After a hectic week involving a car service, catching up with the ex-colleagues, my mentor and just getting through the chores around the house, I was in Swan Valley for a day trip. More importantly, I discovered a whole new place of happiness in the Valley. It is the famous Lamont’s Vineyard. While the whole menu looked all very decadent, I was a little cautious after my last attempt to fine dine at Lamont’s Bishop went pear-shaped leaving a huge hole in my pocket. Needless to say, a few queries at the counter to ask about the waiter's favourite dishes as well as her other recommendations soon had me decide on the dishes I was going to order.
The first to arrive was the crispy pork belly, cauliflower puree, and caramelised onions.
The puree was silky smooth and the pork was the crispiest. Salad at the top was refreshing, and the onions were caramelised till sticky-sweet. While most techniques were aced without question, it was the simplest detail that was left out. Salt. Spices. I felt that the pork could do with more salt-marinade as it was a little bit bland and did not standout from the lot. Still, it was a decent eat.
Deep fried prawns, grated coconut, and avocado soba was the next dish. Splendid. This was my dish of the day without question. Prawn so amazing you thought you were at the seaside and soba so well modernised it felt just right. Drizzling the lemon over the soba, you are left with a silky smooth soba with a creamy avocado coating. This normally gets a little cloying but when you have the diced bits of onions and coriander playing with your senses where it was a little bit pungent, a little bit herbed and it all felt very interesting especially towards the end with a citrusy note from the lime juice. I truly enjoyed it. Despite being deep fried and having bits of creamy avocado, I did not feel overwhelmed at any one point!
Steak, croquette, caramelised root vegetables and salad, with a side of chips with truffle oil. While it was hard to fault with the steak dish, it more -standard than special. Still, there was nothing wrong. The steak was well-cooked, croquettes crisp with a fluffy inside and over all just very nice. But when you have a side of chips cooked so bloody amazing, you soon disregard everything else. The chips at Lamont’s Vineyard soon became a highlight. Yobi who was with me commented that why do most places do chips so bad. This is amazing he says! True enough, I was thoroughly impressed by the humble potato. If you ever come to Lamont’s Vineyard, this is definitely worth ordering. Even if you are here just for the drinks!
To end was a caramel tart that came highly recommended by the waitress. On the first bite, you might feel like you have had enough because it was so very rich but there always seemed to be a taste that had me come back. The gooey texture topped with some crunchy nuts with its crumbly base made the tart a very yummy. In the end, it was never quite enough to share for three.
But having called too many dishes to share earlier means I was left to bring the macaron’s back home. These were made by the famous Jean Pierre Sancho Patisserie. Crunchy top with a chewy centre, there was nothing much too praise for a person who is not a fan of sugar. Admittedly though, the macarons were very visually impressive.
Comparing the Vineyard to the fine dining establishment at Lamont’s Bishop, I really adored the former more. Lamont’s Vineyard on a Saturday afternoon is a lovely place. It was just so relaxed. Food is simple, honest and not overly complicated. The environment was relaxed and it all felt very comfortable. Being with my old buddy and his girlfriend also meant that it was time spent well. A lovely end to a long week I have to say :)!