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“Spectacular setting, good food, patchy service”

Glasshouse Restaurant Goonoo Goonoo Station
Ranked #2 of 141 Restaurants in Tamworth
Description: Goonoo Goonoo Station, a property in the Tamworth region built in 1831, has recently opened as a worthwhile luxury destination. Combining the history of the station with modern design, owners Simon & Sarah Haggarty have transformed the property into a spectacular retreat. At Glasshouse Restaurant you will find a buzzing atmosphere thriving on a team of friendly, inviting and professional staff, an exciting modern menu based on a shared dining experience and a wine list carefully hand-picked by "The Wine Man" aka Peter Bourne, all in a building beautiful in its contemporary aesthetics. On entering the restaurant, contemporary design merges with the warmth of hardwood timbers, polished concrete floor and brass detailing throughout. The restaurant holds table seating for approximately 90 patrons, plus alfresco dining seats, as well as lounge seating on the open-air terrace. A separate space, with views of the kitchen at work, hosts The Chef’s Table, spanning the length of the room and catering for larger groups in a private setting. The adjoining event space in the beautifully restored old woolstore is something to behold. Original barn doors, great solid beams and poles, the stencilling on the walls all enhance the old country feel. With a menu focussed on regional produce and share plates, Head Chef Damion Moyses can be seen working through the open-style kitchen, adding to the culinary experience. The fare can be described as modern, hearty, country Australian. Glasshouse at Goonoo Goonoo Station is open Wednesday & Thursday for dinner; Friday for lunch and dinner; Saturday & Sunday, breakfast, lunch and afternoon drinks. Bookings online through Open Table.
Restaurant details
Description: Goonoo Goonoo Station, a property in the Tamworth region built in 1831, has recently opened as a worthwhile luxury destination. Combining the history of the station with modern design, owners Simon & Sarah Haggarty have transformed the property into a spectacular retreat. At Glasshouse Restaurant you will find a buzzing atmosphere thriving on a team of friendly, inviting and professional staff, an exciting modern menu based on a shared dining experience and a wine list carefully hand-picked by "The Wine Man" aka Peter Bourne, all in a building beautiful in its contemporary aesthetics. On entering the restaurant, contemporary design merges with the warmth of hardwood timbers, polished concrete floor and brass detailing throughout. The restaurant holds table seating for approximately 90 patrons, plus alfresco dining seats, as well as lounge seating on the open-air terrace. A separate space, with views of the kitchen at work, hosts The Chef’s Table, spanning the length of the room and catering for larger groups in a private setting. The adjoining event space in the beautifully restored old woolstore is something to behold. Original barn doors, great solid beams and poles, the stencilling on the walls all enhance the old country feel. With a menu focussed on regional produce and share plates, Head Chef Damion Moyses can be seen working through the open-style kitchen, adding to the culinary experience. The fare can be described as modern, hearty, country Australian. Glasshouse at Goonoo Goonoo Station is open Wednesday & Thursday for dinner; Friday for lunch and dinner; Saturday & Sunday, breakfast, lunch and afternoon drinks. Bookings online through Open Table.
Reviewed 23 December 2019

(3.5 stars)
Driving into Goonoo Goonoo Station at sunset is spectacular. With long-term drought kicking up dust on the Liverpool Plains, the hazy view out to the dusky purple mountains near Currabubula is well worth stopping to admire. The red and orange light is reflected on the buildings arranged along the ridge line. It’s an odd collection of low-lying architecture with a purpose-built restaurant sandwiched between the 188-year old former sheep station’s c.1950 shearing shed and the c.1870 wool store.

With the beauty that lies within masked by a wall of repurposed wood with square peepholes, it looks almost like a compound in the style of Waco, where the religious sect Branch Davidians were killed in a famous siege. Walking through the heavy wooden door is nothing short of breathtaking, instantly dispelling comparisons of cult and siege. The state-of-the-art Glasshouse Restaurant is the work of TKD Architects; and it’s hard to imagine anything that could sit more perfectly between the two original structures.

