A few new places have opened in Margaret River since my last trip down, and earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit one of them; on the highway just before you reach the bridge coming into town is Brewhouse Margaret River – set on an expanse of lawn with tables, chairs and umbrellas a new purpose built restaurant and bar stands above and behind a restored older house. A deck out front of the bar is an attractive and appealing spot to set up, you can look over the lawn towards bush, and back down to the road. Inside can be found the bar and an open kitchen – ordering is done at the bar.
They serve both their own beers as well as guest taps – one of which was Pirate Life when I was there – this seems to be popping up everywhere, deservedly as they turn out very good drops. But as I was in a brewhouse I felt I should try one of the local beers and ordered the Inji pale Ale – named for Injidup I guess.
Anyway it is an American Pale Ale style, and very well done at that – citrus and resin characters on the nose, refreshingly bitter on the palate, very pleasant indeed.
While I sipped my beer on the deck, I looked over the menu – it has small dishes designed for sharing – beef tacos, chips with aioli, chicken wings, cheese, pickled vegetables and bread – the cheese from Nannup’s Cambray Cheese – tomato salad with curd, and chili salt squid among them. Larger dishes include lamb shoulder with flat bread and tabouleh, burgers, duck curry, mussels cooked in brown ale, and vegetable tagine, as well as a range of pizzas.
A lot of interesting dishes a little out of the mainstream of pub food, but still paying allegiance to that popular style; I decided to try one of the smaller plates – cuttlefish with samphire.
This was a very well executed dish. Well-cooked cuttle fish – agreeable firmness to the bite, but still tender and juicy, served with a generous amount of samphire scattered across – succulent, fresh tasting, salty and luscious – sesame seeds added a nutty, oily note, while charred lemon gave the dish sweet and acidic citrus elements; and then some fried chilli added a bracing buzz. Complementary and competing flavours and textures added to a most enjoyable meal.
With this I had a glass of red – the wine list is small and is made up of local wines – Evans and Tate, Churchview, Juniper Crossing, Snake and Herring – and my choice, Cabernet Sauvignon from a small producer, Grierson. Plums and blackcurrant aromas, a hint of tobacco, with a medium bodied palate of mulberries, plums with minty notes – excellent drinking.
From the crowd that built up while I was there, Brewhouse is obviously already popular with locals and visitors alike – dog friendly too – and is set for big things, I think. Very good food if my meal is anything to go by; fine beers and a snappy little wine list – maybe rosé and Riesling would improve it –with a range of good choices. This is one to be visited if you are down that way.