Friday, 15 April 2011

Lunch at Meadowbank Estate

Meadowbank Estate is a winery come restaurant situated in the Coal Valley of Tasmania. Its about a 20 minute drive from Hobart CBD and a 10 minute drive from a gorgeous old town called Richmond. There are a heap of vineyards in this region and it is a popular spot for tourists- and a select few who have realised how great the food is here!

I must confess I have been a casual employee at Meadowbank for some years now. It all started one day when I wandered through their cellar door on a wine tasting, and saw the most beautiful decked out restaurant clearly set for a wedding. The stunning white lilies on each table, the crisp white table cloths and silver settings. I knew there and then that I wanted to be a part of that. What a dream job! I showed my interest- a week later I was hired.

Since that day I progressed from function work to being a waitress in their a la carte restaurant. A few changes occurred whilst I was there- the most recent being the welcoming of the new head chef, Wayne Smith. This came with a few adjustments, but all for the better. The food going out to the diners looked amazing and I was hanging out for the day I got to try it!

My day has finally come, and last Sunday I went to Meadowbank for lunch with Ali. Boy were we spoilt! Service was amazing (ofcourse). Ian Wilson the restaurant manager was his usual self, buzzing around the dining room making sure he was acquainted with all the guests and ensuring everyone was happy, which obviously meant making sure a glass was never empty!

The menu was placed in front of us and I was excited, very excited. There were a few new dishes on the menu that I wasn't familiar with, which always excites me. The entrees ranged from an individual duck pie with shitake mushrooms to freshly shucked tassie oysters. I however opted for the ocean trout tartare with capers and citrus.

YUM! Words can not explain how delicious this dish was! The fish was so fresh, and the flavours so vibrant. The quenelle of creme fraiche on top was divine and the crunchy cucumber added wonderful texture! This was a perfect start!

Ali ordered the potato and goats cheese tortellini with pine nuts and currants. Again a delicious dish. It is so elegant on the plate you nearly didn't want to disturb it.

For mains there were 6 options including King fish, duck, rabbit, lamb, venison and pork belly. Anyone who knows me well, would know that I would normally go straight for the pork belly! But not today, I wasn't feeling like something heavy. And although tempted by the duck I went for the rabbit in the end. This was a roasted saddle of rabbit with a stuffing of herbs and Serrano ham. I was intrigued! (plus it's not Easter yet!).

I definitely made the right decision. Seriously how fantastic does this dish look! And it didn't just look great- it tasted beautiful! The ham was actually wrapped around the rabbit which gave such a strong flavour to the dish. Ali thought it was a bit too strong for her liking, but I was happy because that meant more for me!

Ali went with the King fish, served with prawns, Spring bay mussels and a warm tomato champagne dressing. As all thus far, this dish was no exception with presentation. Simple food served elegantly. The fish was cooked perfectly with a wonderful crispy skin. The bowl was nearly licked clean!

Ah desserts! For all you sweet tooth's out there, seriously go to Meadowbank! I don't normally order desserts, Id actually rather order another entree most times. But on this occasion there were three that I wanted! We were able to get two. I went with a gratin of green figs with pistachio ice cream. Pistachio ice cream is a real soft spot of mine- I love the stuff! And figs.. well who doesn't love figs. These were actually my first figs of the season so far, (hopefully many more to come).

This was a clever dish- I liked the idea of a 'sweet' gratin. Instead of the cheesy creamy potato gratin, the figs were covered in a custard type sabayon. Delicious! Right up my alley of a top dessert!

Ali went with Ian's recommendation of the breton sable with confit strawberries, lemon curd and rhubarb ice cream. Sounds like a lot going on, but when it got to the table, it was definitely the dish that caught every ones eye! Beautiful!

A breton sable for those who don't know (I didn't) is a French crisp cookie with vanilla, egg yolks and almonds. This was then layered with the strawberries, curd and ice cream. Mmmm mmm!

There are ofcourse fantastic wines to match each of the meals, but on this occasion it was quite simply a food frenzy for us! We really couldn't have asked for anything more- even the Tassie rain outside didn't put a dampener on the wonderful lunch we had. Thanks Meadowbank for a fantastic day!


  1. One of my favourite things to do is look up restaurant menus online- theirs is divine! And your pictures are gorgeous- what a lovely way to spend an afternoon!
    Soraya xx

  2. It is amazing here Soraya! Definetly worth a visit when you are next down x