These warm and sunny autumn days keep on rolling on and one of the best ways to spend them, we think, is having a pleasant lunch in the Swan Valley – and one of the best places for that is at Riverbank – it has one of the prettiest outlooks of any winery restaurant in the Valley, over lawns to vines rolling down to the Swan River and across to Woodbridge House on the far side. With seating on two levels inside and an outdoor area, a covered veranda, shielded by heavy cafe blinds is the prime place to sit – in winter gas heaters add a touch of warmth – while on warm days the breeze keeps the temperature down.
Sitting outside on the veranda we tried a couple of glasses of their wine – these have improved immeasurably since the new owners took over and put the wine making in the hands of Digby Leddin – the Rebellious 2017 Rosé showed the gains made in this area- it has a fragrant bouquet of crushed rose petals and Turkish Delight, with a clean, crisp palate redolent of cranberries and rhubarb; just a little mid palate sweetness too, a perfect warm weather drinker!
As for the food – well Riverbank have long been one of our favourites and on this visit, once again, the food impressed.
We began with a couple of small starters – firstly marinated Fremantle sardines, succulent, nicely vinegared, sitting on a bed of greens and with a couple of slices of crusty bread as company – well done.
On to cheddar beignets with spiced plum sauce – crisped skin, inside moist, chewy and cheesy – the spiced plum sauce pleasantly zingy – all together another very good starter.
Then we moved to a couple of entrée choices – pork belly, luscious and rich, alongside a smear of apple purée, a crisped slice of crackling and a salad of leaves and caramelised leek – spot on.
And my poached yabbies was also a winner – the head and claws of one crawling across a plate of salad, three or four tails and a similar number of juicy, seared scallops – all with a sweet beurre blanc infused with pineapple.
Despite only ordering from the starter and entrée choices that was enough for us – well until we spied the desserts and couldn’t resist white chocolate and banana parfait, so light and fluffy, – which came with slices of caramelised banana, and chunky chocolate crumb. Yummo.
Once again Riverbank, proved a winner – and one of the best places to lunch in the Valley – and with the pick-up in the wine quality it has even greater appeal. Highly recommended.