Rae's Restaurant at Balgownie Estate

10/14/2014 10:34:00 PM

Balgownie Estate

Rae's Restaurant
Balgownie Estate
1309 Melba Hwy
Yarra Glen, VIC 3775
Ph: (03) 9730-0774
Rae's Restaurant, Balgownie Estate on Urbanspoon

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!

Balgownie Estate

Rae's Restaurant

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.

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  1. Your photos look great!
    My boyfriend's sister had her wedding there in March of this year. The food was brilliant, and of a much better standard than I expected from function-food.

    Lovely to re-live the venue through your post :)

  2. Hehe your decision making process sounds a little like mine. I like to try fish and chips but often go for the mussels as they're healthier and more reliably good (there's a lot of bad F&C around). But then get the chips anyway for the crunch!

  3. I always feel SO tempted whenever I see beer battered fish and chips at a restaurant too! My ever internal conflict. My mind tells me I should try something more "restauranty" but my heart just CRAVES those damn fish and chips! Then I always have mega food envy for people who order the fish and chips instead =(

    Anyway what a great way to make the most of the weekend! Great restaurant, lovely setting with loved ones. The restaurant looks spectacular btw!

  4. Those desserts are making my mouth water. A condensed milk semi freddo sounds amazing.

  5. That gnocchi does look rich, but oh so tasty too! And yay for winning dessert :)



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