Pepper & Salt Restaurant and Forest Hill Cellar Door

walkway to the forest hill vineyard denmark

Welcome back to the blog Naomi who today is sharing with us her experience at Pepper and Salt Restaurant and Forest Hill Cellar Door in WA’s Great Southern Wine Region…


After reading that Pepper and Salt had won the cellar door with the best food from Gourmet Trader for Western Australia’s Great Southern region, I just knew I had to make a booking to see what the fuss was all about.

The Pepper and Salt restaurant is part of the Forest Hill Winery grounds, and head chef Silas Masih has been cooking here since 2013.

Pepper & Salt Restaurant

entrance sign into pepper and salt denmark

As I had made a booking online for lunch, we opted to have our meal first and then head down to the cellar door, which sits underneath the restaurant.

I was excited to visit, as I had also heard that the menu not only changes seasonally, but it is designed to showcase local and fresh produce. Fellow Perth food blogger Perth Munchkin caught up with Chef Silas Masih to have a Q&A and talk about how he came about to live and work in Denmark and what influences his menu.

restaurant chairs and tables at pepper and salt denmark

As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you get a sense of grandness and brightness.

The restaurant overlooks the rolling hills of Denmark, Karri Forest and a paddock full of vines. The venue consists of floor to ceiling glass which allows you really absorb the beauty of Denmark.

As we had made the booking on a  weekday, and with plenty of notice, we were lucky enough to have a window seat to soak up the view.

Our wait staff were wonderful and helped to guide us in the right direction for food and drinks. We had the option of a two or three-course meal. I wanted the whole experience, so for $75, I went for three courses, while my friend opted for the two-course option.

We had plenty of options to choose from the lunch menu, where the chef mingles Fijian, Indian and Australian cuisine.

On offer was:

Entree

  • Japanese rice porridge, fried sesame tofu, mushroom xo, soy mirin egg & garlic yakitori dressing
  • Crab, prawn, Chinese mushroom & egg drop spicy long soup
  • Roasted seven spice Nabawarra marron, cucumber kimchi, lemon myrtle coconut
  • Seared scallops, pork and chive dumplings, soused red cabbage tom yum butter

Mains

  • Seared cone bay barramundi, shellfish bisque, fondant kipfler potatoes, fresh fennel tomato salad
  • Plantagenet spice aged beef eye fillet, duck fat delaware potatoes, buttered greens, oxtail ragout
  • Char-grilled sumatran chicken maryland, charred pumpkin, lemongrass & galangal glaze, sour coconut
  • Slow cooked kojonup lamb shank, parmesan croquette, gremolata, lamb jus

Dessert

  • Belgium chocolate ganache, blackcurrant jelly, chocolate ice-cream, p&s chocolate shard
  • Vanilla & kaffir lime panna cotta, matcha shortbread, botrytis riesling & anise strawberries, chilli orange ice-cream
  • Opihr gin & tonic tart, lemon curd, toasted tonic water meringue, gin candied citrus, vanilla ice-cream

Once we had decided what we wanted (keep reading to find out), it was onto the most important part of the day – selecting the wine to match our meals.

We opted for a glass of the 2014 Forest Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and a glass of the 2018 Forest Hill Mount Barker Riesling.

bottle of forest hill vineyard estate 2014 cabernet sauvignon

bottle of forest hill vineyard mount barker 2018 riesling

I was really interested to see a Gewurztraminer on the menu, however, this was only offered by the bottle and as I was driving, the Riesling was the closest match by the glass.

wine barrel on the verandah at pepper and salt restaurant

We made our selection for lunch and while waiting for our wine and meals to arrive, we opted to walk out onto the verandah to take in some of the views until our food arrived.

Each dish delicious and presented with such care and beauty.

Entrée

seared scallops pork and chive dumplings cloud ear mushroom tom yum butter at pepper and salt denmark

Seared scallops, pork and chive dumplings, soused red cabbage tom yum butter

Mains

silas hot thali duck special at pepper and salt denmark

The Curry of the Day Lunch Special – Duck leg

stirling ranges spice aged beef eye fillet oxtail kibbeh pumpkin mole and pan jus at pepper and salt denmark

Plantagenet spice aged beef eye fillet, duck fat delaware potatoes, buttered greens, oxtail ragout

Dessert

vanilla and kaffir lime panna cotta matcha shortbread botrytis riesling and anise strawberries chilli orange icecream at pepper and salt denmark

Vanilla & kaffir lime panna cotta, matcha shortbread, botrytis riesling & anise strawberries, chilli orange ice-cream

opihr gin and tonic tart lemon curd toasted tonic water meringue gin candied citrus vanilla icecream view from the side of the plate at pepper and salt denmark

Opihr gin & tonic tart, lemon curd, toasted tonic water meringue, gin candied citrus, vanilla ice-cream (gf)

Our meals were an absolute delight – both a good size and value for money. I left feeling very full and satisfied with my three courses. But there was more to come. Next up we visited the cellar door.

Forest Hill Cellar Door

arched door leading into the forest hill vineyard cellar door

There are two options to reach the cellar door. You can take the stairs which are found at the entrance into the restaurant, or you can take the pathway from the carpark and enter via these stunning large arched wooden doors.

the forest hill cellar door

The room is dimly lit, providing a sense of romance and almost a step back in time with exposed walls and beams that point you directly to the tasting area.

The room is grand in size and I can imagine there are many events and weddings held in this part of the venue.

The wine list is extensive, with three labels:

  1. The Block Series – made from small, carefully selected parcels of the best old vine fruit from the Forest Hill Property including the original 1965 vines. The wine is from vines that are low yielding due to age and relying only on natural rainfall and if the vintage proves to be challenging, a block wine won’t be made for that year. Wines include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Riesling
  2. The Estate Range – made from the original Forest Hill old blocks and the best younger vineyards. Wines include Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec, Gewurztraminer
  3. Highbury Fields – wine from this range are from the Mount Barker property of the same name, producing exceptional fruit with the dry-grown vineyards occupying the best soils on this historic property. Wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, and Chardonnay.

green seats beside the fireplace inside the forest hill celler door

For the cooler months, I can imagine the green couches getting a work-out as guests enjoy sitting by the gorgeous open wood fire.

doorway leading outside at the cellar door forest hill vineyard

Want To Find Out More?

Forest Hill Winery
Address: 1564 South Coast Hwy, Denmark WA
Phone: 08 9848 2399
Cellar Door Hours: Thursday to Sunday 10:30am-5pm
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Pepper & Salt Restaurant
Phone: 08 9848 3053
Restaurant Hours: Thursday to Sunday lunch and Friday night dinners
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...

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