On a pleasant Spring day, last Monday, the Lady FWO and I drove out to the Swan Valley to visit Upper Reach winery and since we were there decided to have lunch at Broads. Annalis and Anthony Broad, who once operated Whiteman’s Abroad in a lovely old heritage house in Guildford, have been in the restaurant attached to the Upper Reach Winery for a number of years now and have made it their own. It is a great spot. The restaurant is open, light filled and with a wonderful veranda area looking out over the vines towards the Swan River. On a day like the one we were there, the view was simply spectacular.
The menu itself is designed around shared food with a number of smaller dishes and three larger sharing platters. The smaller dishes are substantial and two or three are more than enough for two people sharing. The platters are much larger and also enough for two.
After some initial thought that we could manage two of the smaller dishes as well as a platter, we were thankfully persuaded otherwise by Annalis; we settled on a salad –rocket with feta, roasted pumpkin, beetroot, quinoa and orange dressing; potato croquettes; and corn and eggplant quesadilla…later we managed a delightful ginger cake as dessert.
The Upper Reach wines make up the wine list with a style to suit most, I think. Upper Reach is one of the most awarded wineries in the Valley and they produce excellent wines. Selections are available by glass or by the bottle. We started with a glass of rosé and one of Verdelho and moved on later to a glass each of Tempranillo. All were wonderful examples of the varieties. (we tasted all of the wines later in the winery tasting room and our thoughts will be posted over the next few days so I won’t go into detail now other than to say the wines chosen complemented our food choices perfectly).
Our salad was a picture of reds and orange against the green of the rocket leaves, with the contrasting feta scattered throughout. Quinoa seeds provided a crunch and the orange dressing was aromatic, light and complemented the other ingredients. It was a lovely light and delicious dish.
The croquettes – three large cigar shaped tubes – were filled with whipped potato, sundried tomato and spinach, and oozed from the fried coating when cut. They came with a creamed yoghurt and fetta dip. Simple, delightful, filling…..
The quesadilla was four quarters of flat bread filled with corn, eggplant and mozzarella, topped with a spicy capsicum chimmichurri and accompanied by a guacamole dip. Served warm with the melted cheese binding the corn and eggplant filling, and the salsa adding a lovely spicy jolt they were another hit as far as we were concerned – again simple, but designed with thought and care, all characteristics of Anthony’s cooking.
Almost replete, the dessert special of the day caught our eye and I am glad that it did!
It was a large slab of moist cake flavoured with the delicate spiciness of ginger with a delicious crème patisserie filling and fresh cream on the side. Broken praline completed the dish. It was absolutely delicious.
The setting of the restaurant is lovely – the views are outstanding – the green lawn below the veranda cool and inviting – the winery dog wandering around hoping that something may drop down to her. A large spreading gum tree at the centre adds to the attractiveness of the surrounds. The food is simple, well cooked, and served with flair and with care – indeed you could say, perfect winery fare…..
You should go- it is well worth the trip.