Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Vasse Felix, Margaret River, WA

Vasse Felix is the oldest winery in M. River and is supposedly to have very nice lunches. We were turned away the day before so we tried our luck (yet again with no bookings) today. Being a weekday, they were still reasonably crowded but were able to accomodate us with ease. The picture above shows a view from the restaurant, the little tunnel under the hill leads to their cellar which is kept constantly cool rather naturally because it's underground. A nice river runs through the estate providing fresh water for the vines. I guess one of the advantages of being the first on the block is you get choice land.

For starters we ordered the sampler platter again, from the top we have their goat's cream cheese, followed by some quiche of sorts, the roast chicken with Jewish artichoke hearts and the steamed pork bun (which was actually very similar to a normal pau!). Not being a big fan of artichokes, I'm not sure what the big difference between Jewish artichokes and normal ones is but it still tasted pretty good. Not surprising, the bun was the least impressive of the lot but still proved rather amusing.

This main really started the suspicion of whether the chef behind the scenes is Asian because if you look closely at it, it was basically roast pork! So I had a pau for starters and now I am having roast pork. I found it most hilarious actually that I was receiving some sort of Asian inspired food in the oldest winery in M.River. It still tasted good though and I'm a sucker for crackling.

The catch of the day was grilled snapper. This tasted really fresh and was cooked just right. It was by far the tastiest fish we had this trip, beating VAT's barramundi and Knight's Inn's pink snapper hands down. The serving was also rather huge but it was still very tender with no hint of toughness anywhere.

The sides we ordered were the croquette and pork roulette. The croquette was quite tasty because it was rather salty and greasy due to the streaky bacon bits in it and the roulette serve was worthy to be a main in its own right.

We ordered the cheese platter (only two because we aren't very fond of blue cheese), the creme caramel which looked really pretty because of the caramelised pear, the steamed

ginger pudding with vanilla icecream and the carrot and date slice (not pictured).

The cheeses were well cured and came with dried raisins on the stalk which always looks pretty cool for presentation. Plus they had both bread and crackers to accompany them which is refreshing from a single option.

The creme caramel was done well; smooth, with no lumps or bubbles. Pretty standard as I'm seldom blown away by even the best creme caramels.

But the king of the desserts would have had to be the steamed ginger pudding. For ginger fans (I love ginger tea, gingerbread men etc by the way) this would have been a little piece of heaven. Steamed to perfection, its soft porous consistency acted as the
sponge to soak up the creamy vanilla icecream. What a way to end the meal. As this was our last meal for this trip in M.River, we wanted to go off with a blast. Well, this meal was indeed good no doubt, but it was predictably good which doesn't really give it "blast" status. Nevertheless I can see Vasse Felix replacing Xanadu or Vat 107 easily on my list of "must-go" places in M.River.

Not wanting to be offensive to Aboriginal culture or anything but on a really random aside, I saw this statue as I was walking out of Vasse Felix and the moment I saw it, I nearly shouted to myself "Dennis Rodman!" Look at the resemblence!


No comments: