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At EXP. our focus is to create a dining EXP.erience that is delicious, entertaining and interactive.

Food is at the heart of EXP. and the menu is driven by the seasons and produce. The team sources local produce as much as possible, with quality always being the key. With these ingredients the kitchen create dishes that are our EXP.ression of Australian cuisine.

The restaurant is located in Pokolbin, the heart of the Hunter Valley. The dining room is chic and intimate with hand crafted local furniture. Guests can sit along the bar and peer directly into the kitchen while interacting with Chef Frank Fawkner and his team. The restaurant garden sits just beyond the confines of the dining room.

EXP. restaurant is infused in Oakvale Winery, a family owned and operated business that is passionate about all facets of winemaking. They strive to produce minimalist handcrafted wines that are unique, distinct and a true reflection of the Hunter Valley region.

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frank fawkner - owner - head chef

Frank began his cooking career at the age of 15 at Mount Broke Wines, a simple cafe in Broke.

He was then a part of the opening team at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley where he worked for 3 years to complete his apprenticeship. With hunger for knowledge and EXP.erience he then moved to London to work for Tom Aikens, climbing to the rank of Sous Chef at "Tom's Kitchen".

Upon returning home to the Hunter, Frank landed a position at renowned Muse Restaurant where he worked alongside owners Troy and Megan Rhoades-Brown, chef and restaurant manager. This was a great platform to develop his career; learning how to run a fine dining restaurant and create his own style of food. Great achievements for Frank was becoming Head Chef in late 2013 and being part of the team when Muse Restaurant reached the coveted "2 Hats" from the SMH Good Food Guide.

2015 marked the beginning of a new EXP.edition for Frank and his wife Emma; the opening of EXP. restaurant. Four years on EXP. keeps evolving with a menu that is driven by the seasons. 

2018 Frank and Emma opened a second venue Fawk Foods Kitchen & Bakery, a casual cafe that has a similar ethos to EXP. If you want to know more visit. www.fawkfoods.com


Harrison Plant - restaurant manager

Sarah Merrett - Assistant Restaurant Manager


The EXP.loration we have set out on could not be achieved without the help from the local community and businesses. EXP. restaurant is here to support the growth of small businesses that strive to make a difference in their selected professions and raise awareness through local networking.  These are the people and businesses we work with closely to make EXP. restaurant whole.

Newcastle Greens I Local grown heirloom produce I  www.newcastlegreens.com

Shanes Seafood I  Seafood  I  

Oakvale Wines  I  Wines, cider and the stunning restaurant  I  www.oakvalewines.com.au

Wyan McAllister and Kyle Roddeny I  Crockery  I  www.claycanoe.com.au

Helen Stronach - Ceramist  I  Crockery  I  www.stronacharchitects.com.au/art

Mark Aylward - Sculptor  I  Restaurant woodwork  I  www.solidwoodfurniture.com.au

Ebony and Usher Tinkler - Tinklers Wines  I  Wines  I  www.tinklers.com.au

Elizabeth Durabin - Pokolbin Purple  I  Local garlic and produce  I  www.pokolbinpurple.com.au

Ross Ciavarella - Sprocket Roasters  I  Local roasted coffee  I  www.sprocketroasters.com.au

Daintree Estates  I  Australian chocolate supplier  I  www.daintreeestates.com/about_us.htm

Bloodwood Botanica  I  Wall sculptures  I  www.bloodwoodbotanica.com

Udder Farm  I  Local milkman  I  Udder Farm Dairy

Australian Pinnacle Meats  I  Wagyu beef supplier  I