Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
My partner had never been to the snow before, so we decided to spend a 3-day weekend up in the Snowy Mountains last week. On our way home, three ski sessions and several bruises later, we were scouting for a good lunch place and came across Miss Heidi’s Austrian tea house. The reviews sounded good, so we turned off the Snowy Mountain highway and snaked our way up the Gladstone mountain to Miss Heidi’s Austrian Tea House.
The Tea House is a cosy log cabin with a fire roaring in one corner, and hand carved wooden chairs. A blackboard has the day’s specials on it, and the walls are covered with giant paintings of mountain landscapes, except for one rather out of place photo of some pop star in a subway car (and no, I’m not cool enough to know who the pop star is). The whole effect combined to make me feel like the cabin had been picked up from a snow-covered Austrian mountainside and dropped into the middle of Southwest New South Wales. Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Austria anymore…
Lunch starts with an unexpected but wholly welcomed free appetizer, with thinly-sliced bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip and some vegetable sticks. We soon learn that this is characteristic of the owner – a friendly guy who comes out to make sure his guests are being well-taken care of, and who offers to let us taste some alcohol-free beer from Germany. He even takes a seat at our table to have a chat, sharing tips for making the best sauerkraut.
Our main is – what else – sausages. These were served with hand cut roast potatoes, and a delicious, slightly sweet sauerkraut, which was the star of the dish for me. The sausages went perfectly with the topping of fried onions and apple slices.
For dessert, we had the pan-fried pancakes. When we first arrived, we overheard a table that was just leaving say that they had driven all the way from Canberra for these pancakes. With that kind of recommendation, who could resist? These pancakes were different from any other I’ve had before. They are pan-fried in a mixture of sunflower oil and margarine and were crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The margarine gave them a hint of saltiness that went perfectly with the maple syrup. With both whipped cream and ice cream on the plate, this dessert was true decadence.
The meal came up to just over $50 for the two plates and a pot of plunger coffee. You’re definitely paying tourist prices when you come here, but with food this good, who can resist.
After lunch, we drove another couple of minutes up the hill to the lookout point at the top. We were rewarded by these gorgeous views – definitely a good end to a great weekend.
Miss Heidi’s Austrian Tea House
148 Mount Gladstone Road
Cooma, NSW 2630
Open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday
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