I know it’s game of me to say that I’ve potentially found one of the best wine and food tasting boards in Perth, maybe Western Australia. But hey, I have a bit of liquid courage behind me so I’m doing it!
It’s no secret that I think some of the best food in the Swan Valley comes out of the kitchen at Riverbank Estate, just a couple of kilometers up the road from Guildford. Since living in Perth, I have eaten at Riverbank a handful of times, if the prices were cheaper, well heck, I would be there everyday. But then again, if the food was cheaper, then it might not orgasm in your mouth like it does EVERY time I visit. I think even the below photos from my visits will get your taste buds tingling..
Introducing the Gourmet Tasting Boards…
For a long time now, I have been wanting to try the Gourmet Boards, which are a food & wine concept unique to Riverbank. The only reason it’s taken me so long to try them, is because they’re only served up Monday-Friday and like most people I am stuck behind a desk those days. It has for a long time annoyed me that this is the case, but it’s safe to say there are good reasons why you can only order them during the week. Thank-fully a few weeks ago I had special guests visiting so I had booked a couple of days off work which meant I was heading straight for those tasting boards!
The boards are utter genius – combine the top-notch food made at Riverbank Estate with the impeccable service and the pretty scenery and you have one of the best wine and food experiences in Perth in my opinion. There are 3 tasting boards to choose from, a red wine tasting gourmet food board, a white wine tasting gourmet food board and a vegetarian gourmet food board.
Each wooden board is adorned with 3 Riverbank tasting glasses with about a 75ml tasting sized pour of wine. Laid out in front of the lovely elixirs are 3 white dishes filled with a sample size of 3 of the dishes off the a la carte menu. The idea is that each of the 3 premium wines from the Riverbank Estate range will perfectly match the dish in front of it and send you to foodie and wino heaven. So the question is, did it?
Well it’s pretty obvious already that yes these babies delivered. When I visited with my 2 special guests, we decided to order 1 of each of the boards and we created a Lazy-Susan type of set-up so that we could all try a portion of each of the dishes and wine. We were all family so sharing wine glasses wasn’t a worry for us lot!
Between the ‘mmmmss’ and ‘oh my goshes’ we were in our own little worlds. Personally I loved the vegetarian one the best, followed by the meaty deliciousness of the red wine board and then the white board. I would probably order the vegetarian and red board again but the white just wasn’t me. It was tasty and a fave for my other guests, but just not for me.
How did the wines match?
In terms of the matching wines, well in the excitement of all the eating and drinking they did seem to go well. I have to admit I was so excited to be FINALLY experiencing the Gourmet Boards that I was thinking through my stomach and not so much considering how the matches meshed together. Sounds like I need to go back for a more ‘serious’ visit. However I have a feeling I will do just the same thing – down the hatch!
I do wish that for the wines and perhaps even for the dishes that they somehow had little cute labels/signs on them, as we had to keep searching for the little paper menus to work out what was what.
As mentioned earlier, it is rather a splurge when dining at Riverbank, the boards cost $65 a piece and you’ll typically have a glass of vino and/or snack while waiting for them to arrive so you’re looking at around the $150-200 per couple for the entire meal. It’s also worthwhile noting that Riverbank have a takeaway license, so if you buy a bottle at the restaurant and cannot finish it, then you can take the opened bottle home with you (just don’t get tempted on the car trip!).
Why only Monday-Friday?
The reason the team can’t deliver this awesome experience on the weekends is that like all good things, it takes time! On the menu and by the wait staff you are clearly warned that the boards do take about 30 minutes to prepare and there is also a limit to only 6 boards per table due to preparation and wait times. It may be a lengthy wait when you are starving, but it’s so worth it guys!
The Gourmet Food Board Menus…
The gourmet board menus do change in line with the daily a la carte menu, but for now my pretties, this is what’s on the boards:
Riverbank’s Red Wine Gourmet Food Board
Pressed spice-crusted lamb shoulder, parsnip puree, currants, pine nuts, sage jus
matched with the Tempranillo
Char-grilled beef fillet, leek and potato terrine, onion rings, oven roasted tomato, pepper sauce
matched with the Shiraz
BBQ pork belly, seared scallop, chilli rice, char sui sauce
matched with the 2011 Zinfandel
Riverbank’s White Wine Gourmet Food Board
Grilled Atlantic salmon, warm crushed potatoes, apple, coriander and crab salad, sauce gribiche
matched with the 2013 Chenin Blanc
Grilled Morton Bay bug tails, soft polenta, bisque sauce
matched with the 2013 Padlock Paddock Chardonnay
Tuna & octopus carpaccio, Vietnamese salad, soy dressing
matched with the 2009 Mount Barker Riesling
Riverbank’s Vegetarian Gourmet Food & Wine Board
Baked Estate-grown figs stuffed with goat’s cheese, toasted walnuts, balsamic reduction, mixed greens
matched with the Celebration White
Handmade rocket and goat’s cheese tortellini, roast pumpkin, toasted almonds
matched with the 2013 Semillon
Tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella salad
matched with the Celebration Red
My favourite dishes of the day, as MKR would put it, were the figs & goat’s cheese and the BBQ pork belly. Spectacular!
For more information, make sure you check out Riverbank Estate’s website or connect with them on Facebook. For more delicious food and wine delights from Riverbank check out my past reviews here.
Address: 126 Hamersley Road, Caversham WA 6055
Phone: (08) 9377 1805
Wines: Verdelho, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot, Tempranillo, Malbec, Fortified Shiraz, Fortified Muscat, Sparkling Whites & Red, Sweet Reds & Whites
Wine tasting cost: Free!
Food available: Yes, see above 🙂
Child friendly: There is a big grassy area but no playground or anything specifically catered for kids