The best thing about the city of Perth is you don’t have to travel far to find quaint wineries, lovely gardens, and feel like you have left the city, but really you are still within the metropolitan area.
Millbrook Winery is one of those places that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat for a few hours. The vineyard slopes towards wine cellar and restaurant. The Roman God, Dionysus, a God of wine and vegetation overlooking the estate, the scene is picture perfect. So much so that bf even managed to practice his photography skills.
The garden is so lovely that you could even request for the staff at Millbrook to organise a picnic for you rather than opt for a table at the restaurant.
It was a little hot the day we went to Jarrahdale, and the flies were out in full force, so we booked a table at the Millbrook Winery Restaurant. The restaurant is above the cellar door and as we were early for our booking we had plenty of time to sample their award winning wines. I ended up grabbing a bottle of Millbrook 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, crisp and refreshing, perfect bottle to have in summer by the beach (or at least that’s where I picture it..). Of course whites are never complete without a nice bottle of red Millbrook 2008 Estate Shiraz Viognier is a lovely full bodied red with blackberry fruit characters and spices.
I really should stop waffling and get to the restaurant. The restaurant provided amazing views of the vineyards, it was airy, bright and modern.
Head chef Guy Jeffreys focuses his menu on using all the freshly grown produce from the large property, which includes 150 year old growing citrus, stone fruit, figs, quince and apples, and an acre sized garden filled with over 100 varieties of vegetables. Herbs, free-range eggs, wild mushrooms, olives and honey are also sourced from the estate. We decided to order the prix fixe menu ($75), which consisted of an entree, main, dessert with two sides and complementary homemade sourdough bread.
The marinated olives that accompanied the bread was lovely, as was the capsicum dip. On the bread itself, I was rather disappointed, the bread came out cold and was hard and crusty. I’ve had better bread.
To start of our prix fixe, bf and I ordered the sharing plate for 2.
Grilled asparagus with smoked cod was served with the biggest in house grown asparagus I have ever seen! It was crunchy and the cod melted in your mouth. I just wished I had more of the cod on the plate. The broccoli was salted with cumin and was chargrilled, and was very much like eating broccoli chips, smokey in flavour and with a very crunchy texture. The last of the sharing plate was a mouth-watering pork terrine with a tangy, slightly spicy salad and apple puree. I’m no chef, but I can appreciate the work required when making a terrine. It is especially important that a terrine is well seasoned and flavoured otherwise it’s just eating a loaf of fat blah. I would have to say though this was one of the best pork terrines that I have ever had, the terrine was moist and well seasoned and it went so well with the tangy salad, which nicely balanced the sweet apple puree.
For the main I couldn’t go past the famous rabbit risotto (highly recommended by numerous friends and raved loudly by Rob Broadfield). It contained generous amount beautiful meaty (yes meaty rabbit!) braised rabbit from neighbouring farms, with delicious, salty panchetta. To add to the flavour, the Aroborio was pre-soaked in stock containing some Manjimup truffles and the risotto was then further drizzled with white truffle oil and pecorino cheese. Very decadent, definitely not low in calories, but my god it satisfied my carb craving.
Bf really wanted the risotto, and lucky for him I was more than happy to sure the massive plate placed in front of me (it was enough for two people!). He also decided that he wanted to sure his manly side so opted for a meaty dish of beef brisket. The beef brisket took me by surprise, as it was presented in a form I didn’t expect. Equally lucky for me I was got a taste of his main. The beef brisket was tender, and was drizzled with amazing gravy, a side of cream corn and topped with in house broad beans and green leaves. Fit for a hungry man and hearty to a T.
Our mains were served with a salad of radish, carrot, lettuce, cabbage, freshly picked vegetables from the farm’s garden and their famous truffle mash, fluffy clouds of potatoes mashed together with decadent truffle oil.
We couldn’t fit the last course in straight away, so sat there admiring the views of their extensive farm and vineyards. It was also nice to people watch. There were so many people at the restaurant celebrating various occasions it was just lovely.
After a walk around the restaurant, we were finally ready (somewhat) to squeeze in the the final course of our meal. It was probably a good thing that I went to bodycombat class at the gym that morning, because my diet went completely out the window.
The vanilla bean cheesecake was creamy, rich and sandwiched between homemade shortbread and topped with sweet stewed rhubarb and accompanied by fragrant rose chai ice cream. It was a very pretty dessert and it tasted divine.
I opted for something a little different and not so sweet. The steamed brioche bun was served in a chinese dumpling steamer and was stuffed with Cambray farmhouse cheese (sheep cheese). It had a side of preserved fruit and honeycomb. I felt as though, the brioche bun, wasn’t very umm.. “BUN-NY” and felt very much like a stuffed cheese roll. I realise sheep cheese is a very acquired taste, but having only that in the brioche bun was a bit too much, even for a cheese lover. I felt as though the strong flavours of the Cambray farmhouse cheese could have been balanced better if the preserved fruit were in the bun (as well as some sprinkled around the side). The honeycomb was lovely and gave the bland pastry a sweet taste. I just wished they drizzled a little bit of honey on top of the “bun” too.
The service at Millbrook was pleasant. The staff were friendly, and we had a lovely waitress, who was knowledgeable about the dishes and the produce, who unfortunately was called away to serve a private function and as a result there was no one to look after our table and we seemed to have been forgotten.
Nonetheless, after all the recent stresses we’ve both had over the past few weeks, our beautiful little outing together proved to be just what we needed. We drove back to the city in comfortable silence content with full bellies and lungs full of fresh country air and a rather nice nap in the car for me.