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Looking for a fine dining restaurant outside of the Wollongong CBD?

Table 426 opened its’ doors to the community in 2016, offering a fine dining and bar experience outside of the hustle and bustle of the Wollongong CBD. Their vision was to create exceptional quality food while maintaining affordability for their patrons. The result is a friendly and sophisticated venue, suitable for a quiet couples dinner or a larger celebration that has a loyal local following in Corrimal and surrounding suburbs. The restaurant offers an elegant a la carte menu of modern Australian cuisine, with a flair for seafood and Spanish flavours. There is also a seasonal set menu, which allows for an exceptional quality 2 or 3 course meal at an extremely affordable price. A massive draw card for Table 426 is their location. A safe and friendly neighbourhood, just metres from the local police station and with ample off street parking, it’s easily accessible for those who don’t want to have to walk 600m to their car…something that has become increasingly difficult to achieve in the Wollongong CBD!

Table 426 offers the versatility of separating the restaurant in to two separate areas for private functions and regularly hosts special events including high tea, fundraising dinners and their extremely popular Spanish themed nights, offering an affordable and authentic Spanish set menu and entertainment with flamenco dancers.

Owners and head chefs Marisa Tatangelo-Ferri and Nataly Sanchez share more than just their business venture. The mother/daughter team work side by side sharing the responsibilities and long hours involved in running the restaurant. Their relationship has created a unique family dynamic within the restaurant – the inevitable conflict and frustrations that are shared by most mothers and daughters encased with an overwhelming admiration and mutual respect for what the other has achieved. It is actually a three generation affair, with Marisa’s mother, Margherita, regularly working in the kitchen with the women. It is Margherita’s skills as a beautiful cook that first inspired Marisa, and then Nataly to move in to the industry.

Marisa, a chef for over 35 years, has worked both overseas and in Australia and somewhat of a pioneer as she was the first ever female head chef in Gibraltar, when she worked there in the nineties. In the Illawarra, Marisa has worked at Lagoon, then Imagine restaurant, before embarking upon Table 426 with Nataly. Nataly has clocked up 15 years experience in the industry herself, including her training in London working with Jamie Oliver, so between them there is a wealth of experience and knowledge.

The combination obviously works, with the restaurant being awarded a chefs hat in the AGFG within their first year of opening. Within the same 12 months, Table 426 also qualified as a finalist in the Illawarra Local Business Awards and Nataly received a Highly Commended as the IWIB Young Business Woman of the Year for 2017.

I dropped in on Nataly to chat about all things food…

What are your most popular dishes – the ones you just can’t take off the menu for fear of mutiny?

“Paella. We always have it available, but we also run special Spanish themed nights from time to time, where we have flamenco dancers and a full Spanish set menu. Crème brulee…We sometimes change it up and do a different variation of our crème brulee, but to be honest, I think the original recipe is the favourite. Oh, and our scallops.”

If you could encourage people to try something off the menu, what would you suggest?

“I’d get them to try the dessert menu more.”

You seem pretty passionate about how you go about selecting your wine list. What can you tell me about the wine you have on offer?

“We try to use small, boutique wine producers, something a little different. I want people to come here and get something that they can’t get down at Dan Murphy’s. We only have Australian and a few NZ wines and we’ve had a couple of special events here at the restaurant where we’ve featured some of the wine makers and their produce, matching food to their wine, including Petersons from the Hunter and Jim Barry from McLaren Vale.

 

We love Lou Miranda Estate (Barossa). We serve their fortified wine along with three others. They are a third generation family of wine makers and we serve their fortified wine from a little barrel (aged 5 years) or bottle (aged 10 years). We went there to the winery for lunch – it was absolutely beautiful there.”

Do you use Illawarra based suppliers?

“We do try to support our local wholesalers. We use Passion in Fruit for our fruit and vegetables, Hasties Meat, Kondakis Seafood. We’ve just started getting our honey from Pure Buzz Honey, and I’m pretty excited about that.”

What’s your favourite family dinner when you’re cooking at home?

“(Laughs) My partner makes really good Mexican – it’s the best! I actually really don’t like cooking at home…I just like to head out to Hello Harrys, ha. You know what? It’s not even the cooking, it’s the cleaning!”

What about your go to dining venue when you’re heading out?

“My all time favourite is Billy Kwongs. Locally, we enjoy going to Level One, because they have good oysters.”

 

 

If you haven’t tried Table 426 yet, grab a few friends and make a booking. The food is exceptional, the atmosphere is warm and with ample parking, the only thing lacking is the crowds and the noise of the Wollongong CBD. Table 426 has just recently launched its’ new Dumplings & Cocktails Menu, available whenever the bar is open, which I’m guessing was inspired by Nataly’s affection for Billy Kwongs!