TOP 100 QUEST: Millbrook Winery, WA
My Top 100 travels continue to take me to some different locations around Australia – places that I haven’t even heard of sometimes. This time – a trip to the town of Jarrahdale, a 50 minute drive south east of Perth to get to number 95 on the list – Millbrook Winery, located on the historic Chestnut Farm overlooking jarrah forests and the Serpentine River. We’d spent the weekend at the Falls Festival in Fremantle what an opportunity to get to Millbrook. In planning the trip I was thrilled to learn that they were open for Monday lunch – yes, we could squeeze lunch in before heading to the airport to get back to Adelaide!
On booking, I found out that on Mondays it’s a ‘No Waste’ lunch where the chefs get creative and cook up the fresh produce left over from the weekend service. There’s no menu – food is simply brought to your table, and by none other than Head Chef himself, Guy Jeffreys – WA Good Food Guide’s Chef of the Year 2017. Joining Guy in the kitchen is chef Jamie Hembrow who I knew from his time at former Top 100, Co-Op dining,
I had no idea what to expect but what we got was amazingly good. Good honest food that was so fresh and full of flavour. And what makes it more impressive is they don’t buy in any vegetables at all – they’re ALL grown on the property, as well as various fruits. All other produce used is locally sourced. I’ve dined at quite a few places where they grow some of their produce, but Guy takes it to a whole new level. The garden-to-plate concept is truly lived here.
I was very grateful to be invited for a short ute-ride down to see the garden. Guy’s passion and dedication is quite clear – growing vegetables from seeds saved from the previous year, and creating menus based on what’s available at any given time. In fact, the whole kitchen team has a hand in tending to the garden – what better way to get your staff to respect the produce!
So, what did we eat this No Waste Monday?
First up: Beans with homemade mustard, Geraldton kingfish with plum, and duck hearts with orange jam
Second: Gnocchi with barramundi and olives
Next up: Povarello beans, Lentils and veggies, and tomatoes with bone marrow dressing to accompany a whole liver-stuffed pasture-raised chicken pasture raised chicken and 3 week dry aged oyster blade,
If that’s leftovers, I’d love to see what’s dished up at a ‘normal’ service. Nothing fancy, absolutely no wank-factor, just so… much… flavour! This lunch exceeded my expectations. I would love the opportunity to go back. Some Top 100 experiences are really memorable and this is certainly one of them. My thanks to Guy, Jamie and the whole Millbrook team.