Once a year GG and I head down Benara Road, turn right down West Swan Road and drive down the long, scenic driveway to the cellar door of Sandalford Winery. I look forward to it every year and Sunday gone was our third visit. Always hard when you go to back to a place, will it impress us like it did last year?
The weather was completely perfect – blue skies, the right amount of sunshine and heading down the driveway the vines all looked amazing. I was so happy to be there again!
The first thing we were very grateful for was the decision to book! Definitely a good decision. We had a booking at 12 and it amazed us as we sat there and enjoyed our meal how many people they had to turn away. The restaurant could be double the size and I still don’t think they could have squeezed everyone in!
So the first important decision what wine to enjoy? Seems that our wine of choice on past Sandalford outtings has been the Rose, so we decided to stick with a good thing and ordered a bottle of the 2010 Rose to enjoy with our meal. We then ordered one of the entree specials to share – a delicious Harvey Beef carpaccio served with walnuts, pear and some parmesan crsips. Amazing flavour combination – really lovely way to start proceedings.
Next up the difficult decision of what to have for mains! Only quite a short menu, but given all the choices looked amazing, it made it tough going. I settled on the White Rocks Veal Schnitzel, Tunisian Spiced Chat Potatos, Lebanese Coleslaw, Lemon Vincotto. First thing that always impresses me about Sandalford is the presentation of their meals. It’s like art on the plate – just stunning and when my meal arrived as per below, pretty as a picture, I could hardly wait to taste it.
The potato side was cold, which I was slightly surprised about, but the Tunisian spices were delicious and in retrospect it did work well combined with the coleslaw and then some of the veal…. oh the veal – cooked to perfection and wrapped in its delicious, herby and crispy schnitzel coating – it was seriously good, especially with a splash of the lemon juice.
After much debate, GG decided to the give the Lemon and Thyme Roasted Baby Chicken, Smoked Bacon Spaetzle, Picholine Olive Tapanade a go. Again he was so not disappointed. Beautifully presented and I was lucky enough to score a taste and it was divine! Moist and flavourful baby chicken and I’d never had spaetzle before but it’s wonderful, sort of reminded us to teeny tiny bit of gnocchi and with the bacon it was a total winner!
We thought we’d also splash out and enjoy one of the incredible sounding desserts and went with the Assiette of Local Strawberries – which entailed Strawberry Panna Cotta w/ Rosé Jelly and Strawberry Fool w/Meringue and finally a Sparkling Strawberry Shooter w/ Schnapps Sabayon.
The pannacotta was delectable! Creamy and honestly just amazing, had us wishing it was like 10 times the size and I still think we’d have wanted more!
And the same can be said of the sparkling strawberry creation. We both had a dainty sip each and were wishing for a jug of the stuff!
Then the strawberry was a perfect mouthful, which GG said I didn’t have to share, which was most gracious of him. It was magic!
Again the food at Sandalford had totally lived up to our expecations. It might not be the cheapest place to eat in the the Swan Valley but for consistent brilliance this is the place to go (and it is in the Entertainment Book!). They have the service down to an absolute art and it all makes for part of the experience. I can’t wait until my next visit!