Well what a glorious autumn Sunday we just experienced in the Swan Valley; sunny, warm, blue skies – and just calling for a winery lunch! With Riverbank – one of the Valley’s best – a couple of kilometres away – we just couldn’t resist.
We scored a table on the enclosed veranda looking out across the lawns to the vines to the river – and we even had a guitarist and singer up on the back of the old truck that adorns the lawn area serenading us as we dined….wonderful.
Rebellious Rosé is one of their best wines, especially on a day like this – 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. The menu was a little smaller than on previous visits but still plenty to choose from – we decided to share a couple of starters and one from the mains – and that proved more than enough for we two.
Ceviche to start – tender, succulent fish draped over a mashed pile of juicy avocado, sprinkled with nutty sesame seeds, drizzled with creamy wasabi flavoured mayo and accompanied by crunchy fried nori crisps. Beautifully presented and full of fresh, complementary flavours.
Half a dozen poached yabbies sweet and juicy, piled onto a salad of mixed greens, banana flowers, dried shallots and artichokes, surrounded by dollops of mildly spiced harissa mayo was next – again a wonderfully presented and flavoured dish.
And the main of choice lived up to the standard set by the starters – crisp skinned, flakingly tender barramundi cooked in a rich, thick tomato and caper flavoured sauce, with three or four mussels in the shell and charred broccolini. All combining into a delightful fish stew.
We did so want to try one of the desserts – they are usually pretty special here – but alas on this visit we couldn’t do one justice, so that will have to wait!
As always we found such impressive and well turned out food – the outlook is outstanding and the waiters uniformly friendly and welcoming. This is one of the best dining places in the Valley.