The serenity factor was hitting overload…a lazy Sunday lunch just an hour down the coast, spectacular ‘hatted’ food utilising top quality seasonal produce from local suppliers, magnificent views across rolling vinyards, a selection of beautiful estate wines…it felt like we were eating and drinking the very soul of the stunning Mornington Peninsula!
This iconic peninsula winery and restaurant double act has deservedly earned itself a rock solid reputation, and a swag of ‘Hats’, ‘Stars’ and ‘Glasses’ along the way. Host and sommelier Clayton Hiskins and chef Stuart Bell have created a sophisticated and sylish package, with an attention to detail that is too rarely found.
Stuart Bell and his team in the kitchen are producing one of the finest menu’s to be found. The food is a reflection of the region – full of substance & flavour, with rich and bold presentation, and perfectly executed. The service is first rate, and the wine list is the stuff of legend featuring Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from around the world…but we couldn’t go past the home grown Estate Pinot Noir on this visit.
We dined from the Autumn A la Carte menu – two courses for $68 – and Chef Stuart Bell has very kindly allowed me to feature and cook one of his dishes from the current menu – Roast pumpkin risotto w main ridge cashmere goats curd, sautéed mushroom, sage and pine nuts – this recipe will be posted on threeat7pm.com shortly.
The most intense and flavoursome rabbit dish we have ever eaten, if you like rabbit this dish is an absolute must do. Even if you are not big into rabbit (that would be me), this dish is awesome.
The ocean trout came with a kosh filled with wood smoke, which they ‘released’ at the table. This had an amazing effect of giving your palate a real smokey taste before you even touched the dish…very clever. The dish itself was beautifully balanced, the trout was treated with tender love and respect, and the sweetness of the apple really lifting the whole package above expectation.
Sadly, I didn’t get to eat any of this dish, but I was reliably informed that it tasted as good as it looked. Whilst each element was great, the squid came out the winner.
The Barramundi is such a stunning looking dish, about as close to art on a plate that you are likely to get. There is an awful lot going on with this dish, but all of the elements worked together very well – the fish was cooked perfectly with moist flesh and a wonderfully crisp skin, with the lentils, walnuts & watercress adding a very earthy dimension to the fish.
Whilst the fillet catches the eye in this dish, the real punch comes from the shredded beef cheek beneath, an intensely flavored base that really lifts the whole dish. The parsnip & horseradish complemented both meats beautifully.
This heirloom beetroot side dish was a great addition and a very tasty combination. The beetroot are grown specifically for the restaurant by a local farmer. Yum!
Quite possibly total overkill, but we couldn’t resist these roasted spuds.
Venue: Ten Minutes by Tractor
Address: 1333 Mornington-Flinders Road, Main Ridge VIC 3928
Phone: 03 5989 6080
Date: 08 April 2012
Diners: Chris Caroline & Friend Lisa