Australia / New South Wales

Bar Heather – Charming Byron Bay Restaurant

Bar Heather

Bar Heather – Introduction

We have been following the career of Ollie Wong-Hee for some time now. Ollie cooked at various locations in Hobart and we also experienced food by he and Luke Burgess when they did a pop-up in Arles in southern France some years ago.

Ollie has also cooked at some of our favourite restaurants in Australia, namely Franklin in Hobart (which no longer exists, but which saw incredible talents such as David Moyle and Annaliese Gregory), Ester in Sydney which remains one of our go-to places whenever we visit Sydney and the wonderful Sixpenny in Stanmore which is a great place for an up-market restaurant experience.

Now he is running a very professional kitchen on the edge of Byron Bay where the food is delicious, the service friendly and professional and the wine list enticing.

In fact, we enjoyed our evening at Bar Heather so much that we broke one of our unspoken rules and went back there on our second night in Byron Bay to sample the rest of the dishes on the menu.

You will find Bar Heather in the complex on the corner of Browning Street and Johnson Street where there are a few busy restaurants. It is also on the opposite side of the road the Luna Wine Store where we held a wine tasting during our visit to Byron Bay.

Bar Heather – The Food

Now to the food experience. The menu is comprised of mainly snack sized dishes with a couple of larger dishes. Over the two nights, some of the snacks we enjoyed were oysters served with buttermilk and seaweed, prawn & bug toast with a well-executed marie rose sauce, a snack of pork wrapped in betel leaf and topped with pickles, pork neck, roti and mole, and finally a sensational dish of local pippies with tarragon & tomato vinaigrette (based on a tomato water).

Of the larger snacks we enjoyed the raw scallops sitting on octopus garum flecked with wood ear mushrooms, raw beef served with hash brown and curry mustard and cuttlefish served with okinawa spinach and a fennel seed vinaigrette. These were all delicious and perfectly executed.

For those who prefer more substantial dishes there was also locallky-caught blue eye trevalla (which we also tried) and a large rib eye served with a smoked paprika and tomato dressing (which we didn’t try).

For dessert we shared a burnt honey and cardamom ice cream sandwich which was very clever as were the sorbets of the day.

And now photos of some of the dishes:

Bar Heather – The Wines

The wine list here is also very interesting with natural wines being the main focus, many sourced from Lo-Fi Wines, one of our colleagues in the natural wine importing scene. They have an excellent portfolio which can be experienced at the restaurant along with wines from other importers including us!

On the first night we noticed a beautiful wine from one of our producers with a sad story attached. It was from Dominique Belluard in the Savoie who tragically died during the Covid epidemic and who had been an enthusiastic promoter of the Gringet grape variety. The wine was Eponyme made from 100% Gringet which was in perfect condition – we were delighted to be able to share a taste with the staff so that they could appreciate the grape variety and the winemaking skill.

Bar Heather – Conclusion

Bar Heather is a lovely venue with great food and wine and professional, caring staff. It is well-worth a visit if you are in the Byron Bay area. We are already looking forward to our next visit.

You can see the menu on their web site here.

This venue is also in our story about where to eat outside Sydney here.

Additional information

Name: Bar Heather

Street: G09 / 139 Jonson Lane

Suburb: Byron Bay, 2481

Telephone: 0400 444 944

Opening hours: Tue – Sat 5pm – Late

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