Gaulston Heights pan-fried quail, kale, shimeji mushroom, tamarind and honey glaze
- Crispy soft-shell crab and pan-fried Tasmanian scallops with som tam salad
- Char-grilled Hunter Valley Angus tenderloin, onion jam, Parklands baby vegetables and red wine glaze
- Cashew nut crumbed grass-fed Riverina lamb racks with parsnip Skordalia, Swiss chard, pencil leek and lemon thyme jus
- Pan-fried New Zealand john dory fillet, Thai sour curry broth with fresh Parklands vegetables finished with kaffir lime leaves
- Selection of ice cream and sorbet with a delicate sugar net
- Pedro Ximenez prune and pecan brownie with toffee pears and mascarpone ice-cream
As you can imagine, the food here tastes just as incredible as it looks.
Echoes has a set price of either a 2-course dinner for $85.00 or 3 courses for $115.00 – a slightly odd way of doing things, but it ensures you have the full experience of dining here. And who can argue with that?
Our recommendation would be to book an early dinner in the summer or have lunch and dinner here in the winter, as the view after dark disappears with the sun.
Alternatively, have dinner when you want and come back in the daylight to take photos. Which is what we did.
And if it’s the best views of the Blue Mountains you’re after, check out our top 7 ways to see the Blue Mountains.
Echoes Hotel and Restaurant
Open: 7 days a week – Breakfast: 8am-10am, Lunch: 12pm-2.30pm, Dinner: 6pm-10pm.
Good for: very romantic fine dining dinner, amazing double date venue!
3 Lilianfels Avenue
For a place to stay in the Blue Mountains, Echoes is one option. However, we’d be more inclined to recommend Parklands Country Garden and Lodges for a real get-away-from-it-all stay. Here’s our review of Parklands.
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Where would you go for a great meal in the mountains? What springs to your mind when you think of mountain food? Tell us in the comments!