The restaurant at Sandalford Estate has undergone a significant makeover in recent months – opening more tables, moving away from silver service to a little more casual dining experience – without at all compromising the quality and value of the food – adding a bar in the dining area, and a large pizza oven, as well as rejigging the outdoor area with a very attractive and welcoming playground for the kids.
And last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to try out the new Spring menu, developed under the guiding hand of Executive Chef Alan Spagnolo. The event in the charming Vintage Room was hosted by Amy Hamilton and she was ably assisted by Stephen Wallace who took us through an array of the excellent wines on offer from this icon of the Swan Valley (and Margaret River).
We began with a selection from the small plate offerings, each detailed by Alan, and among these were a stunning Shark Bay scallop crudo, served with blood orange, chilli and dill – superb.
A La Delizia burrata, creamy, oozy, with a delightfully sharp and spicy champagne pickled peach with honeycomb and a linseed cracker from Mette is Baking also shone. As did a plate of juicy Kerrigan Valley beef carpaccio with horseradish aioli and pecorino.
Among the mains we enjoyed a pasta dish of WA shellfish, slipper lobster, prawns and scallops with tagliari.
The Rotolo – hand rolled egg pasta with eggplant, buffalo mozzarella, and tomato sugo impressed as did the Gin Gin cotolette – a delightful vegan dish. Hard to go past, too, the Shark Bay tiger prawn salad with avocado, avocado, pasta and smoked tomato vinaigrette.
And if you have been to Sandalford you know you just have to leave room for dessert – they are uniformly outstanding. And we got to try some beauties.
Whipped lemon cheesecake with caramelized peanut gelato and chocolate brittle…delicious.
And another impressive dish – Baked meringue, honeycomb, calamansi and seasonal berries.
Valrhona chocolate, passionfruit, cocoa nib, chocolate hazelnut ice cream also set the taste buds running, while for me the white chocolate entremet, with coconut apple compote and raspberry glass stood out as a must next time I am back.
The wines? Well too many to mention but they showcased the range of offerings from the Valley and Margaret River with some yet to be released, and others waiting for you at the cellar door – the Chenin Blanc was excellent, as were the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon we sampled, and of course who could forget the exquisite fortified Sandalera, just perfect with dessert.
So great makeover, outstanding food and wine in a lovely, welcoming setting with top class staff – what are you waiting for?