I love food…..
I’m passionate about good honest food and fresh produce and I really enjoy (try) keeping up to date and ‘in the know’ of all the new (and not so new) Perth bars and restaurants while ticking them off my (rather long) list of places to go. I guess you could call it my ‘hobby’.
After a few of our regular ‘date night’ dinners out my lovely boyfriend suggested I write a blog and not only a mere suggestion but a ‘write a blog or no more Tuesday night dinners’. Write a blog you say…So here it is, my ‘blog attempt’, who knows where this venture will take me but I’m willing to give it a go if it means ticking more venues off my list and it definitely allows me to further enjoy my passion for food and wine.
As this discussion of a ‘food blog’ began over a completely mouthwatering lunch at a winery down south for my birthday weekend it only seems logical to start there. I had been wanting to have lunch at Aravina Estate in Yallingup for a while, I had always loved the winery, back to the Amberley days, the beautiful lush grounds and the peaceful setting and when I started hearing fantastic things about the food from head chef Ben Day and his team it was first on my list for my birthday weekend and it certainly did not disappoint.
On arrival we did what any self respecting person would do when lunching at a winery, we tasted the wine of course. One must pick the perfect bottle of wine to have with lunch. After sipping through their extensive wine list we chose a lovely and fresh Sauvignon Blanc Semillon which was perfect for our summery day, sitting out on the verandah looking out over the lake, oh and it went well with the food too.
The Aravina menu is a two ($60 pp.) or three ($70 pp.) course set up full of some of the best produce from the South West. We decided on two courses but to share the entree and the dessert which meant we got to try more dishes, although it did mean agreeing on the entree and dessert but we got there in the end.
To start we had the Jindong pork rillettes with sweet and sour beetroot, apricot, chamomile and quinoa which came out looking pretty as a picture, vibrant and fresh. This dish was very moorish and all the flavours worked perfectly together, lots of different textures and a nice balance of sweet and sour. We loved the addition of the crunchy quinoa, it was like quinoa rice bubbles! Delicious! The other entree that sounded amazing was the Cured Kingfish, might just be worth a trip back although as their menu is seasonal I guess I better plan that soon!
Next up, main course, I had the Market fresh fish (which was Barramundi) with sweetcorn, asparagus relish and burnt butter popcorn. So good! The fish was perfectly cooked, falling apart and melting in the mouth, and how can you not love burnt butter popcorn with your main meal. The asparagus and sweet corn was the perfect accompaniment and I really appreciate it when you get a good serve of tasty vegetables with your meal. With the popcorn and the sauce it possibly got a little salty towards the end but I still enjoyed every mouthful.
The boyfriend had the Roasted Black Angus beef with estate carrots (yes they have their own veggie garden), crispy kale, a dressing and a mustard. The crispy kale was definitely a winner, a good way to get someone to eat their greens! Another beautiful looking dish and with the plate clean at the end this too was delicious.
We also ordered a side of the green beans with pancetta but to be honest we didn’t need it, the dishes are substantial in size and plenty of food to fill you up.
For dessert we shared (think I may have regretted that decision) the white peach parfait with roasted peach, honeycomb and mint. Yum! Perfect for the summery day it was and a perfect way to end an amazing meal. Cold, refreshing, creamy and not too sweet, the combination of the fresh fruit, honeycomb and mint made these flavours sing and left me wanting more. This was my kind of dessert.
On the way out we decided to taste a few more wines (twist my arm) and also checked out the unique car gallery, this was a special little something extra (as well as an insight into the owner) and hey if the other half isn’t sure about visiting here this could just help with the convincing (if you need it).
For me, the whole experience of this winery and restaurant is pretty faultless, with the picturesque setting, friendly, attentive staff, incredible food and great wine I certain left with a full belly and a smile on my face.
Put it on your list for that special date, if you want to impress someone or if you just want to enjoy a damn good lunch!