I have a confession, Melbs. I never knew I could love a place like I love you. Your food, your culture, your scenery. But I have to admit now, there’s someone else. The Barossa Valley stole my heart. What a place. I mean, what’s not to love. Incredible scenery, mouth watering food, and the wine, oh the wine.
I didn’t think it could get any better, until we ventured to a stunning jewel in the Barossa crown (corny but true), enter, Hentley Farm.
Husband and I have dined at some pretty spectacular spots this year, including that little chestnut, Brae in Birregurra. No idea why I called it a chestnut….But I have to say, yep I’m going to say it, Hentley was better. They have ticked all the boxes and if you haven’t heard of them, look them up, book a table and get there as soon as possible. We drove along the stunning Great Ocean Road to get there and I can highly recommend that. Not the fastest option, but by golly it’s the prettiest.
Hentley Farm only offers two different types of degustation and we went with the biggest, of course, with matched wines, of course. We don’t do things by halves. Especially anything edible.
Service from the moment we arrived was “on point”. A very personalised approach and our waitress was very well versed in the food, wine and the surrounding area. “I grew up in the Barossa”…yeah yeah we are SO jealous. No really, we ARE. The food presentation was so well executed throughout the afternoon and the wines paired with the food were some of my favourites of the trip.
This was our first taste of what was to come. I love raddichio, mmmhm. And dipped in that jersey cream with a bit of honey, well let’s just say I intend on making that a regular afternoon snack back home. Such a simple approach but so delicious.
Potato, tuna, peppers, mustard
Rye, lamb, blue cheese, onion
Quinoa, curry spice, quail egg, lemon
These starters were so moorish. My favourite being the rye, lamb, blue cheese and onion combination. The Hentley crew were great with dietary requirements as well and catered perfectly the Mumma P’s coeliac-ness. So glad I didn’t cop that gene. Imagine, me without bread. OR DONUTS! (insert that emoji that kinda looks like the scream face). These delights were paired with a rather lovely 2015 Riesling.
Tadaaa. What a spectacular dish. It came to the table as a cast iron pot with it’s lid perched on top and suddenly it was a Heston-inspired stunner. I loooove oysters, and have never thought to pair them with passionfruit but I really enjoyed that.
Another dish that just looked amazing. Yes, admittedly I did think the puffed wild rice was some form of witchetty grub and was rather glad when the waitress informed us that it was in fact rice. Loved the textures and the sweet Rose worked well with the kingfish and verjuice.
Mhm. When our lovely waitress described this fella, I knew we were in for a goodie. I’d happily have this stashed away for a rainy day. Or a Wednesday.
As the meal continued, we were treated to the best produce in the Valley. It was an incredible experience that I would pay for again and again. We were served by a few different waiters throughout the day, including the Executive chef, Lachlan Colwill, which was a real treat. Yes I giggled, because that’s what I do around chefs. Amazing personalised service. They knew we were a pretty jovial group looking forward to a damn good meal and so acted accordingly. The staff made the experience. Bravo to you.
The squid in the above dish looked divine and I’m bummed I didn’t get a photo. It had a brilliant consistency and I want to know how they did it!
So many dishes. So hard to choose, but I think the kangaroo was my favourite. How do they cook it like that!? Melt in the mouth and the accompaniments were perfection. I want more! I am salivating looking at my photos. Ha, sorry probably too much information. But when you go, you’ll understand!
We were never rushed nor felt like we needed to leave and I appreciated that so much. We had discussed 2497502 first world problems, people watched, and discussed the other 3229058205 wines we had tried in the days prior to our Hentley experience. We did the Barossa, right. More to come on the blog about our other stops.
STOP. DESSERT TIME.
Brilliant presentation. Ha. Why use plates when an egg carton shows off a dish like that! And that is some fine skill extracting the egg out of that shell without a crack. Free range, ahoy. LOVED this. The sour cream and passionfruit combination was great and it was enjoyed by all.
My buddies will tell you, one of my all time favourites is a perfect Blanc de Blanc, and this Blanc de Noir Vintage was amazing as well. And the label made me feel like I was drinking something out of Game of Thrones (just go with it…) so that made it all the better.
Admittedly, I wasn’t too keen on this dish when it was placed before us as I never really enjoy licorice or aniseed flavours, but the yoghurt gelato made the dish sing (sorry for the lame Masterchef words). Yum yum yum. It almost beat the egg. Almost.
Now, in case you’re a first time reader, or don’t know me at all, I LOVE DONUTS. Donuts and I are a match made it heaven. They are my spirit animal. Except I like the traditional donut. Either a perfect glazed donut, or well executed cinnamon donut. Give me one of those over a crazy hybrid donut/cronut/bronut/maconut any day.
When those Kitchener buns hit the table, my jaw hit the floor. They smelt like heaven, and you guessed it, tasted like a cloud. I had never heard of a Kitchener bun before (famous in SA, apparently), but they are definitely on my radar now. I want one now, please Chef.
The desserts kept flowing and the marshmallows and popsicles were just the icing on the cake. Except they were on a log, not a cake. The lovely Chef Colwill even brought my mother dearest an extra pistachio popsicle. Nawww.
What an afternoon. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the care the staff took throughout the day and you could sense their pride in both their service and what they were presenting to guests.
The food was phenomenal, the kangaroo, the oysters, the squid and those Kitchener Buns, ahhhh sounds the angels. I hadn’t tried many Hentley Farm wines before this experience either, but I will definitely be seeking them out from now on.
Lucky for me, I won’t have to wait too long until I see them (the wines) all again! Game of Rhones (ha like Thrones, but not) is coming to Melbs on the 18th of June and Hentley Farm are going to be in attendance. Sadly without the Kitchener Buns. So if you haven’t got tickets, grab them now and experience the magic.
Thank you, Hentley Farm. Excellent experience.