I think I managed to go to just about all of the best restaurants in the Margaret River region during my one week stay in the area.
Will’s Domain near Yallingup was my favourite (review here).
My third favourite was Palmer’s in Dunsborough (review here).
As luck would have it my second favourite, Vasse Felix, and my fourth, Cullen’s, are both right next door to each other in Wilyabrup. And there’s also a good deli, Margaret River Providore, just down the road.
Vasse Felix (Advanced A), Caves Rd & Tom Cullity Drive, www.vassefelix.com.au
Vasse Felix is the oldest (founded in 1967) and most highly regarded vineyard in the Margaret River wine region.
Happily it also has one of the best restaurants…
… which is located in a beautiful wood-timbered building…
… overlooking the vines.
It’s also one of Karen’s favourites so I had a very willing partner in crime to eat with.
We began by tasting a few of their wines for free. However, you had to pay a A$5 tasting charge to try the premier 2016 Heytesbury Chardonnay (A$89 per bottle to buy), but it was really good.
For our food we opted for the more affordable but still very good 2017 Filius Chardonnay for A$28.
Karen began with the Stracciatella (a kind of mozzarella) which was beautifully presented.
I’m always looking for new experiences so I had the Emu Tartar. I could now claim to have eaten both of Australia’s national symbols!
For the main Karen went with the pork…
…while I had the local Dhufish.
We shared a Carrot Salad…
… and later divided the Caramel Pudding.
I had a glass of 16 Cane Cut Semillon to go with it (Karen was driving unfortunately).
With two Flat Whites the bill came to A$204 between us which wasn’t too bad at all for what we had.
As we were too busy enjoying ourselves I didn’t score anything but suffice to say it was a superb meal!
On the way out we picked up a couple of bottles of their 2016 Chardonnay which had been too pricey to have with the meal but only cost A$39 each from the cellar door.
We also had a look at their impressive art collection.
This was my first face-to-face experience of Aboriginal art.
And right next door to Vasse Felix is another Margaret River veteran…
Cullen Wines (Advanced A), 4323 Caves Rd, www.cullenwines.com.au
We had yet another fantastic meal at Cullen on our last day in Margs. This venerable institution isn’t as visually stunning as Will’s Domain or Vasse Felix but it’s still a nice spot.
We sat on the outdoor terrace facing the vines.
After a tasting of a few whites in their range, including the excellent ‘Kevin John’ Chardonnay (A$5 surcharge) we selected their 2015 Chardonnay Sauvignon Semillion Blend (A$36.50 per bottle) to have with our food which was great. In fact we liked it so much we got another one to take home from the cellar for the lower price of A$31.50.
We had the Charcoal-grilled Prawns with Kimchi, Egg Yolk and ‘Coastal Green’…
… Line-caught Red Emperor, Cucumber, Fermented Apple, Dashi, Squid Ink Cracker…
…and Arkady Lamb. Bagna Cauda, Garden Leek and Almond Crunch.
And the Cullen Honey Mousse, Comb and Ice Cream to finish, to which I added a glass of 2017 LH Chenin Blanc.
Again, I was too busy enjoying to score but everything was wonderful, including the great service from our waiter Paolo who was a native of Messina. He enjoyed the fact that I had been to Al Padrino, a great restaurant in his hometown (see my Messina post).
It came to A$220 between us, which was great given we had a bottle to take home as well, and we left buzzing.
A short drive away is this posh shop…
Margaret River Providore (Intermediate B+), 448 Tom Cullity Dr, www.providore.com.au
An upmarket deli selling award winning wines, liqueurs, oils and jams etc under their own label.
They have an interesting organic kitchen garden you can wander around. I learned here that in 1637 rhubarb was so highly prized that by weight it cost three times more than opium!
And that sadly is the last of my posts on this wonderful part of the world.
I had a great experience in Perth and Margaret River, thanks in a large part to my dear old friend Karen.
Thank you so much for a wonderful time mate.
Can’t wait to come back! 🙂