Entertainment Card 09/10: Complimentary main course when another is purchased (up to $50 value)
The Sandalford Winery and Restaurant is located along the West Swan Road in the popular Swan Valley Wine Region, which is famous for as you guess it – wine! Driving along the West Swan Road, you will be greeted with stretch and stretch of vineyards on either side of the road as well as orchards, forrestry and all things natural, a very tranquil and picturesque experience during a nice sunny day.
Sandalford Estate has more than 150 years of history behind it – founded in 1840 by the State’s first Surveyor General, John Septimus Roe (Ref: website). Upon arrival, you will be greeted with a majestic entrance to the estate and after a short drive, arrive at the winery and restaurant. The restaurant itself has both a rustic interior and an outside area where tables are shaded by 118 year old vines strewn over the top, acting almost like a roof. Simply fantastic. Not wanting to miss dining in such a nice setting, we opted to sit in the outer area that day.
Sandalford is famous for its wine but unfortunately on that day none of us were drinking as we all had to drive. We had a large group, and managed to order all the Mains in the menu including the Special of the day as well! I will not be able to give a comment for each dish, but I have taken a photo of them for the blog..they will make your mouth water..so here goes:
For starters, the other table ordered the Warm Turkish Bread ($11) and a side of Salad ($10.50):
The Turkish Bread came with a ‘dash’ of extra virgin oily oil, house made dukkah (an Egyptian dry mixture of chopped nuts, seeds and Middle Eastern spices and flavour – courtesy of Wikipedia) and tomato kasundi (similar to a tomator relish). It looked very appetising as it came out and was baked into a slight crisp. The Salad consisted of mixed leaves, vine ripened cherry tomatoes and shallots.
For Mains, we had the following:
Crispy Fried Pork Belly with Seared Scallops ($35.50). This was what I ordered and it was the bomb! I was a bit hesitant initially when I first saw this on the menu as pork belly is, from my perspective a chinese dish (I only eat them at chinese restaurants!) but boy, I did not regret ordering this dish! The scallops sat on a bed of bok choy (chinese green leafy vegetables), topped with a pineapple and chilli salsa and was tender and melted in the mouth. The pork belly was served with ‘char sui’ sauce (a chinese barbeque sauce) and fried till crisp, however the meat maintained their softness. Yum! Thumbs up from my friends who tried the dish as well. The only complaint I had was that it wasn’t enough – it was so delicious I wish I could eat more of it (well not really a complaint..more of a compliment!). A must-try if you visit the restaurant.
Crispy Skin Barramundi ($35.50) which came with a pesto chat potato salad, ruby grapefruit and asparagus with A La Grecque dressing. Sounds very fancy doesn’t it! The fish was tender with a good complement of salad (and different – not the usual side you would get at other restaurant).
Rosemary Roasted Lamb Shank with Braised Lamb Neck and Pine Nut Tortellini ($42.50) served with Truffled Pea Puree and Porcini Cream. The feature of this dish was the three small yellow tortellinis that came with the lamb. They looked like small wantons (which I thought they were at first) but the first bite revealed something else. They made the dish looked really attractive and made me feel very curious at the same time, wanting to try them out immediately to figure out what they are.
Northern River Grass Fed Veal Cutlet with Broad Bean & Pecorino Risotto ($43.50) served with charred lemon. The veal was very nice but I didn’t like the risotto because of the strong cheese taste. Pecorino is an Italian cheese, made from ewe’s milk. As I’m not a big fan of cheeses, I didn’t have too much of this dish but that’s just a personal thing.
‘Special of the Day’ which was a grilled New Zealand Fish (can’t remember the name) with Sweet Potato Fries and Salad. The fish had a light taste to it and was appetising but the best was the sweet potato fries! There are not that many places that serve these (the only other place I have had these is at Wagamama) – absolutely delicious!
I didn’t get to try the rest of the following dishes but comments from the people that ordered them were yum, yum and yum!
- Chermoula Roasted Baby Chicken, Fig & Preserved Lemon Cous Cous, Tzatziki ($36.50)
- Sumac Seared Kangaroo Fillet, Smoked Beetrot Semolina, Pink Peppered Goats Cheese, Wild Hibiscus ($35)
- Leek & Saffron Tart, Saint Maure Goat Cheese, Picholine Olive Salad, Lemon & Poppy Seed Dressing ($31)
Also, some sides we had…Hand Cut Chips with Aioli ($9.50) and Rocket, Shaved Grana Padano with Aged Balsamic ($10.50)
By the end of this, we were too full so we didn’t manage to order any dessert. We were also saving ourselves for a visit to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory further down the road (click here for the review).
Overall, it was an awesome lunch we had that day. The presentation of the food was superb. They use fresh ingredients and a variety of herbs, spices and cheeses to complement the dishes – I must admit that I didn’t even know a quarter of what the ingredients were when I first read them on the menu! The service was also excellent – we were greeted always with smiles and even had a chat with the waiter and joked with him about the rating of this restaurant in the food blog! (I didn’t think he believed us about the food blog..haha). The ambience of the place is second to none, very relaxing and peaceful. I would recommend this place any day!
Rating by: N.L.
Sandalford Caversham Estate
Telephone: 08 9374 9301
Address: 3210 West Swan Road, Caversham