Words by Richard Cornish Images supplied
There is a brand new wine bar on the Murray, serving perhaps the best porchetta in Australia. Ivy Joyce is a beautiful little casual eatery in the Murray River town of Barham. It is the brainchild of Lauren Mathers of Bundarra Berkshires and Cynthia Burbury, well known Murray Valley caterer.
Ivy and Joyce were the Christian names of Mathers’ and Burbury’s grandmothers. “We remember our grandmothers fondly through food,” says Lauren. “They were women who cooked dishes like haricot lamb chops, perfect Sunday roasts with Yorkshire pudding and homegrown apple and rhubarb pies,” she says.
Burbury adds, “We keep things simple and delicious, offering small plates to graze and a set weekend menu to show off one or two dishes featuring local produce,” she says adding, “plus the food we love from elsewhere.”
Set in a 100-year-old former hardware store with painted floorboards, and a bare brick wall featuring hundreds of different Australian spirits, Ivy Joyce opened over the 2022 Easter weekend.
The menu features beautifully simple dishes; the headline is Bundarra Berkshire porchetta, with crisp golden crackling wrapped around succulent herbed pork loin. Also, expect retro dishes, a nod to the grandmas, such as a tiger prawn cocktail, served in a glass dish with cos lettuce, diced celery, shallots, Cynthia’s seafood sauce finished with Yarra Valley salmon roe.
Look out for Spanish touches like chorizo croquettes and sardines. Open lunch and dinner come for a big feed of roast chook with burnt sage butter with a glass of pinot or a bowl of pork crackling and a craft beer.
To get to Barham, go to Echuca, turn left, and head downstream 100km along the Murray until you get to Koondrook. Drive over the historic Barham Koondrook Bridge, one of the oldest lift span bridges on the Murray River.
WHAT: Tasty new food and wine bar Ivy Joyce
WHERE: 33a Noorong St, Barham, NSW
WHEN: Fri-Sun 11am-late
MORE INFO: Ivy Joyce