It’s been several years since there was a restaurant at Church Road Winery and now for the summer Church Road Winery and Dish Catering have partnered to once again offer a lunch restaurant at this much loved venue.
The concept is innovative and interesting and is based around sharing plates – just perfect for lunch and for those that want to taste more than one or two dishes on the menu – yes that’s me!
The menu recommends two sharing plates per person together with a selection of dishes to begin and conclude. We found that one shared dish to start, two shared plates and two shared side dishes more than satisfied us.
So what did we eat? To start we choose the bruschetta ($7) with basil, vine tomato &
pesto, this simple but perfectly presented dish was exactly what a starter should be light and appetite wetting – the bread was lightly toasted, the tomato perfectly ripe and the basil and pesto fragrant. There is also an option of baccala (creamy whipped salt cod), but unfortunately this was unavailable on the day we were there.
For our sharing plates it was twice-cooked pork belly, hoisin sauce, pickled vegetables & coriander in crispy pancakes ($16.95) – the pork belly was melt-in-the-mouth tender and succulent. The crispy pancake was wrapped around the pork and other ingredients and skewered with a bamboo toothpick to hold it all together. Our other choose was seared
yellowfin tuna with fennel & apple, spring pea, herb dressing & preserved lemon aioli ($19.95), this was a pretty dish with fresh clean flavours.
For our sides it was chorizo polenta chips with beetroot, roast garlic mayonnaise ($7.95) – five bite-sized fried polenta batons each on a skewer making for easy dipping into the
delicious mayonnaise and even easier eating – I was sorry I had to share these with my dining partner! Our other side, which was also excellent, asparagus, soft boiled egg with black pepper mayonnaise & spice sprinkle ($9.95) consisted of a generous serve of
asparagus accompanied by a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg with just the right amount of mayonnaise.
To finish I could not resist the old fashioned coconut ice ($4.50) which sits under a glass dome on the counter looking tempting and delicious and like the perfect accompaniment to an espresso (short black) coffee ($3) – which it was. There are other sweet treats – French nougat and Turkish delight – as well a selection of desserts.
A friend of mine who has also eaten here recommends the beef carpaccio, goat’s cheese pannacotta, crispy capers, drunken mushrooms & rocket leaves (17.95) and the crispy
calamari, Vietnamese salad, creamy coconut sauce & seaweed sprinkle ($18.95).
The wine and beverage list has many wines by the glass all priced between $7 and $11 and as you would expect most are from the Church Road cellar. Each sharing plate also has one or two wine pairing suggestions.
With its relaxed atmosphere and friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff I can see this
becoming a popular lunch destination for locals and tourists alike and know that we will be taking visitors there over summer.
My recommendation would be to go with a largish group of people so you taste as many dishes as possible!
Church Road Cellar Door & Restaurant
150 Church Rd, Taradale
Open: 7 days, 11am to 3pm