Thursday, 27 February 2014

Locale Restaurant @ De Bortoli Winery

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I have spent the most magical day at De Bortoli Estate in the Yarra Valley.  It was a mild summer's day in the most beautiful settings and it was topped off by an absolutely amazing meal at Locale.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from Locale as I had thought the place is a winery so obviously the wines would be the star attraction.  But I am so pleased I was proven very wrong.  I'll be coming back for the food.

We chose to have the $55 for two courses menu.  It started with complementary bread and EVOO.  The photo does not do justice to the bread table layout.

I ordered the antipasti plate as an entree.  It came with a mini arancini which was still hot which is a good thing. Many a time, I have had a cold arancini and it renders something that should be really tasty, very blah.  There was also a smoked cheese, grain salad, marinated octopus, charcuterie, wee little olives, grissini and delicious slices of salami.  It was a pretty generous antipasti plate for one and I shared it with kiddo and still had a few olives to spare.

Kiddo ordered the spag bol from the kid's menu.  The pasta were the fresh variety with actual bits of meat in the sauce.  It is so pleasing to see a place that puts just as much effort and pride in their meals for kids as for adults.  Needless to say, she wolfed it down.

Several members of the party ordered the pheasant terrine as an entree.  I had a little nibble and found the terrine surprisingly light yet tasty.

Several other members of the party had the seafood couscous soup.  Whilst I didn't get to taste this one, it looked very appetizing with the large chunks of seafood.

For mains, I could not go pass a pork chop.  The meat was so amazingly tender.  The pork chop I normally get is chewy but this was as tender as juicy steak.  It came with a few bits of crackling which I was slightly disappointed that it wasn't salted but I guess an unsalted crackling is a wee bit better for my health.  There were these delicious sweet yet savoury slices of pork sausages.  Yum!

I also got to try this rather unassuming looking crab and lemon risotto.  It was not much to look at but I was bowled over by the flavours.  The delicate crab intermingled with the zesty lemon mixed with the creamy rice...  If only I could cook risotto this good...

The John Dory came with a salsa verde and looked beautifully pan fried.  Whilst I didn't get to taste this, I am sure it was damn fine as the person who ordered this meal, wolfed it down before I could ask for a nibble.

A side serve of broccoli because I felt guilty that my main featured nary a veg.  It was well cooked with lovely oniony flavours.  Once again, if only I could make broccoli taste this good at home...

Kiddo's kid's meal came with an ice cream dessert.  Locale makes there own ice cream on site.  The vanilla flavour had actual vanilla bean in it.  Once again, it is so pleasing to see a restaurant take just as much effort and pride in their children's menu compared with the adults

Instead of individual desserts we opted for a cake which more than served the seven of us and we had plenty to take home.  Locale can make cakes on request.  This is a hazelnut meringue with strawberries on top.  The vanilla cream is to die for.

I leave you with a pic of the beverages.  We bought a few bottles of vino from the cellar door to take home.

Last but not least, the staff were very professional.  Apparently they were unexpectedly under staffed the day we were there but apart from a small lag with the coffees, we did not even notice.

It was simply divine.

Locale on Urbanspoon

Until next time...
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