10250 West Swan Rd, Henley Brook
Phone: (08) 9296 5577
A Balmy Night in the Swan Valley
For me, nothing could be more romantic than a quiet, balmy night, relaxing under swaying palm trees, eating delectable food and sipping fragrant wine.
All these desires can be fulfilled at the Swan Valley Oasis Restaurant in one delightful evening, or in fact any day of the week. The Oasis is set amongst lush green gardens and ponds on the banks of the Swan River . What started as a quiet little restaurant fifteen years ago is now part of a huge multi-function centre for weddings, corporate events and concerts. One can be catered for as a romantic couple or the whole adjoining hotel with 29 rooms can be filled for a large function.
We opted for a drive to the Swan Valley and lunch at the Oasis. Feeling too lazy for their 18 hole golf course, we sat on the verandah overlooking colourful blooms to the sound of tinkling fountains.
The owner, also a chef, recommended the Grazing Plate and it was a feast of the senses. A generous platter for two, it included Lamb Kofta, Salt and Pepper Squid, Garlic Prawns and Warm Chorizo served with marinated olives and a decent salad garnish of mixed leaves, crisp bean shoots, red onion and capsicum. The thin slices of charred Turkish bread completed this superb composition.
My favourite was the squid, cut in large juicy strips, crunchy on the outside and tender inside, not too salty or peppery. Definitely morish.
The Lamb Kofta came a very close second. Served on a skewer, it was spicy with a bit of heat, and paired with the tzaziki dip was delicious.
The garlic prawns were large and juicy with plenty of garlic – delightful.
The warm chorizo slices had just the right amount of chilli and were crisp yet moist, spicy and salty all in the one mouthful. The marinated olives were the perfect match.
I was almost ready to call it a day, but there was still main course to go. I chose the Cajun Chicken Breast with grilled polenta and summer salsa. This was nicely served as a stack with the attractive colours of the orange polenta, then the red and green salsa surrounding it. The chicken was tender and succulent with subtle Cajun flavours and the polenta cake was creamy. The salsa added to the flavour sensation as did the piquant tzaziki sauce.
My friend ordered the Beef Fillet on sweet potato mash with
barbecue garlic northwest tiger prawns. This was also attractively plated as a multi-tiered arrangement. The prawns were large and bursting with juice, the steak tender and flavoursome. The lovely golden mash was smooth and it was well matched with the superb garlic cream sauce.
We were certainly unable to squeeze in any dessert, as our food and perfectly matched wines were enough to satisfy even the burliest diner!
The Swan Valley Oasis Restaurant is delightful to the senses, both for dining and pretty surroundings. It is only thirty minutes from town and is open seven days a week including breakfast. It is licensed, caters for families and the disabled, and prides itself on friendly service.
You can drop in for breakfast or lunch on your way around the vineyards or dine and stay a night or two which is definitely my idea of a romantic getaway.
By Frances Myshell