Wild Dog Restaurant
This winery and restaurant is situated in Warragul in the Gippsland region, roughly an hour and a half south-east of Melbourne. It was our lunch venue of choice with family who had dined here previously and recommended it.
The restaurant’s large, floor-to-ceiling windows allow for a spectacular view of the vineyards. There is also a decking area outside which I can imagine would be lovely in warmer weather.
NB: I know this is a winery, but I have not discussed the wine here. As mentioned in previous posts I have little to no knowledge of wine or how to write about it so I have chosen to limit my blog to the reviewing of food and coffee only.
Soup of the day ($8.90)
The soup was sweet potato and thyme. It was creamy with quite a strong thyme flavour. Not bad but nothing special. It was also rather large: this would have been enough for me as a meal on a normal day. Lucky I shared.
House smoked baby beetroot, chopped greens, cottage cheese. 15.9
The smoked beetroot was lovely. I’m not normally a fan of cottage cheese but here it provided a nice creamy foil against the firm, earthy beetroot without being too heavy. The ‘chopped greens’ was just a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce, which seemed rather redundant. Not sure why it was there.
Gnocchi, braised ox cheek, mushroom ragyu, toasted pine nuts, parmesan ($26.90)
The soft pillows of potato gnocchi melted in the mouth. They were complemented by a rich braise of ox cheek and mushrooms which showed a rather heavy handed use of red wine. I suppose they are a winery, after all.
Chicken scaloppini, parmesan crumbs, mushroom ragyu, polenta ($28.90)
The chicken was lightly crumbed and served atop soft polenta. The creamy ragout of wild mushrooms included enoki, one of my favourites, as well as the classic porcini. Crisp parmesan wafers topped it all off. I was quite happy with this main.
Chocolate textures ($18.90)
Chocolate, in different forms. Enough said. Very much for the die hard chocolate lover.
Deconstructed lemon tart ($15.90)
Not sure if I’m a fan of the whole ‘deconstructing’ idea. Sometimes it can facilitate a more artistic presentation; in this case however the end result was just a mess of crumbs and splodges. A complete tart would have looked far more appetising. Otherwise it wasn’t bad though, with the bitter lemon oil jelly, airy lemon foam and buttery crumb complementing each other well.
Easily the most aesthetically pleasing dish of the day, this consisted of violet jelly, mascarpone cheesecake, blackberry yoghurt sorbet and raspberry foam, decorated with freeze dried blackberries and rose petals. I was intrigued by the star-shaped mounds of foam – how did they do that?
The array of different flavours and textures kept things interesting while still working together harmoniously. A spectacular dessert, possibly worth the trip out here again.
The menu was lengthy and a little bit all over the place, with brasserie and charcuterie sections in addition to the entrees, mains and desserts. The food was very good, with the desserts in particular highlighting the skill and creativity of chef Ed McDowell. However, the rather lacklustre selection of bought-in cakes in the front display seemed rather at odds with the high-quality desserts listed on the menu.
Service was equally confused, with a waiter incorrectly taking down the order for beetroot as beef bourguignon. We had a number of wait staff over the course of our meal, each of whom seemed as inexperienced as the first one who took the order. Additionally service was very slow overall and we waited over an hour before mains were served.
They know how to do food well here, but I can certainly appreciate how they got their name.Wild Dog Winery Warragul Korumburra Road Warragul