Another foodie post 🙂 It was our 20th wedding anniversary last month and while I would’ve loved a trip to Bali or Hawaii – instead it was a low-key (if pricey) trip to our local vineyard, the Oakdene Vineyards Restaurant. Check out me and Him-In-Doors dolled up for a rare night out.
The curious thing about Oakdene is while it is very upmarket it also has an eclectic groovy St Kilda/Fitzroy feel to it. The décor and garden space has little surprises all over the place – think a strung up purple bike covered in fairy lights, a collection of strange life-sized dog ornaments and a line-up of Mao style portraits watching our table as we ate. The garden is similar – lots of interesting sculptures and the cellar door is a house on its side. We sat in the terrace area – which looks like this: I’m one of those people who loves to study the menu – particularly the desserts – for ages before coming up with a short-list to agonise over before the waiter arrives. Him-in-Doors is more the glance at the menu for 30 seconds before announcing ‘I think I’ll have the Moose fricase’ kind of thing.
Anyway, we’d just ordered a bottle of Oakdene Sparkling when Him-In-Doors suggested we go the Degustation – four courses with matching wines. ‘What the hell?’ said I – in a ‘let’s do it’, rather than a ‘you’re mad’ tone. So Him-In-Doors bounded across the terrace and stopped Henry (our waiter) in the nick of time before he’d pulled the plug on the champers.
It had been ages since we’d been out to a fancy restaurant and it was so nice to feel pampered. Out came the beautiful crusty rolls to go with the Oakdene olive oil and tiny tasty olives. Out went the diet. For anyone who read the previous post – yes, I have food intolerances – but I’m not militant about the diet – particularly when I go out, particularly when it’s a significant event – you get the idea…
Here’s a selection of what we ate:
Cured Local Kingfish, Avocado, Dehydrated Sushi Rice, Barbequed Octopus & Daikon Salad with Oakdene 2013 ‘Jessica’ Sauvignon Blanc
Wagyu Beef Bastilla, Yoghurt, Cucumber, Sumac Glass with Oakdene 2013 ‘Ly Ly’ Pinot Gris
Yuzu & White Chocolate Pannacotta, Citrus Crumb, Strawberry & Bitters Sorbet with Scotchman’s Hill 2012 Late Harvest Riesling
Fort Aged Comté ‘La Courrone’ (France) Candied St James Walnuts, Quince & Apple with Marty’s Muscat (Local Muscat produced on the Bellarine)
There was also a duck course which is not on the restaurant’s website and I can’t remember all the fancy details but suffice to say it was divine. I should’ve taken photos of the food but was too busy oohing and aahing and enjoying my man’s company to bother. Oh, and did I mention I get tipsy on the smell of a champagne cork so even though we didn’t have full glasses – a generous taste – it was still ample to make me very happy! The beautiful thing about the whole degustation experience was we came away feeling like we’d had a great meal and some wonderful taste sensations but didn’t have that horrible over-indulged, I think I might be sick, kind of feeling you get when you pig out…okay, when I pig out 🙂
Sorry – this post is getting long but I just wanted to give a special mention to the dessert. As a terrible life-long sweet tooth, I declare it a big winner. The bitters sorbet was a taste sensation – sweet and bitter at the same time. And the whole combination – the creaminess of the pannacotta, the biscuityness of the crumb and the tang of the sorbet – was delightful.
Thanks Oakdene and thanks to my gorgeous partner in life for sharing the journey x