There aren’t many places that you can continuously go back to and receive top notch service, deliciously scrumptious food and brilliant vino. Enter, Tarrawarra. My happy place.
My lovely husband took me to Tarrawarra for the first time a couple of years ago and I instantly fell for the scenery. It is an incredibly picturesque area and if you are yet to venture there, please go, now.
Since my first encounter with my happy place, we have been there a couple of times for both events and random occasions. I enjoy making up occasions as an excuse to go and eat copious amounts of food. Celebrating the birthday of my imaginary friend, international talk like a pirate day, international donut day, Maxie the puggle’s birthday (when we don’t actually take Maxie)…you get the drift. I get creative. Nothing wrong with that.
For this particular outing, we had recently been insane and sold our house and bought a new one within the space of one hour. So naturally I found the need to go celebrate this event at the ever amazing Tarrawarra Winery.
Wind in the willows.
We were greeted by the charming Darren and seated at window overlooking the wind in the willows deckspace and rolling hills of the winery and rest of the valley. The Deck is something in itself. I have dreams of summer afternoons and a glass (or seven) of the delectable Blanc de blanc. Bliss.
I sound like I am writing a love letter to a winery. Do I have issues? Well you go check it out and then let me know if you think my love is unwarranted.
iPlease send palette to casa di JP.
It was like the good folk of Tarrawarra read my mind, as as soon as we were seated, we were brought a bottle of my favourite 2010 Vintage Blanc de Blanc. The sparkling has an almost creamy texture to it and ah it’s just divine. No I don’t ‘know’ wine, but I know when I love it.
All the things.
All the bread. Is there anything better?
Whilst sipping and perusing and people watching, we enjoyed some starters with all the trimmings. The olives reminded me of a story my dad told me about his mate sitting at a bar one night, eating what he thought were nuts….He was soon informed by the barman that they were olive pips…someone else’s olive pips. Mm. Safe to say he didn’t go back to that bar.
Tasmania kicking goals.
Husband was in a seafood mood and went with half a dozen Tasmanian oysters. The big fellas arrived and they looked fantastic. So fresh and meaty and they were gone almost before I put my camera down. Husband and I continuously bond over our ability to make food disappear in front of your eyes. Tadaaa.
I had umm’d and ahh’d over the menu (as usual) and I am oh so happy with my choice. This is definitely one of the best dishes I have had in Melbourne.
Air dried venison. No further notes required.
It was just so pretty. From the moment it was placed on the table I knew I was going to love it. Air dried venison and beetroot with all the trimmings. The textures and flavours. Gah drooling now. This was spectacular and props to the chef for creating such a brilliant dish from the property’s produce.
The restaurant was buzzing on that Saturday afternoon and people watching was at an all time high. There was a potential first date over in the corner near the fire which was spectacularly awkward and they seemed to save the date whilst admiring each dish and swirling wine. If conversation fails always talk food. Or weather. Ha, we loved it.
Shank you very, very much.
Husbo (we’re trying out new nicknames) was immediately drawn to the veal shank on the menu and, you guessed it, it didn’t disapoint. Veal Shank with roast vegetables and creamy mash goodness. For the cool weather outside, the fire burning inside, this dish was a match made in heaven. Great serving size too which is always high on husband’s list. He’s one of those people that will go out for a banquet of 1453895 courses and still require a big mac on the way home. We really are soul mates.
Hey there, Skippy.
Pretty as a picture. My main choice was torn between well every menu option and after discussing choices with the waitress, I decided on the dukkah crusted kangaroo (la roo la roo) with tahini yoghurt and spinach sautéed with lemon and harissa. Ultimate party in your mouth. The roo was cooked perfectly as well, needs to be rare in my opinion and it was perfecto.
Local sprouts and BACON.
My love of bacon is no secret. I think people I haven’t even met yet would know of my love for the pig. So obviously, when local sprouts are offered with pancetta, lentils and parmesan. You order it and decide you will have this in your food pyramid. What I love about Tarrawarra is that so much of their menu is sourced from their own garden and the care and freshness shows in each dish.
And chips. Well, everyone wants them. You can’t not order chips. Unless you have a disastrous potato allergy. What a dilemma that would be. Hand cut chips with barrel aged red wine vinegar and cumin salt. I have decided that I am going to put barrel aged red wine vinegar all over evrrythang. Even my muesli. Yep, it’s happening.
I forgot-o how much I love affogato.
Sa pretty I used as my header.
I love food. So dessert is always a requirement. I’m usually a cheese over chocolate kinda lady but there was choices galore on the dessert menu so I had to go with a sweet option. Husband was encouraged to get an affogato even though he didn’t feel like dessert (crazy man) and it was, as expected, delicious. Super creamy gelato that complimented the frangelico and coffee so well.
I’ve said it before, and you guessed it, I will say it again, I’ve never been the biggest fan of salted caramel. I know, I’m strange. I love salt, i love caramel but I think it’s sometimes way too rich and not balanced with the right accompaniments. Enter, Tarrawarra. I was a bit sceptical about this choice, but you really can’t go wrong with Dark Chocolate. Delicious. Chocolate, salted caramel and poached pear perfection. I am running out of adjectives. The pear was a great match with the salted caramel.
My buddy, Pedro.
I felt like a vino to finish off my meal and asked Darren to recommend something to complement my dessert. He knew what to do. Pedro Ximenez was delivered to the table and my day was complete. Not a fan of dessert wine, I was initially sceptical when I first tried ol’ Pedro but it is a fantastic accompaniment to a dessert such as mine and I definitely could have taken another glass and had a nap under the trees in the vineyard.
Attempting to blend into the wall so husbo would leave me behind.
What can I say? It’s my favourite of the Yarra Valley for very good reason. You could never fault the service, the view is always a stunner, the food, well my photography doesn’t do it justice, and the wine, oh the wine. Roll up and have a taste of a range of vinos and have a chat to the staff about their spectacular venue. My favourite of the wines is definitely the 2013 K Block Merlot, the 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir (both of which I purchased that day), and of course, the aforementioned Blanc de Blanc. Some of the best wines in the entire region. And there’s a few to choose from. I promise to try them all for you.
I will be back oh so soon and cannot wait. If you are venturing to our beautiful Yarra Valley, book in and experience the experience. Standing ovation. Dear Tarrawarra, you’re swell. Love, JP.