The McLaren Vale region has stepped up its game and is producing some fine wines and some even finer restaurants to match. Serafino's is one of those wineries where you can have the whole experience. A perfect way to spend a weekend with food, wine, accommodation and beautiful picturesque grounds surrounded by a lake. With spring upon us the idea of a quick weekend get away should be on the cards! To help make up your mind Serafino Restaurant has launched their new Spring menu and Tempting Palates were invited to experience the dishes on offer.
We were treated to a 10 course tasting and each course wowed us - what a feast! Working with fresh local produce always is a plus for any restaurant and Serafino's is no exception so it's no surprise that the dishes served were all full of natural flavours. As expected the wines we also had on the night were perfectly matched making the experience even better.
To start we had the Smallgoods Selection served with fresh grilled bread and the Stracciatella, smoked eggplant, pomegrante and crostini served with a 2014 Serafino Bellissimo Nebbiolo. Such a simple platter but match it with good crusty bread and you just can't stop downing the fine produce of cured meats. We should have known better than to fill up on the first dish but we just couldn't help it!
The Stracciatella was a smokey Middle Eastern flavoured dish which we also made sure we had seconds and maybe even thirds...who bothers to count when the food is that good! We are fans of eggplant and pomegranate so for us it was a perfect match. The sweetness of the pomegranate together with the smokey eggplant and coolness of the yoghurt was such a delight to eat.
The Small plates served up were the Nomad Farm Chicken, Pork and Walnut Terrine and the Harissa Roasted Baby Carrots matched with 2015 Serafino Reserve Chardonnay or 2016 Serafino Bellissimo Pinot Grigio. The terrine had pickled pear and gorgonzola to compliment the meat flavours while the walnut added a lovely nutty flavour.
The Harissa Carrots had saffron and carraway labne, brik pastry and sticky raisins. The stand out of this dish is the citrus flavours of the dressing. The raisins gave it a sweetness while the blood orange gave you a burst of citrus with each bite. This dish really represents Spring!
The Large dishes presented to us were the Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder and the Pan Seared Duck Breast served with 2015 Serafino Cabernet Sauvignon or 2015 Serafino Grenache Shiraz Mataro. The lamb dish was served with green tomato, almond and Spring salad tabouli and buttermilk. The lamb was tender and literally melted in your mouth. The almonds gave the tabouli salad a nutty crunchiness again concentrating on the Middle Eastern flavours along with the dill, parsley and mint herbs. Thumbs up for this dish if you love your lamb!
The Pan Seared Duck Breast was served with confit leg croquette, pistachio, orange and goats cheese. Following the Middle Easter theme the nuttiness this time was provided by the pistachio nuts while the citrus flavours were once again used with the added chucks of fresh orange. The croquettes added the crunchy factor and the tender duck pieces gave the softer element to this dish.
Now for dessert. At this point do we even need to describe the dishes? If you just look at the photos you can get an idea of how spectacular and decadent they are. How do they taste you may ask? Well, if you love desserts then you MUST leave room to devour one of the four on offer. You won't want to share...trust us! The four options are the White Chocolate Parfait, Chocolate Brownie, Spiced Apple Crumble and the Vanilla Bean Brulee.
The overwhelming favourite at our table was the White Chocolate Parfait with blood orange sorbet and meringue. This had all the elements - crunchy, soft, creamy, citrus, sweetness and so much more. It just oozed delicious. It looks amazing but tastes even better. This is white chocolate heaven!
The Chocolate Brownie with torched banana, salted caramel ice cream was the next favourite. This rich and decadent chocolate delight is one for the chocoholics. And who doesn't like salted caramel ice cream? Go ahead just order it and you will see for yourself!
Not to downplay the last two desserts after the chocolate paradise we were taken to, the Spiced Apple Crumble while not being the table favourite was still a high quality dish. This dessert had rhubarb, lemon cream and gingerbread and was an all around humble dessert. The flavours were all kinds of traditional spices with the elements of crunchy, creamy and fruity.
The last dessert was the Vanilla Bean Brulee with poached figs, vanilla and cognac ice cream. A brulee that stands among the best. A smooth creamy custard flavour with the sweet elements from the fig to balance the cognac ice cream. It's safe to say there's a dessert to tempt everyone's palate!
Our dining experience at Serafino's was excellent. It was hard to fault and it's definitely a place we will recommend to our family, friends and colleagues who constantly ask us for restaurant suggestions. The service is exceptional, the food is flavoursome and the surroundings are picturesque. This is another place to put on your McLaren Vale list if you haven't already been there. Make a weekend of it by staying the night in one of their 4 star accommodation rooms. That way you can drink all the Serafino wine to your heart's content and not worry about driving home!
Where: Serafino Wines Restaurant Kangarilla Road, McLaren Vale
Open: Lunch Thursday to Sunday 12:00-2:00pm & Dinner Monday to Saturday 6.00-8.00pm