1172 Wildwood Road, Yallingup
Ph: (08) 9755 2899
Omakase, the Japanese tradition of letting the chef choose your order, means “I will leave it to you”. It’s a fine tradition giving the chef creative freedom and the customer a memorable dining experience. This is one option at Rivendell or you can choose your own dishes from the a la carte menu.
While some may say Omakase is for the brave and adventurous, I gave it a whirl anyway and we start with Cauliflower Soup with a hint of truffle – a great way to waken the taste buds as the dish is full of flavour.
Taste buds awakened, we try the Duck Bay Tasmanian Oysters with roast shallot, white balsamic pearls, and micro chervil served with filtered ocean granita which create small flecks of snow on the plate. Howling Wolves Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (Margaret River, WA) is a good choice with this dish.
I knew we’re in for a treat with the Ricotta Gnocchi served with sautéed mushrooms and pecorino cheese, remembering it from the Gourmet Escape in November last year. The gnocchi is hand-made and is the Rivendell Restaurant signature dish.
The Sticky Pork with peanut sambal, char sui, soft herbs and crackling is the best pork I’ve ever tasted. It’s cooked slowly in the oven at 75 degrees centigrade over 12 hours. Once again we enjoyed the SSB and reason this dish would be a cracker match with beer as well. Rivendell Winery Estates makes not only award-winning wines but also a range of top notch beers.
If you enjoy your seafood then you will love the Barbequed Tequila, Chilli and Lime Exmouth Prawns with avocado puree, grilled corn & cactus salsa. This is fresh and delicious, and matches well with the 2014 Howling Wolves Chardonnay (Margaret River, WA).
I was thrilled to know the Market Fish was Exmouth Red Emperor – one of my favourites. Served with prosciutto, zucchini and roast lemon almond cream, it is melt-in-the mouth delicious. Our waiter Lee advised on wine selections for our meal, and the 2014 Rivendell Verdhello (Margaret River, WA) was a fine choice for the dish. It’s no surprise that Rivendell was runner up for a Gold Plate Award for best restaurant in a winery.
Head Chef Tim Dixon says the Rivendell Restaurant is aimed at the casual family dining market with an emphasis on fresh seafood and local Western Australian produce. All cakes are cooked on site daily and children, as well as adults, will be delighted to know there is home-made ice cream available. Tim even entertains the idea of a beer ice cream in the future – that would have to be a winner and we look forward to that creative endeavour. The signature dessert, Tim says, is the Sticky Date Pudding – unpretentious and made with love (and you can tell).
Tim, a classically trained chef, says his ethos is modern but classical. “My food philosophy is clean, sustainable, workable, flavoursome food without being pretentious,” he said.
Rivendell Restaurant is open weekdays from 11am until 3.30pm, with platters available daily until 5pm. On Thursday, Friday and weekends the restaurant is open for dinner but reservations are essential.
While Rivendell is a favourite venue for finery in the evening, special dinners and functions, and a popular choice for weddings, it’s also perfect for casual dining with friendly staff and a wonderful ambience. The alfresco area over looking the tree tops and surrounded by prolific plant and bird life creates a magical atmosphere and it’s the little moments of magic here that you will love and want to return to again.
By Ingrid Rickersey
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1172 Wildwood Road, Yallingup