We went to try out the winter's degustation menu on the first day it came out. Lucky we did because it was absolutely amazing!! First a little bit about the restaurant, The Kitchen Door restaurant is located at the Penny's Hill Winery in the famous McLaren Vale. The cellar door is opened for wine tasting, and the restaurant is opened everyday but Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The degustation menu is only available on Sundays. The winery itself was very easy to locate, there were plenty of signs to direct you. There were a few barrels on the outside and when you walk inside, it doesn't look like a restaurant at all. In fact it's almost looked like a tin shed. We tasted a few wines before entering the restaurants. The prices for the wines were very reasonable. The good thing about dining at the restaurant was that if we dined at the restaurant, we had 20% discount for every bottle of wine. As you could imagine, we did get a few.
Yes that's what the restaurant looked like from the front, you can't miss it. The sign actually said The Kitchen Door. There are not many table inside the restaurant, an outdoor section to the left. However if it's on a windy day they would put blinds down so you're enclosed.
A friendly staff member set us down at the table, the view was absolutely stunning. We were overlooking a paddock of grass and there were a few lambs running around, the sun was also out, it shone in through the glass and although it was up in the hills but it was very warm.
You can't go wrong with some natural oysters to begin with. Oysters served with sorrel, spring onion and seaweed cider vinegar. Slurp!! it was devine, the spring onion and the sour vinegar brought out the sweetness of the oysters.
Great food with a lovely atmosphere!!
The next dish looked amazingly good, it was compliments from the chef. The presentation was almost too nice to eat. It looked mesmorising and this dish took me away. Salmon was wrapped around in a circle, once cut opened it was salad with herbs and quinoa.
Next was the almond, chicken and apple soup. The servings were not huge but it was enough, considering there were a few more courses after this. You could taste the almonds in the soup, it was blended in with the chicken and the sweetness of the sound from the apple. The soup was creamy and smooth and when dipped with the bread roll it was delicious.
I have always thought that abalone would be chewy and would need to be cooked for hours before it could be served. The abalone was braised, and served with pig cheek which was twice cooked. The pork was juicy and full of flavours. It was finished off with some cucumber spaghettis. A very delightful dish to eat.
After a little break, the next course was served. It was snapper coated with some burnt onion, hence the dark brown colour on the dish. I wasn't too sure about the coating, it tasted bitter, so then it was matched with some sweet corn and Jamon which is a type of Spanish ham. Whe I cut through the snapper though, the meat was just right and I thought without the onion outside would have been better. I supposed to balance with the bitterness of the burnt onions, there was sweet corn and carrot. The best part about the dish was the slow cooked egg. It is the best way to cook an egg, at a certain temperature - 63 degrees. Basically a poached egg at a constant temperature of 63 degrees gave it a particular texture rather than a regular poached egg. I really enjoyed eating the egg.
Although there was a nice break between the last and the final dish. We were getting closed to full. However we could not not try this next dish. It looked amazing, and the aromas we could smell from far away. It was a lot to share between the four of us. It was braised Boer goat in a clay pot. The goat was tasty and you could taste the fermented black beans. The eggplant was mixed throughout the hot clay pot. It wasn't bitter as sometimes you can get that if not cooked properly. There were big chucks of meat in the pot, and cous cous on the side. We ate majority of the dish but it was way too much.
Finally we got to the end, and finished off the meal with some complimentary dark chocolates. Our stomachs were very contented and were very satisfied. I strongly recommend this restaurant and surely the degustation menu, it was not too pricey. However do allow yourself a good few hours to complete this tasting. The menu does change every eight weeks or so as they use the seasonality of local produces. I recommend booking beforehand to avoid any disappointments. Overall we had a very enjoyable afternoon and looking forward to coming back for more soon.
Discount: ENTERTAINMENT CARD - 25% off the total bill.