Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

Howling Wolves at Rivendell Estate

1172 Wildwood Road, Yallingup

Ph: (08) 9755 2899

www.rivendellwinery.com.au

Relax at Rivendell

When you visit the rustic Rivendell Estate, it feels a bit like going home to a warm, welcoming haven of all things delicious, not least of which includes the fine selection of Howling Wolves’ wines.

On our recent visit to Rivendell Restaurant we were greeted by Carol Irvin, who showed us to our table in the well-lit restaurant overlooking lush meandering cottage gardens. The restaurant extends to an outdoor decking area boasting a splendid view of the valley with forested hills rising in the background. Considering the location and capacity to seat up to 120 diners, it’s an ideal setting for a wedding or any special occasion.

We started with an entreé of Hazelnut Gratinated Shark Bay Scallops, caramelised cauliflower, herb salad and lime. all the flavours in this dish sang together with the small Batch Chardonnay completing the encore.

On to another seafood dish: we tried the Grilled Huon salmon, satay risotto, coconut emulsion, papaya, mint, coriander and snow pea salad. the chardonnay was also a great match with this dish and indeed would go well with any seafood.

The Wolf Burger was a treat – a brioche bun with aged cheddar, house pickle, chorizo relish and light aioli. the secret relish recipe is a winner and the whole dish was topped off with the Pale Wolf, a seriously good draft Pale ale. This was a top gourmet burger served with chips on the side, which were piping hot and freshly made.

Another tasty entreé of Lamb Meatballs, crumbs, capers, shallots and manchego was well matched with the 2011 Rivendell Merlot Cabernet Franc, and we found that this wine actually enhanced the flavour of the meat.

One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the Crispy Pork Belly. this is served with Jerusalem artichoke prepared three ways, mushroom jus, roasted chestnut and crackle dust. The red wine to accompany this was the 2010 Sangiovese. The cherry flavour in the Sangiovese was a beautiful match with the pork.

I highly recommended the Dry aged sirloin with potato and fennel dauphinoise, green beans and jus. With this dish we had a delightful 2012 Howling Wolves shiraz, which with its peppery flavours, highlighted the flavours of the steak without overpowering it.

All the produce at Rivendell Restaurant is locally sourced or grown on the property. Chef Matt Hamilton can often be seen out in the garden picking herbs, fresh figs and lemons to add to his dishes. It doesn’t get any fresher than that. The estate is a great location for the whole family with fine food, delicious gardens, top-notch wines, beers and soft drinks. There is also a good selection of restaurant-made Geláto that will please people of any age. Matt says Rivendell is everyone’s restaurant. “It’s a modern Australian cuisine with a Mediterranean influence. It’s a combination of old school and new school cooking,” he said.
First established in 1987, Rivendell has continually evolved to become the unique establishment it is today. Restaurant owners Carol and Dave Irvin, along with their partners in Howling Wolves, Val and Vaughan Sutherland, have totally embraced the estate with a passion. Their love of food and wine and good old-fashioned service shines through. Live music every weekend is just an additional feature that further enhances the ambience. While we were very impressed with Chef Matt’s cooking prowess, Carol confirmed that as well as his culinary skills, his love of music and energy fits perfectly with the vibe they are building at Howling Wolves at Rivendell Estate.An international chef, Matt is very resourceful with a vast array of experience behind him including cooking on luxury yachts. He is in touch with real ingredients and, like more and more good chefs, he admits to foraging – sourcing wild food that sings with natural and integral flavours, helping to reconnect us with our surroundings.

All the delicious desserts and cakes are made by Matt on site, and on this day Matt made a delicious Lilly Pilly Pavlova. the pavlova was deliciously soft in the middle, with lilly pillies done three ways – a relish, a coulis and garnished with fresh lilly pillies. (I know they were fresh because I saw him pick them).

Our second dessert was Sticky Date Pudding served with butterscotch sauce and fresh cream – another superb dessert to finish with.

One of the restaurant’s popular wines, which is generating a lot of interest, is their sixPointsix Cabernáto. It’s a refreshing, sweet, fruity wine, made from cabernet grapes, and has been described as “summer in a glass”.

It’s a wine that can be turned into a cocktail, simply by pouring it over ice and adding lime and mint – voila – a refreshing mojito, and being lower in alcohol at 6.6% alcohol / volume also makes it a winner. The restaurant is open every day for breakfast and lunch from 9am during winter, (earlier in the warmer months) and Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner. Bookings are essential. Music is an integral part of this restaurant with live musicians playing every weekend.

With plans for future development of the estate, including musical events and accommodation options, Howling Wolves at Rivendell Estate is going from strength to strength.

By Ingrid Rickersey

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