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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bites: Picturesque Vineyard Dining @ Millbrook Winery, Jarrahdale.

WA is filled with quality vineyards but little did I know that hidden amongst the plains South East of Perth is a boutique winery called Millbrook Winery.  If the wineries in Swan Valley have become a weekend norm, then a trip to Millbrook Winery might just do the trick!  Only problem? It located in Jarrahdale which is a lot further if you live near the city. So was the 1 hour drive worth it?
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The drive to Jarrahdale was a little far but the views were pleasant once I got off the freeway.  Just mile and miles of pleasant greenery and rolls of hay!

The vineyard?  Even better.  The vineyard was simply spectacular with its restaurant positioned by the lake surrounded by the rolling hills!  But enough about how nice this place was, time to get on to the food!  That afternoon we had the set menu as we had a large group of 10.   For $79, it was quite a lot that we got. 
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To get us started, we were served some crusty bread, and liver pate.
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Bread felt really ordinary, but honest and humbly good.  Not spectacular but still pleasant to taste.

The luxury of having Pate is not something that site serves.  While my friends were apprehensive about the richness of the dish, I enjoyed every bit of it.  Smeared on the little crostini and topped with the perfectly caramelised onions, it was heaven on taste! Delicious!!
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Following that, we were served a trio of appetisers to share:
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They were pretty decent! We had the fish wrapped in grape leaf, chickpea hash and duck rillettes! 
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Over all, the appetisers were nice! But I struggled with the fish a little as it was a little fishy for my liking.  On the other hand, the rillettes were pretty yums but I found it a waste of the duck flesh because they were not moist and juicy but a little dry! So, the surprising favourite on the table that day was the chickpea hash!  One friend even commented jokingly that it was like “Vegetarian luncheon meat!”.  True enough I reckon.  Put some of the cheese on top and oh my! Yummy!

We could choose our mains and enough said we ordered pretty much everything on the menu!  This was Jim's Fish of the day from Exmouth with smashed peas.
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Sauerkraut, pork, apple, rejected potatoes.  
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A cheesy Risotto!
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Lamb chop with white anchovies and bean salad.
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Honestly?  I did not get to taste everything.  In fact, I was so busy talking that afternoon that I did not even get a photo of my dish haha.  In saying that, the general feel about the dishes that afternoon ranged anywhere from average to good.  Mine was the Vegan Gnocchi (not pictured) and it was decent.  But I reckon Mason & Bird does it better :P.  I tried some of the pork and hey it was pretty good!  A very simple and humble dish that was not extravagant but simple and enjoyable. With tender pork, crispy crackling and perfectly cooked potatoes what more could you ask for right?

Moving on to the desserts, we had a choice of three dessert of which two I had pictures for:

The nut strudel with white chocolate & ginger ice cream:
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This was surprisingly good! I found the strudel a little sweet on its own but when paired with the ginger ice cream, there was a surprising chemistry between the nutty strudel, lightly pungent ginger and the cool ice cream!

Mascarpone parfait, berries, crostoli.
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Berries and ice cream.  What could go wrong right?  Generally, the chances of going wrong is pretty rare so it was safe to say that I was not disappointed in anyway.  My complements was how the Mascarpone had this slight cheesiness but it did not overpower the purpose of the dish as a dessert.  Instead, it was this lingering cheesiness that balances nicely with the acidity of the berries and sugar content on the plate.  But could it have been better? I reckon it could.  First things first, serving temperature.  Something as delicate as the mascarpone parfait could have been served a little more elegantly at a better temperature where it was on the brink of melting rather than frozen cold.   Who do I reckon did it better?  Well, Relae of Copenhagen!  Maybe its time for me to get bags packed and start travelling hey?!

Millbrook Vineyard played host to an enjoyable afternoon with some good friends.  The could not be a cooler spot to have lunch than Millbrook Vineyard.  The vineyards food is over all, above average compared tot he usual fare. But if you come here looking for molecular degustation, this might not be the right place.  Instead, look for good, humble, and honest cooking with wines and views to match.  Would I do another 1 hour drive?  Perhaps I would!

Millbrook Winery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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