It’s been about 9 months since I was last at Riverbank Estate in the Swan Valley and that’s 9 months too long! On my last visit, I went with a friend so poor Mr. Spittoon has had to deal with food envy (and my raving) for the last 9 months.
We finally got ourselves into gear when we saw that Riverbank had a buy one main get one main free voucher in this years Entertainment Book, so one Saturday a couple of weeks ago we headed down.
We picked the day perfectly as it was their Jazz Saturday. The first Saturday of every month Riverbank have a live jazz band playing from 12-3pm. Perfect!
Plus it’s one of the closest wineries to the city, so if you weren’t keen to drive, you could always take the train to Guildford station and then the winery is a 3.4km walk from the station.
A wee bit of wine tasting..
The best thing about dining at a winery is that you pretty much have to do a cellar door tasting first. I mean it would be rude not to right? I like to do a tasting beforehand so I can get an idea of what to order with my food (sounds like a good excuse right?). It’d be a darn shame if you end up ordering a bottle between the 2 of you and neither of you enjoy it. I mean that’s a recipe for ruining your entire lunch.
Wine tasting at the Riverbank cellar door which is pretty much at the bar to the right as you enter the restaurant is $3 per person to sample three white wines and three reds or $5 to sample the sparkling and fortifieds. However on this particular day we weren’t charged so perhaps if you’re dining at the restaurant it’s free. Bonus!
The cellar door staff were super friendly and I was amazed at how many wines Riverbank actually produce. They have a range of sparklings, whites, reds and fortifieds to tempt the taste buds. My personal favourite was the oaked 2011 Chardonnay with plenty of peach, vanilla and a touch of herbaceous-ness. Mr. Spittoon was a fan of the 2009 Shiraz which was nice and full-bodied with silky tannins and lovely dark plum and baking spices tantalising the palate. Another interesting find was the 2009 Mt Barker Riesling with its lime juice and high acidity palate.
The restaurant has indoor seating as well as outdoor seating, however they have those clear plastic barriers up, so you can sit outside and still be warm. The restaurant over looks the outstretched vineyard and there is a beautiful nice big grass lawn. Actually I had a bit of grass envy as it was just that perfect bright green grass. It really was a pretty setting. There were even some kids playing pétanque in one corner.
I’m definitely going to have to go back in Summer I think to make full use of that lawn and the tables under the grapevine terrace!
Wine with lunch..
So with our lunch I went for a glass of Chardy for $9 and Mr. Spittoon went for a glass of the Shiraz for $10 while we relaxed to the sweet jazz sounds. Bottle prices start from a mere $28 and they also include some other wines on the list like Veuve Clicquot and Moet.
There is a range of non-alcoholic drinks as well as spirits, ciders, beers and even a gluten-free beer on the menu!
The scary thing is that this is the 2nd time I’ve visited Riverbank and everything has been perfect. I like steak but usually don’t tend to order it when out, yet when I go to Riverbank I always order a steak because they know how to cook a good steak! It’s heaven!
So this is what we went for:
Mozzarella and herb arancini for $9 (I was basically licking the plate!).
Char-grilled beef fillet, potato gratin, sautéed mushrooms, onion jam with pepper and cognac sauce for $44.
Trio of pork – braised pork belly with crackling, sticky marinated rib and pickled pork and apple salad for $42 (how pretty is it!).
Vanilla ice-cream served with fresh banana, nougat, topped with lime, passionfruit and tequila syrup and a poached pear for $15.
Baileys cheesecake with kahlua mousse and homemade honeycomb for $15.
Man-o-man every single item above was to die for. Everything was cooked to perfection and the presentation was outstanding. Yes in terms of price it may be up there, however it’s good to know that the food quality matches the price point!
Yet again, Riverbank didn’t disappoint and I would have to say it’s up there in my top 3 places to dine in the Swan Valley. Plus the service was impeccable, so friendly and very attentive. I can’t wait to go back again :)
For more information, please check out the Riverbank Estate website.