While your eyes are immediately drawn to the expansive view over picturesque hills, you eventually come back to take in the interior details. Comfortable retro-styled tan leather lounges are arranged around a commanding stone fireplace. Polished aggregate floors feel nicely monumental, gently illuminated by soft yellow under-bar lighting that does its level best to ensure it doesn’t interfere with the amazing view.

The boxy modernist aesthetic continues into the grey and gold-edged kitchen, which services both the restaurant and its attached function spaces. It’s by dining with a larger group that you get to fully appreciate the joining of old and new, by being seated in the former wool store, where you’ll find weathered barn doors preserved in glass, and transparent floor panels showing off the building’s original foundations. Even the long corridors that take you through to the amenities have been designed to give you a keyhole perspective into the amazing view.

We’re so distracted we don’t register how long we’ve been left without menus, until we’re suddenly starving. Flagging down a waiter in the half-empty restaurant is hard, and the patchy service continues throughout the evening. With the still working station having severed its ties to the sheep industry to focus upon cattle, we opt for the well-named and enjoyable-drinking Heifer Station Chardonnay ($60), which sits at just over midway on the reasonably priced list. We design a one-course family-style sharing feast from the menu, which also includes the option of entrees and mains.

The waiter upsells us into some Smoky Lotus Chips ($10) to tide us over while we wait… and we wait a very long time, even for the pre-prepared chips that I see sitting in a big tray in the kitchen when I take a trip to the bathroom. We fill in our hour plus without food or attention with a walk around the kitchen garden, taking in what the building looks like from the outside, and how it integrates with the curved ramp of the former shearing shed.

After a bit of prompting, we get our chips over an hour after agreeing to them, with the rest of the meal hot on their heels. Accompanied by native peppermint infused balsamic, the crisp-skinned Slow Cooked Saltbush Lamb Shoulder ($85) is tasty and easy to pull from the bone. We team it with a Certified Angus Rib Eye ($79) that’s served rare as requested, well-rested and sliced from the bone into fingers of juicy meat for ease of sharing. It’s glistening with black garlic butter, the richness cut by harissa. In terms of sides, the Roast Potatoes ($10) scrub up best, against garlic cut by peas and creamy feta. Big fat Blackened Carrots ($10) are given a macadamia cream and pesto treatment, while Broccoli ($10) eats a bit plain against more Persian fetta, toasted almonds and not quite enough olive oil.

It’s late and we’re ravenous by now so gobble it, and also manage to fit in two desserts shared among our party of four. Covered in torched peaks of sticky Italian meringue, the Salted Caramel Bombe Alaska ($16) is bested by the honeycomb dust that sits next to it. To my palate, the Crème Brulee ($16) with mandarin gel, yuzu sorbet, lemon myrtle and finger lime is the better option, with sweetness and tartness balanced in (almost) equal measure. By the end of the meal we switch servers and get a heartfelt apology (and decent discount) for the unacceptably long wait.

Would I dine at Glasshouse Restaurant again? Probably, but just because it’s an architecture lover’s dream, and I’m keen to check out the top-notch accommodation arranged agrarian village style in the former shearers’ quarters just down the hill. Watching dawn break over the rolling hills is likely to be equally as spectacular as sunset.

Date of visit: December 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jackie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 - 48 of 213 reviews

