On our second night in the Mornington Peninsula, we wanted something a little fancy, and on the recommendation of the owner of our B&B, headed to Port Phillip Estate. She described the dining room as "sexy", which I thought was a strange way to describe a restaurant... until we walked in. It was a totally gorgeous space, with a stunning 180 degree view of the vineyard - it felt more like an art gallery than a restaurant! (Hot tip: when booking, try and request one of the window-side tables!)
|Port Phillip Estate|
Port Phillip Estate
263 Red Hill Road
Red Hill South
Mornington Peninsula, VIC 3937
Ph: (03) 5989-4444
We started with some excellent house-baked bread, topped with a sprinkling with of smoked salt. Offered alongside were a grassy green olive oil, butter and regular salt.
|House-baked bread with smoked salt, olive oil, butter and salt|
We were given a very impressive amuse bouche with caramelised leek, brioche crumbs, olive oil and more of that smoked salt. I believe there was goats cheese too and perhaps an olive oil foam? This was a few months ago and my memory of the details is fading, but what I clearly remember is how delicious it was!
As my entrée, I chose a seafood dish: poached marron with clams, cucumber salad, whitebait, caviar and more. This was absolutely gorgeous - the marron and clams were was cooked perfectly, and the intensely flavoured sauce (rather like a concentrated shellfish bisque) complemented the seafood without overpowering their delicate flavours.
|Marron with clams, cucumber salad, caviar|
Sandra was equally impressed with her entrée: a roast beetroot, chèvre and walnut salad. That is quite a classic combination, but the way they did it here was stunning - different varieties of beet (pink, red and gold), candied walnuts and a vinaigrette of honey and lemon thyme. Beautiful.
|Salad of beets, local chèvre, candied walnuts, honey, lemon thyme vinaigrette|
The mains were also delicious, but perhaps not quite as well balanced as the entrées. Take, for example, my main - lamb served with two zucchinis, a roast vegetable terrine, goats cheese, pureed potatoes, a large mound of samphire and a rich jus. Each individual element was very good, and I love a generous portion, but felt that the overall dish was a bit heavy and that there was too much on the plate.
|Lamb, zucchini flowers, roast vegetable terrine, samphire, goat's cheese and pureed potatoes|
Sandra's Aylesbury duck breast (which she requested to be cooked well done, by the way) was similar to the lamb dish - great flavours and textures, but just a bit too much on the plate.
|Aylesbury duck breast, pommes galette, garden peas, mushrooms, jus|
Of course, the heaviness of the mains wasn't helped by the fact that we also indulged and ordered some gratinated potatoes on the side! Oh well, we were on holiday! These were messy but delicious.
The service was efficient and friendly, and the prices were quite reasonable - $68 per person for two courses. ($85 for three courses!) As you can imagine, we were too full for dessert, but I would love to come back and try them. There's a cellar door too, but this is only open during the day, so we didn't get a chance to try the wines. Just another excuse to make a return trip!