Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Port Philip Estate - (Melbourne)

  Port Philip Estate is a well respected winery that has in possession part of the Red Hill vineyard lands of Mornington Peninsula.   This is a region renowned for making wines that try to emulate the sophisticated French burgundy wine styles,  perhaps due to it’s similar climate and soil composition.   Some wineries succeed,  but not everyone has managed so far!   The dining room here is equally well received by its loyal followers and has been awarded a 1 Hatted Status by the local Good Food Guide.    Weekend lunch is a 3 Courses affair starting from $85,  which is slightly on the pricey side as during weekdays,  it’s 2 courses + a glass of wine at around $45,  at a significant discount!   


Overlooking the Vineyards -
Dining at wineries is one of the most enjoyable weekend adventures for a Melbournian,
as long as it doesn’t rain !

Main Dining Space -
Reminds me of Spain for some reason…



Pork Philip Estate’s 2008 ‘Kooyong’ Chardonnay -
Their most basic Chardonnay is light yet sophisticated,
it is definitely not your ordinary creamy and oaky Australian chardonnay!   There are a few more Single Vineyard selections available at a premium,  each with their own unique wine style.

Cape Grim Rain Water,  from Tasmania -
Not often do you see rain water offered instead of mineral water,
and this tasted like a very pure soft water.  Reminds one of Scottish Highland water,  but this seemed very slightly more lighter overall.  Very enjoyable !



Baguette Bread with local Olive Oil and French Butter -
Served cold as usual.  The crust was crispy but the inside was very soft.  This was a very high quality traditional style baguette.   ~  9/10

Amuse Bouche -  
Fennel and Pumpkin Arancini with Aioli was tasty, but with almost all Italian restos in town offering an Arancini or a Suppli on the menu,  this makes it relatively speaking,   a little worn out.  ~   8/10



A Taste of -
Cloudy Bay Oyster, Rice Wine Vinaigrette,
Potato,  Leek and Miso Soup,
Yuzu Marinated Scallop,  Pickled Ginger with black sesame..
According to dining friends,  was very well executed.  For me I thought the recipe was a little old school and cliché,  but the scallop was definitely tasty…   ~   6.9/10




Spaghettini, Spanner Crab,  Lemon, Chervil & Cream -
This is another simple enough recipe but done to perfection.   It is hard to rate such a dish as it is not something you can’t find anywhere else.  But what I’d come to appreciate about food in Melbourne is that execution is usually but not always spot on.   ~  8/10

Three Little Pigs -
A dish composed of crispy pork belly on lentils,  which was good.  A pork head meat cromequis with herbed salad which was delish.   House made black pudding was of the British rather than French or Spanish style,  was a little too weak compared to many versions in town.  ~   7.5/10



King George Whiting, Cauliflower Puree, Parsley Crumbs,  Mussel Jus -
Sounded exciting but the jus was missing the mussels essence,   and the cauliflower puree was rather weak.   The fish was cooked alright,   but for once,  the execution of this dish was not up  to the description indeed!    ~    6/10



Aylesbury Duck Breast, Crispy Confit, Poached Figs, Spiced Duck Glaze -
When this main course arrived, we can’t help thinking why this looked so much like the three little pigs entrée above. The so called crispy confit was another bread crumbed item with herbed salad. The duck breast was cooked well but a bit too small in portion. Sauce was excellent. Overall, decent but not a culinary feat. ~ 6.9/10




Roasted Fillet of Snapper,  Irish Colcannon, Bug Tail, Shellfish veloute -
Only tried a little bit of this.  Thought the fish was slightly too hard overcooked.  The other components of this dish seemed interesting!    ~   N/R


Haunch of Rabbit,  Black Pudding, Fennel Risotto, Thyme Jus -
This definitely sounded better than the rabbit tastes,  and looked different than expectations!   Turned out to be a rabbit leg done ballotine style with the abovementioned very weak tasting black pudding. The meat was a little dryish,  although rabbits usually carry that problem.  The rabbit rib racks fared better!    The thyme jus was nearly undetectable,  and so was the fennel taste in the risotto.   This could have been very good if done better ~   5/10



Spring Vegetables -  $10.50  extra
A bit of french beans,  rainbow silverbeet, carrots and green asparagus.  This was not too seasoned,  which personally is a good thing to retain the natural taste.   A little tiny in portion though.   ~  8/10


Quince Poached Pear, Rhubarb Sorbet, and spiced Mascarpone -
An interesting combo.  The quince poached pear made it sweet,  and spicing the mascarpone rather than the pear itself was a good move.   Rhubarb sorbet was what I looked forward to most but a little too weak in taste.   ~   7/10




Vanilla Marshmallow, Lemon Curd, Pistachio Crumble -
Almost like a lemon pie, this was decent but predictable.   The pistachio crumble looked nice but can be found in even cafes nowadays…   ~   7/10


Chocolate Marquise,  Wine Poached Rhubarb, Wattle seed Pannacotta -
This looked really presentable and with that brandy snap curl adorning the dessert.  I didn’t actually eat this but I think everyone loved this the most!  ~    N/R




Chocolate Logs -
With nuts and pistachio.  They had an almost truffle like texture to them.  Very good,  but we did wonder why they were plated next to the sugars,  which were for the coffees?   ~   8/10

Port Philip Estate’s Wine Tasting Room -
The staff are really friendly and knowledgeable here indeed!
The dining room’s food was generally good and pleasing,  although with so many improving competitors around,  it felt like it was at least 3-4 years behind the scene.   The execution in general was luckily still up to a highish standards,  bar the slightly repetitive elements in the courses.




Price: AUD $100 per person
Weekend Lunch:  ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Opening Hours -
Lunch -   Wed to Sun
Dinner -  Fri and Sat nights

Address:  263 Red Hill Road, Red Hill South, Mornington Peninsula,  Victoria Australia
Ph:  +61 3 5989 4444

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