I love it when relatives from overseas come to visit – it usually means I get to go to nice restaurants and eat lots of good food. My second cousins (I make up this term because really I’m not sure what relation they are to me – my mother’s cousin and his wife. Anyone know?) from Gouda in Holland have come to visit. I visited Gouda in 2007 and went up a windmill on International Windmill Day. That was fun. There’s cheese hanging in the street in Gouda.
As they come from the city of cheese, we’re under immense pressure to deliver high quality food. Nothing less than the best! This is a lie and they’re very easy going but it’s a good excuse for spending a sunny Wednesday driving to Jarrahdale to have lunch at Millbrook Winery.
The setting of the winery is beautiful with a wood and glass restaurant situated overlooking a pond. Sounds nice, hey? Well here’s a photo because description isn’t my strong point:
Wednesday lunchtime is a good time to visit as it’s not excessively busy and you’re guaranteed a table by the window. The food was delicious but not faultless. We shared three tasting plates, one of which was a wonderful wild mushroom bruschetta coated in an addictive garlic infused olive oil. The second plate was a salmon dish which I avoided due to my dislike of smoked salmon, and the third was an avocado and buffalo mozzarella thing. The cheese was wondrous but sadly the avocado wasn’t ripe! Avocado shouldn’t crunch in your teeth and so it was a bit disappointing.
I had a warm eggplant, buffalo mozzarella (can’t get enough) and polonaise crust salad for my main meal. Now that I am home I can google what “polonaise” is because it was damn delicious and I presume some sort of bread considering what I ate… Well initial investigations told me it is a dance which doesn’t really work. But I have since learnt it is hard boiled egg yolk, breadcrumbs and parsley which all fits nicely. Excellent.
It was DELICIOUS. The cheese was the highlight (of course) with three large lumps sitting on the plate. The eggplant was soft and tasty and that polonaise stuff… yum! The only odd thing was the sprinkling of capers which I found unnecessary but I’m not a huge caper fan so perhaps I’m just being biased.
We’d all purposefully left room for dessert and I chose the chocolate and hazelnut torte.
To be honest I was disappointed as the cake seemed almost… old. I’m sure it was fresh but it had that dry texture that comes with leftover chocolate cake. It was very solid and the icing on the top was quite pointless. I’ve had much better chocolate cakes in my life (I’ve sampled a few…) and can’t say I was bowled over by this one. The serving was huge and, me being me, I couldn’t stop eating. So I gorged the entire cake and was left feeling rather chocolated-out. Three hours later my guilty conscience sent me to the gym where I almost regurgitated a very expensive lunch all over the very expensive gym shoes of the girl on the treadmill next to me.
All in all the experience was very pleasant and I’d certainly be willing to return to Millbrook if anyone would like to buy me lunch. I really like the winery grounds – pretty trees and sloping hills.
The drive home was interesting as we took the ‘scenic route’ that lead us through Armadale, Kelmscott and Maddington. I commented to my fellow car travellers that there are so many shops and fast food places in that area that I’ve never heard of before and have never experienced. I captured this beauty as we stopped at a traffic light. How I love the suburbs…