Be my guest - No cookies but great meal at Dish, Byron Bay

I'm always tempted by a Byron Bay Cookies when I have my regular coffee fix.  They seem to have a knack of hitting the spot and are consistent in their flavour and texture - basically you know what you are getting where ever you might be!

Here's another in E,d+bK's Thursday 'Be my guest' series, this time with Gordon Slater,Chairman of the Byron Bay Cookie Company. There wasn't a cookie in sight but Gordon still remembers a relaxed meal at Dish at Byron Bay after a long day's work.

Byron Bay cookies originally were baked on an old farmhouse stove in the hills of Byron Bay, a region famous for its fresh ingredients and unique flavours. Hundreds of thousands of cookies are now baked weekly and supplied to cafes and gourmet food stores across Australia as well as David Jones, Qantas, Virgin Blue and Rex Airlines nationally. International stores include Harvey Nichols and Selfridges in the UK as well as department stores in Asia, Japan, Middle East and North America.
Here's Gordon's most memorable meal…

There’s something incredibly unique about Byron Bay. I could go on for days and days about its aura and lifestyle. Byron is a place where everyone appears to be on holidays all the time. And one of the few places outside the major cities where you can get a fantastic meal and amazing coffee, both of which are up there on my checklist.

The best meal I’ve ever had in Byron Bay was at Dish Restaurant on Jonson Street, which definitely captures the spirit of the beachside town.

Dish actually wraps around an existing tree trunk, so it has a really natural feel about it. The restaurant has exposed timber beams and rafters, dark brown polished concrete floors and leafy green plants and climbing ivy which make it seem like you’re dining outdoors. It's almost like being in a luxurious tree-house for grown-ups! The sound of the beach nearby adds to the earthy feeling.

That day had been intense with board meetings and business, and we all needed a place where we could let loose. The night was still warm when we headed into Dish at about 8pm. There were five of us and, as with most great nights, we started out with good bubbly from the bar to help us relax and get comfortable.

We chatted about anything and everything, except work. We saw each other as real people beyond the constraints of the boardroom. It felt like we were a group of old friends catching up after years apart. Then came the real delight, the food.

My entrée of spiced Hiramasa kingfish with poached prawn, gazpacho vinaigrette and tomato sorbet was tantalising. The explosion of different flavours married together so well. It was certainly a sign of amazing things to come.

For the main I ordered the Wagyu beef steak with truffle mash. The Wagyu was beautifully marbled and cooked to perfection, while the truffle mash was the thickest and creamiest I’ve ever come across. Together they created an exquisite combination and one of the most memorable tastes I’ve encountered.

For dessert, the champagne semi-fredo with strawberry jelly, strawberry puree and strawberry salad topped it all off. It was fresh and cleansing, beautifully complementing my bottomless champagne flute.

The natural atmosphere definitely helped our group unwind. So much so, that our chatting and laughter rolled on into the early hours of the morning without us even realising.

That night has stuck in my memory and will remain there fondly for years. Nowhere says candour, nature and freshness quite like Byron Bay.

(Photo) View from the balcony of Gordon's house overlooking Clarks Beach, the most beautiful beach in the world.

Dish Restaurant & Marvell Bar
Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW
(02) 6685 7320