Rae's Restaurant at Balgownie Estate10/14/2014 10:34:00 PM
1309 Melba Hwy
Yarra Glen, VIC 3775
Ph: (03) 9730-0774
A little while ago I was invited to Rae's Restaurant at Balgownie Estate, to try out their new menu by chef Graham Taute. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take a little foodie road trip to the Yarra Valley with Sandra and my cousin Catherine! Hooray for springtime - check out the beautiful views of the grounds!
We were feeling a little indecisive about what wine to have with our lunch, so after we ordered our food, we popped over to the cellar door to do a tasting. Balgownie Estate make a lot of wines, and after trying most of them (and asking many questions of the friendly staff), I decided on a glass of the 2010 Viognier, whilst my cousin opted for the 2013 sparkling Shiraz. I don't drink much sparkling red, but I tried a sip and it was very nice! I'm tempted to do a "Barossa Brunch" one day: sparkling Shiraz with bacon and eggs. Who's in? (N.B. I don't think the staff at the cellar door knew we were there on an invite, and they seemed just as patient and friendly with all the customers who were there!)
|Soup of the day - freshly baked roll - $18.00|
Sandra got the soup of the day, which was mixed vegetable. It had a great smooth texture, and a rich flavour, although it was a little too salty for my liking.
|Tasting Plate of Salmon - House cold smoked salmon on buckwheat blini, Yea Dairy crème fraiche; House cold smoked salmon, Asian inspired gravlax soy mayonnaise; House hot smoked salmon salsa verde - $23|
My cousin and I shared the salmon tasting plate, which was very impressive: three different types of smoked salmon (all smoked in-house), presented in different ways. At the front was cold-smoked salmon on a buckwheat blini (one of my favourite combos!) with Yea Dairy crème fraîche. In the centre was a generous slice of hot-smoked salmon with salsa verde, and at the back was cold smoked salmon with an Asian-inspired soy mayonnaise. My palate couldn't detect a huge difference between the cold and hot smoked salmons, but they were all extremely fresh, weren't overly salted, and had a wonderful soft texture. I definitely recommend ordering this if you enjoy smoked salmon!
|Caesar Salad - Baby cos leaves, parmesan wafers, crisp prosciutto, creamy dressing, oven baked garlic sourdough crisps - $19|
Sandra ordered the Caesar salad as her main. It was a nice, fresh take on the nineties' classic / cliché. In between wedges of crisp cos lettuce wedges were crisp shards of prosciutto and lots of addictive parmesan wafers. She actually thought there were too many parmesan wafers, which meant I got to eat them too! Muahaha! Super crispy and deeply savoury. The anchovy dressing was also really tasty - even seafood avoider Sandra loved it!
|Potato Gnocchi - selected mushrooms, House hot smoked chicken, Viognier cream reduction - $19|
My cousin's carbolicious gnocchi in Viognier cream sauce had great flavours, but was very rich - she couldn't finish it. I think this is intended to be an entree, but in our opinion it makes a generous main course!
|Black Lip Mussels - Chilli, lime, garlic, cream, coriander reduction - $25|
I was tempted to get the beer battered fish and chips - I saw lots of tables getting them, and they looked great! - but thought I should try something a little bit more unusual, for the sake of the blog. (The things I do for you...!) In the end, I went for the black lip mussels. They mussels were very fresh, and I enjoyed the South East Asian-inspired flavours - lime, chilli, garlic, coriander - yum!
|Hand cut fries - garlic aioli - $7|
Of course, we got chips as a side. Fat chips for the win!
|Broccolini - soy ginger glaze, crisp shallots -$7|
To try and be a bit healthy, we ordered some broccolini as a side. These were cooked perfectly ("tender-crisp", as they would say in America), and I liked the textural addition of crunchy fried shallots.
|Chocolate Parfait - Coconut gel, kirsch cherries, roasted Hazelnut praline - $15|
With the chocolate parfait sitting atop coconut gel, I thought of this dessert as a posh Bounty bar. The parfait was smooth and creamy, and the coconut gel had a very pure, strong coconutty taste. The sour cherries and crunchy hazelnut praline complimented the flavours well too - it was an impressive dessert.
|Wattle Seed Panna Cotta - Compressed apple, rhubarb syrup - $14|
The wattle seed panna cotta was the least popular between the three of us - whilst the panna cotta itself had a nice softly set texture and a mild wattle seed flavour, the pieces of walnut cake that came on the side were a little dry. It wasn't bad, but it just couldn't compare to the other two desserts we had!
|Caramelised Condensed Milk & Honeycomb Semifreddo with honeycomb crumble - $13|
I think I made the best choice with dessert, choosing the caramelised condensed milk and honeycomb semifreddo. The semifreddo was incredibly smooth, and I loved the crunchy-melty chunks of honeycomb folded through. Sweet and delicious! (I totally love condensed milk and can eat it with a spoon!)
We had a really great lunch at Rae's Restaurant - great views, warm atmosphere and good food. It was a nice place to spend a pleasant springtime afternoon!
This meal was courtesy of Rae's Restaurant.