An invitation to an eight course degustation vegetarian lunch from Situation Dining with quality Chilean wine from Cultivar Fine Wines at Day’s Walk Farm near Keilor just outside Melbourne was just too hard to pass up. And especially with a designated driver where busses, trains and Uber’s were too difficult to arrange.
Day’s Walk Farm is an organic farm with wonderful fertile soil and views across besutiful farming land. So an hour and a half down the Calder freeway from Castlemaine we were greeted with a refreshing grappa with lemon and cucumber cocktail and delicious tomato gougeres with fromage frais and sourdough blini with zucchini blossom. We were welcomed by Paul Miragliotta who showed us over the property and explained the growing method of the organics with his small scale farming. I think we all had vegetable envy at the healthy plants especially the eggplant which happens to be a favourite of mine. The tomatoes were perfect too.
Lunch was served outdoors at a lovely long table near beautiful gum trees beside the Maribyrnong River and was prepared by former The Good Table chef and restaurateur, Alex Perry. He now operates Situation Dining. We were treated with:
Raw Zucchini Salad with Shallot Foam, Lemon, Shallot Chips
Tomato Souffle, Black Cherry Vinegar, Fennel Pollen
Rotolo of Pink Fur Apple Potatoes, Mint and Ricotto with Butter, Sage (my favourite.. I think I could have eaten plate of this)
Lacto Fermented Beetroot, Garlic Puree, Brioche, Green Coriander Seed
Golden Nugget Pumpkin, Walnut and Sourdough Crumble, Artichoke Stamen Curd
Layered Eggplant Pie, Buffalo Mozzarella, Purslane Sauce. Fresh sourdough was a great addition to mop up the juices and sauces.
and finally the amazing
Holy Goat and Clove Blancmange, Mulberry Curd, Anise Biscuit.
The wines were imported from Chile and were produced from vines some of which were over 200 years. The reds were served slightly chilled which on a very warm day were especially pleasant. I purchased a bottle of the 2018 Pipeno Pais to take interstate to celebrate the engagement of my eldest son. Need an excuse to visit Chile. Think I have just found another one!
PS…During the lunch service I was also impressed with the care in which guests with special needs were treated. Dairy free, gluten free, vegan and even a guest who was allergic to onion were treated with respect. I take it for granted how fortunate I am that I can eat anything!