Simon Evans was previously the chef / owners of Caveau restaurant in Wollongong, a stalward of the Wollongong dining scene since 2005, winning a chef hat in every year it was open. After working in the restaurant for several years, Simon bought the restaurant in 2017 and lead it to a more local and native ingredient focused menu, and relaxed service style, maintaining the coveted hat and increasing its score in the subsequent years. Strong relationships with the suppliers and growers and a passion and understanding of native ingredients allowed Simon to create modern dishes using ancient ingredients and techniques with ingredients such as magpiegoose, emu, crocodile and green ants appearing on his menus.
Simon and business partner Thomas Chiumento, currently own Night Parrot Bar & Kitchen in the heart of Wollongong, a relaxed wine focused bar serving Asian inspired cuisine.
Simon is originally from Wales and worked at the 2009 restaurant of the year Y Polyn, an award winning ‘gastropub’ serving classic dishes based on the best produce available and classic techniques. Before moving to Australia in 2012 he gained experience at multiple Michelin starred restaurants across the UK. Simon is also a sommelier, running the lists and wine programs at Caveau and Night parrot (winning 2 glasses for his list at Caveau in the wine list of the year awards). Simon has a passion for native Australian ingredients, Australian wine and creating imaginative dishes utilising solid technique combined with respecting the amazing produce we have available to us here on the south coast.
The Bangalay menu Simon has written aims to highlight the amazing produce we have in the local area, complimented with wild foraged ingredients from the local beaches and a use of native ingredients that is not merely tokenistic, but used to accentuate the dishes.
“We want the menu to be accessible, versatile and informal, we’re not looking at 3 hour tasting menus or small intricately plated dishes, we want generosity. Although words like ‘seasonal’, ‘local’ and ‘sustainable’ have become buzz words we actually practice what we preach, which will be seen in our menus. We want the Bangalay dining menu to be able to provide food options for all times of day and all needs, cheese, charcuterie and a glass of wine at lunch, a casual dinner, a whole feast menu and everything in between. With a venue so beautiful and in such an amazing location, we believe the food, beverages and service should be able to match the surroundings we are in, we want to make this the dining destination on the south coast!”