Enjoy character by the plateful at 98 Chairs.
There is no point travelling somewhere to sit down to a meal where the ingredients have been sourced from just anywhere. Eating, drinking, shopping and enjoying the local artistic products of a place are the best way to truly get a taste for it, and to truly support the community who calls it home. That is why the existence of a restaurant like 98 Chairs in Goulburn is such a boon for travellers and locals alike.
98 Chairs is the brainchild of Deb and Steve, who grow much of the food used in the restaurant at their local farm, and who look after the front of house and the kitchen respectively. Their objective is simple, “good food prepared with care, served in a comfortable relaxed environment.”
The restaurant is situated at the quieter end of Goulburn’s main drag, and the locally-sourced philosophy of their menu has also been applied to the fitout of the restaurant. When the wooden sleepers from the local railway line were replaced with concrete, Deb and Steve saved the best of them for the floor. The counters, bay windows, stairs, deck and more were made out of timber sourced from the Rossi Bridge when it was renovated, this bridge was built in 1899 to connect Goulburn to towns in the west. It seems there is a story for almost every material used here.
These materials that have been sourced so creatively are combined in an exceedingly harmonious way. Each different colour of wood has been finished in a unique varnish, with the perfection of the glossy floor and matte tables contrasting beautifully with the raw upright beams. The walls are blank canvases in a neutral colour that have been adorned with art made by local artists, which is available for purchase. This art changes every 12 weeks, along with the menu.
There are separate menus for dinner and lunch - tapas-style share plates are available only in the evening, and burgers and wraps are offered only at lunch time. The choice of mains does not vary greatly between dinner and lunch, there is something here to suit all tastes but vegetarians do not get a great range to choose from. Cheese plates and desserts are available all day. For $13 the cocktails available in the evening are good value. In fact, for the quality of food on offer the prices are extremely reasonable, the average starter costs about $16 and the mains somewhere in between $26 and $30.
The food itself is skillfully prepared, presented, and simply delicious. It can also be enjoyed in the happy knowledge that it has done only good all the way from the farm to your belly.
98 Chairs is located at 98 Auburn St, Goulburn, NSW. Call (02) 4821 9800 for more information.