This restaurant made it onto my Best Food Guide last year (check it out here). Its situated in Margaret River (3.5 hour drive from Perth CBD) in the middle of wine country. Voyager Estate is a winery founded by Michael Wright (his father was a pioneer in the WA iron ore industry along with Lang Hancock) who invested significantly to build the winery to a world-class standard.
Is it worth the long drive for lunch? Of course it is, and here is a look at the venue and our lunch.
The Vineyard and Gardens
The vineyard and the gardens are among the most beautiful I have ever seen!
Cellar Door and Restaurant
The Cellar Door is beautiful we take a little roam around the place and do a little wine tasting to whet the palate before lunch!
Eventually we head in and are escorted to our table by the super friendly restaurant manager. The table setting is simply wonderful.
We start with some bread for the table…
Bread with Voyager Estate Dukah and Olive Oil
The bread is lovely and fluffy on the inside and is paired with a lovely Dukkah of roasted almonds, sesame seeds, fennel, coriander, cumin, sumac, and chilli. The olive oil which is from 34 degrees South has a light gentle flavour with a beautiful peppery finish to remind one of the Mediterranean.
We then kick in to the entrees and wine…
Voyager Estate, VOC Collection Wilyabrup Merlot (2011), Margaret River
The wonderful aromas of red fruits with earthy and spice notes greet you once the wine is in the glass. On the palate the wine is soft, incredibly easy to drink with the full intensity of red berry fruit with some lovely earthy tones add an interesting dimension while some fine tannins provide a little grip to balance the fruit.
Estate Lamb Croquettes, Broccolini, Parsnip Puree, Courgette and Rosemary Tomato Jus
The aesthetics of the dish is amazing. The wonderful green colours, the golden brown colours of the croquettes, redness of the tomato jus and the cream white of the parsnip puree. The croquettes have the stringy succulent lamb (with a deep flavour) is hidden inside the golden crunchy crumbed coating. The wonderful crunchy greens are nicely balanced with the soft moist parsnip puree. The charred courgette adds a lovely smoky tone to the dish.
My dining companions have the following dishes/wines to round out the entrees (I suffer from serious bouts of food envy)….
Voyager Estate White Wine Flight (2014 Chenin Blanc, 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and 2011 Chardonnay)
Quail, Freekah, Pancetta and Green Olive
Whiting, Cured Tuna, Citurs, Fennel and Lemon Oil
We then move onto the Main Courses and I decide to switch wines to the…
Voyager Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot (2010), Margaret River
On the nose the wine exudes the wonderful floral (violet) and herby/earthy aromas. On the palate there is a mix of earthy dark and red berry fruit flavours with hints of beautiful dark chocolate and herbs. The wine is well-balanced and has some lovely fine-grained layered tannins to partner with the richness of the fruit flavours. It is the perfect pairing for the next dish.
Black Angus Beef Fillet, Truss Tomato, Potato Gallette and Mustard Foam
The charred crust of the beef fillet is smoky and provides a lovely introduction to the dish. The juices of the beef lay inside the tender jelly like texture of the rare fillet. It’s a lovely contrast of textures and a wonderful assiette of flavours indeed.
The foam of the mustard is light on taste but provides some bite / heat on the tongue to go with the beef (as does the seeded mustard on the side). The potato gallette is creamy and soft on the inside with a rather firm crust on the outside while the tomatoes burst with the fork to reveal a smoky juicy taste experience. A simple but well executed dish.
My dining companions have the following dishes (again they look amazing)…
Dhu Fish, Asparagus, Watercress, Salsa Verde and Pumpkin Puree
Duck, Cherries, Radish and White Polenta
As the afternoon unfolds we move onto dessert, and my dining companion chooses the…
Pineapple and Almond Cake
I just can’t say no to the….
Black Forest Gateau, Cherry Semifreddo and Fresh Cherries
The dish is an array of tastes, flavours, textures and temperatures. There is the moist cake in the centre which oozes with rich cocoa flavours, the bright fruity cherries and cherry jam on the plate, the intense sweetness of the chocolate ice-cream and then the frozen creaminess of the semi freddo with juicy interludes of the cherries inside. It is a black forest tasting experience that will take you back to the German Countryside. I just love it.
Of course to gear-up for the journey home, we have a caffeine hit to keep us awake (Don’t worry I didn’t drive after having all that wine – we had a designated driver 🙂 )
This restaurant has to be one of my favourites. Its a six hour round trip, but I just love making the trek down south to try it. The produce is top quality, the culinary style is simple and unpretentious and the service is always top notch. When you add in the beautiful surrounding gardens and wine tasting I just don’t think you could ask for much more!