If there is one place in NSW that is synonymous with good food and wine, it has to be the Hunter Valley, about two and a half hours north west of Sydney.

Mikey is from a town called Singleton in the Hunter Valley region, which means we travel there a bit to visit his family.

Pokolbin is the epicentre of the Hunter’s vineyard country, and from time to time we stop there to taste some different wines, and purchase the ones we like.

This weekend we visited Café Enzo in Pepper’s Creek Village.  The cellar door for David Hook is attached.

Café Enzo is inside a lovely old sandstone building, complete with open fireplace.

I had the pan fried salmon with goat’s cheese dumpling, cooked rare.  This was one of the nicest pieces of cooked salmon I’ve had in quite some time.  The skin was deliciously crispy, and the meat cooked to perfection.

The dumplings were spectacular!  Filled with goat’s cheese and spinach, they melted in my mouth.

The salad had rocket, capers, Spanish onion and prosciutto.  The prosciutto really made it an outstanding salad.  The capers were not very strong (which I think is good).

For dessert, I had the vanilla bean brûlée, which again was just divine!  It was served with a berry and plum jam, and little biscotti things.

I also had a bite of the panna cotta, which was quite nice and the chocolate and fig bavarois which was also good.

The wine list consisted of several David Hook wines by the glass from the onsite vineyard, among some others.

The food and the restaurant itself were brilliant.  The service wasn’t too bad (a couple of forgotten drink orders aside), but the real letdown were the flies.

Even though we were inside, we were constantly under attack by swarms of flies.  This should be a relatively easy thing for a restaurant of this calibre to sort out, however it was a big distraction and frustration, and moved Café Enzo from four stars to three.

The damage: Not sure, as usual Mikey’s parents refused to let us see the bill or pay!

Nick’s rating: *** (three out of five stars)