In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats

Review: Heronswood in Dromana

Today was a total skive-off. JB has switched his day off at work this week and suggested we get “out and about” . I’ve wanted to go to Heronswood Homestead in Dromana for some time now. We happened across the companion cool climate garden for Diggers Seeds (heritage and heirloom seed savers) a few weeks ago by chance (St Erth’s near Trentham). Their main “home” is in Dromana about 70mins drive south east of Melbourne.

We are having a spell of stunning late summer weather at the moment – today it was blue and clear and about 27C and we couldn’t have picked a better day. We set out in JB’s mid-life machine (red MX5 Roadster), top down, smiles on our faces.

I had booked us for lunch at Heronswood and we were so taken by it we didn’t even look around the gardens afterward. I wanted to buy a stunning clematis or two but there really isn’t any boot in the MX-5. So now I have two reasons to go back (oh and I want heirloom sweet peas) ( and a self pollinating cherry!)

I really missed my camera today (it broke a few months ago and I haven’t been able to replace it yet), so let me try to describe what we ate.

The cafe at Heronswood uses produce grown in the garden as much as possible. JB started with cucumber and tomato soup which came in a glass, with a small salad of yellow tomatoes and cucumber shavings. There was a lovely creamy tangy taste in the soup which I think might have been a goats milk yogurt or curd.

I had a tigerella and russian black tomato tart – which was sublimely simple. A selection of small halved tomatoes, cut side down on a circle of adequate puff pastry. It was hot and delicious! It takes a dab and confident hand to let the produce speak for itself. And when the produce is this fresh, it has a lot to say!

JB followed up with cure Ocean trout with a salad of melon, rocket and fresh soft herbs, served with a coriander emulsion. I don’t even like fish much, but it was fresh and tingly and full of late summer goodness. The coriander emulsion was delightful -I kept sneaking my finger over to smooth a bit more off the plate.

I had oriechetti pasta with lemon and herbs and chilli. It was perfectly seasoned, with tangy lemon and a little bit of heat. It was so good I would have guessed that the pasta was made on-site, but the kitchen told me that they were trying a new producer and it had only come in yesterday. Its times like these that I am glad I speak up in restaurants, and I hope that their new supplier gets the job for good!.

We ate these two entrees with a glass of local Riesling (JB) and a Jones Road Pinot Gris (me)

And as they were entree servings and we were feeling indulgent … JB had a chocolate fondant and I had a lemon creme brulee. What can I say – they didn’t let us down.

I was honestly surprised by the simplicity and quality of the food we ate, and will be going back again.



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