Reviewed 21 December 2019 via mobile

I was excited to finally experience fine dining at this restaurant, however, after actually experiencing it, it fell far short of excellence. Upon arrival and when we were seated, we were told that there were items on the menu that weren’t available, one of which were the oysters. The meals lacked fine dining presentation, the price was not reflected in presentation. My husband and one of our employees order a main meal and the waitress said ‘this particular main is quite a small serving, i would recommend you order a side to go with your meal so you are not hungry at the end of the evening’ what an odd thing to say. If the meal isn’t enough for a main perhaps the head chef should consider changing the menu item to reflect a more substantial serving. Not only that, the side that he ordered was a potato salad which lacked flavour.
I ordered a black Angus scotch fillet, I have dined at many restaurants as I am an executive in the hospitality industry. I have never been served a scotch fillet sliced lengthwise that was super thin in my life. A good piece of meat should bot be cut before it is served to the table.
We also ordered a bottled of Moscato, being fine dining I would expect our glasses to be refilled as they got low, however this did not happen, I had to ask for the bottle of wine to be handed to me so I could fill it up myself. I felt the table service was lacking, but when it came to upselling beers to the male counterparts on a table, they were there asking if they would like another before their glass was empty.
I love dessert, I ordered the espresso mousse, the garnish was hard and inedible and the popcorn stale, it was extremely disappointing.
The venue may be lovely but the food did not match the quality expected. It was highly overprice for the quality of the food. This restaurant has a lot to learn about quality service, fine dining food and value for money. I would not recommend the drive to this restaurant. You will get a better meal at a pub.

Date of visit: December 2019
1  Thank 407kirsty79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2019 via mobile

Food not quite up to the hefty price tag. Location and restaurant is stunning though. Service was good, if a little slow.

Date of visit: November 2019
2  Thank CAZCAZ82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2019

Though the taste of the food was good , my main meal was merely entree size , it was a small piece of chicken with spots of puréed veges, the creme brûlée was very small too, I came away paying $60 still hungry

Date of visit: November 2019
2  Thank juliet D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2019

This was by far the worst dining experience I have ever had. I am so glad my son who is a chef did not drive all the way from Coffs Harbour to attend, as I would have been so embarrassed. We had a party of about 25. We were seated in a nice room but with total view of the kitchen. The meals were brought to the table and it was a help yourself set menu. The meal was $65 a head and we had to serve ourselves. The main meal consisted of legs of uncarved lamb placed on the table for everyone to just carve themselves and big chunks of unappetising chicken to also help yourself. No gravy, very dry meal and chewy over cooked meat. Basically a very poor effort of a baked dinner which would have been better presented and served at a local pub. I was very disappointed and to top it off my son who has Bi polar and had an episode that morning did not attend but I was still charged $65 for him.
Extremely poor form and I was saddened for my 80 year old father because we wanted it to be special for him.

Date of visit: November 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank VickiBroula733
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah H, Owner at Glasshouse Restaurant Goonoo Goonoo Station, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2019

Hi Vicki,

The tasting menu you are referring to has been offered since we opened 3 years ago, and is a fantastic share based option that allows large groups to dine with ease, and share the enjoyment of the dishes.
Had your group organizer decided this was not suitable, he/she could of pre-ordered entree and main meals. At the time of enquiry, and again throughout the booking process, your event organiser was informed of the shared style dining on our tasting menu by our dedicated reception team.

The event organiser also selected our Chefs Table as the preferred location for this celebration. The Chefs Table is a private area, with the added bonus of being able to watch our chefs in action as you dine. The area is separated with a huge glass wall and brass sheeting. This is a highly sort after location in our restaurant and is often booked out for months in advance.

The lamb dish is a Milly Hill lamb shoulder sourced locally from Armidale, which is seasoned with herbs and slow cooked in its own juices for 12 hours. This dish is served with a minted balsamic reduction (as opposed to gravy). This Lamb is also used by some of Sydney’s top restaurants. In the 3 years since we introduced this dish, we have never had a complaint of it being dry. The lamb falls off the bone and is plated by using the tongs provided.

Likewise, the chicken dish you have referenced is locally sourced whole chicken, brined overnight and finished in the oven fresh to order. This dish is seasoned with Peruvian spices, and quartered to enable easy serving to each guest.

I am also disappointed to receive this feedback as I have spoken with my Restaurant Manager and the wait staff who served your table and am advised that not only were the left overs packaged up to be taken and enjoyed later, but that your group provided positive feedback on the day.

In regards to being charged for a guest who did not attend, although we have a 24-hour cancellation policy, your table was in fact only charged for the number of people who attended.

Whilst I am disappointed you did not enjoy your experience dining with us, I am not sure how we may have been able to meet your expectations given the explanations provided above.

Kind regards,

Sarah Haggarty
Owner

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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