Off to the Valley for lunch last week we dropped in to one of our favourite casual eating houses – Homestead Brewery at Mandoon Estate. It was a pleasant sunny day and the place was crowded inside and out on the decking looking over the vines. We managed a table by the open doors so got the best of both worlds.
The brewery is in a great location, adjacent to the excellent restaurant and wine tasting facilities, views of the vines and around the corner the picturesque grounds – rolling lawns, playgrounds, beer garden, outdoor settings, deli and outside bar, it has everything you could wish for on a trip to the Valley. The brewery area itself scrubs up well – polished concrete floors, comfortable chairs, lounge area, a long easily accessible bar, and a fine veranda to sit out and catch the breeze.
As well as their beers, which are very good indeed, they also serve Mandoon’s own wines – and the estate has, in the relatively short time it has been open, become one of the most awarded wineries in WA. So with that in mind we ordered a bottle of the 2014 Margaret River Cabernet Merlot.
This is a delightful wine – a bouquet of blackcurrants, mulberries, tobacco with a touch of minty spice; the palate is silky smooth full of the flavours of plums and blackberries, olives and a whisk of vanilla.
While we waited for our meals we snacked on a bowl of smoked, spiced almonds and creamy macadamias.
Our meals arrived in good order – coriander chicken was served with roast pumpkin, green lentils with spelt, and crunchy green beans draped over the dish. The chicken was plump and juicy, with charred skin pimped up by the aromatic herb; the pumpkin sweet and earthy; while the grain and lentils added a nutty tone and the beans crunch and freshness. Impressive dish.
My dish of seared barramundi – tender, succulent yet firm to the bite and with crisped skin came on a bed of nutty, creamy cannellini beans, a few clams scattered about adding a salty elements, collapsing cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of parsley providing aroma and herbal contrast.
Mandoon Estate has been developed into one of the best locations in the Swan Valley with everything you could want. Good food and drink, lovely ambience, friendly and efficient service. The Homestead Brewery is a key component of that experience. The food is well above “pub” food, the drinks high quality, just a great day out.