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Give yourself a break
When I arrive at Silkwood Winery Estate, I am reminded of the rich gourmet food and wine culture right here in the south west corner of Western Australia, and how fortunate we are to have this calibre of food and wine so close to home.
The first thing that hits you when you visit Silkwood Winery is that you drop a gear. You notice a change in pace, you slow down, realising you have left the hustle and bustle of city life behind. Nestled amongst the karri trees near Pemberton, it’s this tranquillity that first strikes you when you arrive at Silkwood. In perfect surroundings to taste some wines before lunch, you can choose a wine to have with your meal. Tim, Silkwood’s winemaker and sommelier is only too happy to assist you with a choice of wine to complement your meal.
As I am walking towards the restaurant, I know I am in for a treat when a group of diners just on their way out after lunch say: “The restaurant is through there, you’ll love it.” The restaurant is spacious, light and airy, overlooking the water. But first you just want to drink in the peaceful surroundings, perhaps go for a walk before lunch. Another thing that strikes me is how lush and green everything is in this part of the world, especially after a winter with a substantial rainfall.
Khai and Kelly, the two chefs at Silkwood Restaurant make a dynamic duo, striving to give customers what they want. And they appear to be doing it right, judging by the number of repeat customers.
One of the standouts for me on the menu is the Charcuterie, a tasting plate for two. As we know, presentation is a big thing in dining, and they say we eat with our eyes first in anticipation. And when you taste this assortment of bite-sized delights, you are not disappointed. Including cooked meats, home made relishes, cherry tomatoes, goats feta (the best I’d tasted) to name a few, the tasting plate is a great starter. It looks so inviting, and I’m looking out at the gazebo thinking – what a great spot to sit with your tasting plate and glass of wine. Even if you didn’t want a full meal, just something light, grab this tasting plate for two and a glass (or bottle) of wine and relax in the gazebo by the water’s edge.
One of our favourite dishes on the day was the Slow Braised Rabbit with artichoke and fregola crème fraiche. The rabbit was deliciously moist and we found the 2016 Silkwood Sauvignon Blanc to be a refreshing match.
Chefs, Khai and Kelly are rightly proud of the fact that the produce for the restaurant is locally sourced, including the Fish of the Day. The fish was served with duck fat rosti, red pepper coulis, lemon and zucchini giving a refreshing balance with the red pepper coulis which is quite spicy.
One of my personal favourite entrée dishes was the Lamb Cutlets with cumin, couscous, mint, yoghurt and crispy kale. Tim suggested the 2014 Silkwood Cabernet Malbec with the lamb and we agreed it was a great match, with the fruit notes in the wine enhancing the spices and the sweetness of the tender lamb. Slow roasted lamb shoulder with onion jam, spiced cauliflower and mint labneh is another tasty choice.There are also a few decadent desserts to choose from, and we tried the Blueberry coconut and white chocolate cheese cake with candied coconut coulis. Tim suggested as a dessert wine, the 2015 Silkwood Chardonnay Pinot Noir, also known as “The Little Bitch”. This was an assertive little wine, sparkling but not overly sweet.
Another popular dessert is the White chocolate peanut butter ice cream and salted caraml, popcorn. Does that sound sinful enough? But wait, there’s more. The Silkwood Original Zin liqueur goes particularly well with this dessert.
Khai and Kelly are justifiably proud of their restaurant, saying that they strive to give customers what they want. “We’ve got it all here, really – good food, award winning wines, and all of our produce is locally sourced from local farmers,” Kelly said. “We try to give customers what they want. We try to be rustic but with a certain elegance. The flavours are important, but also the portion size of the meals. We don’t want people leaving hungry,” she adds.
Silkwood is a family restaurant and an ideal location for a wedding with seating for up to 120 guests. The restaurant is open daily for lunch from 10am, closing at 4pm.
I would suggest Silkwood Winery Estate is the perfect getaway, the owners priding themselves on the fact that it is the only five star accommodation in the area. Self contained spacious chalets offer you stunning accommodation, with large glass windows capturing the serenity of the forest and lake outside. The chalets have all the modern conveniences, set right in the middle of a peaceful forest, with a winery and fine restaurant at your doorstep, and only ten minutes from Pemberton. It’s possibly one of Western Australia’s best kept secrets – until now.
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