Apart from the food, two things I judge a restaurant on is always the bathrooms and the service. For me, if the food is mediocre, I am satisfied to an extent; but if the service and bathrooms are also not to my standards, I will always have a black mark in my mind with that establishment, but recently we tried the Milhouse Kitchen at Lourensford Estate, here I was more than satisfied on all accords.
To set the scene we entered the beautiful wine estate of Lourensford, which was beautiful and lush and scattered with so many people. I was very happy to see that that I could pop into the Sunday market, as I have heard many great things about it. I had a quick peek at the market and found some beautiful figs, which I shared with my grandmother who joined Tim & I. We then wandered towards the restaurant which was set back amongst the trees, we were warmly welcomed and escorted to our table, under a large umbrella which was perfect as sun is not my closet friend.
Wherever there are large beautiful trees, specifically oak - I am content. There was no exception at this location, I could have easily spent most of the day in the dappled shade, eating my precious purchase of purple figs. But alas we had a reservation and a 92 year old in tow so we had to be swift.
I loved the little "micro-herb" plants on each table and found the menu simple and to the point, but still allowing for variation to meet most peoples needs. Tim started off with a beer and I ordered the Rose which we would all share. I went with The River Garden 2016 by Lourensford, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Refreshing, light and easy drinking, which ticked all the right boxes for me when it comes to a wine. Oh and how I love a decent wine bucket, non of those plastic things that have been chilled and supposedly keep your wine cold - I want ice! I want super cold refreshing on a hot summer day!
To start, I suggested we try the Anti Pasti Platter which was perfect as it was for 2-3 people. Cheese of the day, mozzarella in our case, cured meats chicken liver pate with a port and elderflower jelly, avocado hummus, garlic & herb dough balls, kalamata olives, roasted veg and homemade bread was our heavenly starter. I enjoyed it all, I have had better chicken liver pate in my day, but it seemed very fresh which is not a bad thing but was just lacking something for my taste. In all was a great way to begin our meal.
I loved the decor, attention to detail and the fresh flowers that were dotted throughout the restaurant, an open kitchen for me is always best. I remember as a young girl sitting in restaurants and being in such awe of the Chef's and hoping one day I could be like them, turned out I did! And although I found out restaurant or hotel kitchens weren't for me and that I was more partial to working as a Private Chef for personal clients, I never have forgotten that feeling of longing to be behind the pass. As a Chef I think it is so much more enjoyable working in a theatre kitchen, as you aren't stuck away somewhere with no windows in a basement, but are activley involved in the happenings unfolding around you.
Main course didn't disappoint, Tim went for The Rack - 500g of pork ribs with crispy onions and sweet potato fries, my grandmother the Crumbed Veal, marscapone potatoes, green beans and slow roasted cherry tomatoes. I can be quite boring when it comes to ordering food, I play it safe a lot of the time - but I know what I like and don't like, so I always go with the first thing that catches my eye. This time the Grilled Beef Fillet, butternut mash, potato dauphiose and green beens - it was perfect. The beef was so soft it melted like butter in my mouth, the mash sweet and smooth and the beans crunchy and flavoursome. Bellissimo!
The Millhouse Kitchen is perfect for families, as there is a large lawn area with jungle gyms and shade. Perfect for the parents to enjoy their meal while the children play and occasionally run back to the table for a sip of apple juice and a chicken nugget.
For dessert, Tim ordered the Cheesecake and I order Meringue with raspberries and vanilla ice cream. Unfortunately the desserts didn't live up to the starter or mains, I have had better Cheesecakes and my meringue was under baked- therefore creating the that very chewing consistency that turns hard in your mouth while eating it, but that wouldn't deter me from returning and trying another option off the dessert menu.
My perfect Sunday at Lourensford would be breakfast at The Millhouse Kitchen, a walk in the gardens, wine tasting on the lawn and lunch and a fresh bunch of flowers from the Market. Doesn't seem to bad? Do yourself a favour and take a day to visit Lourensford, there is so much to do, see and taste, you will not be disappointed.
* Remember to take cash for the market and a blanket to sit on under the trees.
For more information visit http://www.lourensford.com