Cadeau Bar & Restaurant is the newest and cutest little bistro in Brunswick Heads. Serving a delicious European inspired menu using local ingredients, it’s the perfect gift (cadeau translates to ‘gift’ in French … Mr GFAF and I did study French together for 3 1/2 years!) to Bruns after the sudden and sad departure of the restaurant’s previous tenant and locals’ favourite Kingswood.
The owners are Chef Giorgio Ravelli and front of house Holly Ottignon. They hit the ground running when they opened the doors at Cadeau just over three months ago at the height of ‘the season’ and were met with open arms and hungry regulars. The dining space hasn’t altered much since its Kingswood reformation – although the palm mural has been replaced with a divine peacock blue wall. The atmosphere is still relaxed but you can definitely sense Giorgio and Holly’s fine dining experience in both the service and the menu.
The offering at Cadeau Bar & Restaurant ranges from small tapas style plates to larger mains. It’s honestly hard to make a decision, so if dining in the company of foodies, I would recommend the Banquet menu of a wide selection of plates for the whole table to share. Our first visit to Cadeau was as a food loving foursome and the banquet was the perfect way to try lots of dishes across the menu, including some that we probably would not have considered, but that we would certainly go back for now.
The procession of dishes we enjoyed included (there were a few more than I have written about) Chickpea Panisse and spiced tomato relish. The panisse, which I have never eaten before, look like chips made with chickpea flour, water and butter that are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. They originate from southern France and are great with an aperitif. These arrived with a plate of Cheese Malakoff, which are Swiss fondue fritters filled with Gruyere, and served alongside mustard, pickles and cornichons. What a start!
There was a lovely off the menu surprise of Pork scratchings which did not last long!
Next, we enjoyed Pork and Prune terrine and bronnie chutney. We requested that this be included in the Banquet menu as we are all partial to a terrine and we weren’t disappointed. The country style terrine was lovely and chunky with soft rich prunes through the centre served with chutney and sliced sourdough
The Snapper Brandade (an emulsion of salt cod, olive oil, and potatoes) with salted lemon and dill made a delicious spread for sourdough. This arrived with the Mozarella, smoked pickled capsicum and basil which was definitely one of our favourite dishes of the night. The sweet and sour pickled capsicum acted like a chunky sauce coating the torn mozzarella.
The Chicken breast, sorrel, sweet corn and aioli was a lovely main – unfortunately the sun had set and the light was too poor to take a delicious photo for you.
For dessert we shared a lusciously layered traditional Opera cake and chantilly cream that had the chocolate lovers swooning as well as a Chilled rice pudding with blueberries and macadamia which was actually a lovely light way to end the summer meal.
Our most recent visit to Cadeau Bar & Restaurant was for their new Sunday Roast menu a few weeks ago. We opted for a lunchtime visit but the roast continues through to dinner service on Sundays as well. Oh, and if you’re not in the mood for a roast, you can still order from the regular menu.
Mr GFAF chose the Sunday Roast of the day which was Angus rump cap with Yorkies (Yorkshire pudding), roast potatoes and horseradish cream. For contrast I went with the Mushroom tart, potato cake and burnt onion purée.
The ‘rosbif’ was perfectly pink and oh so tender. Served with a Yorkie and light gravy, crunchy roast potato and roast carrot it satisfied Mr GFAF entirely. But then he tasted my Mushroom Tart and couldn’t choose a favourite. The tart was a gentle pile of mushrooms in a creamy sauce served like a vol au vent with Cadeau’s famed layered potato cake, roast carrot and a lovely flavour filled onion purée. It was hearty and warming and we didn’t leave any behind!
Full and happy we had no plans for dessert but after a lovely chat with Holly about their first three months in Bruns we were able to be coerced into a shared dessert arrangement.
I love a frangipane tart and Cadeau’s blueberry and pecan version with crème fraiche on the side didn’t disappoint. It was moist and not too sweet. Not surprisingly, Mr GFAF went for the Soft chocolate, boozy prunes and coffee crumbs. This dessert is not for the faint hearted and two or more spoons for sharing is a good idea! The prunes were rich and indeed boozy, the soft chocolate was a decadent quenelle of rich chocolate mousse with coffee crumb for added texture. I’m pretty sure there was a salted caramel sauce in there too.
The cocktail and wine list at Cadeau Bar & Restaurant is right up our alley with a focus on natural wines and a few European styles we have never tried. Rest assured we will be back to give them a go.
A big welcome to Giorgio and Holly and ‘Chapeau’ to them on the opening of Cadeau Bear & Restaurant. There are plans to extend their trading hours with additional lunches and event nights so make sure you follow their socials and newsletter for updates
Cadeau Bar & Restaurant
is open Wednesday – Sunday 5pm – 10pm
and Sunday lunch 12pm – 4pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Subscribe to the Cadeau newsletter here
Follow Cadeau on Instagram here
Follow Cadeau on Facebook here