Two weekends ago, a group of friends & I went for a day trip to Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm and we were blessed with perfect weather for the trip. The drive took us over an hour South West from Brisbane, heading towards Boonah. I had visited the farm 3 other times prior to this and had always loved the peaceful and picturesque surrounding. In fact, I have written a post of my previous visit but I decided to write another post focusing more on the restaurant as we had a group of people sampling different dishes on their menu.
This time we had a group of 7 so I emailed the restaurant to make a reservation. Thankfully I did because the restaurant was quite full when we arrived, possibly due to the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and also good sunny weather.
We were seated at 12.30pm for our reservation and placed our orders about 10 minutes or so later. Entrees arrived not long after, or at least we didn’t feel the wait as we were busy chatting with each other.
One of the couples shared the Hervey Bay Scallop, Red Pepper, Pancetta and Smoked Paprika Ragout with Crisp Garlic and Olive Oil Crumbs ($18.90) and the rest shared the Bread with Za’atar Spice Blend and EVOO and Vineyard Made Chutneys ($14.90). The bread was freshly baked, or at least it was still warm when it hit the table. The dipping sauces were quite tasty too.
Note: There were 3 loaves of bread, but one was eaten before we had a chance to snap a photo.
We finished the entrees/appetisers, our tables were cleared and we continued chit chatting. However as time passed, we started to feel hungry and after checking our watches realised that it was already 2pm and we had seen no signs of our mains coming. We saw other tables were still being served so we waited a bit longer before we followed up on our dishes. Shortly afterwards, our dishes arrived. Thank goodness as I sensed some of our friends were starting to get a little bit edgy due to hunger.
I ordered the Seared Beef, Shitake Mushroom and Shiraz Tart, Fried Leeks, Green Pea Puree and Pommes Pont Neuf ($30.90) and the waitress asked how I wanted my beef done. I was kind of expecting slices of seared beef with the mushroom tart. However, the dish seemed more like an open style beef pie. I must have misinterpreted the menu. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the dish, but it just wasn’t what I had in mind. The other diner who also ordered the same dish commented that she really enjoyed the pea puree. However, we both found the oversized thick cut fries too chunky and difficult to eat.
D had the Duck Breast with Sweet Corn, Asparagus, Walnuts and Toasted Farro with Vanilla Gastrique ($33.90). The duck was cooked quite well, not much sign of redness. It was a good thing on our table as some of the diners were not so keen on anything that was not well-done.
Two of the other diners had New England Rabbit, Verjus Braised Artichokes, Kipfler Potatoes, Shallots and Mushrooms ($33.90). It was their first time trying a rabbit dish and they seemed to enjoy it, or at least they told us they didn’t have anything to compare with 🙂
The Braised Lamb Shank, Potato Puree, Green Beans, Olives and Parsley ($31.90) was what you would normally expect of a lamb shank dish. A hearty meal with generous serving of tender fall off the bone meat with a heaped of mashed potato. The diner commented that it was just average compared to the other lamb shank dishes she had.
The Cape Grim Short Rib, Chorizo Stuffed Date, Cauliflower Puree and Sarladaises potato ($33.90) impressed us the most. The rib was very meaty and it looked really appetising.
On top of that we ordered two Bowls of Herb Roasted Potatoes with Lavender Honey Mustard Dressing ($6.50). We couldn’t really taste the lavender in the dish but honey mustard dressing perfectly coated the potatoes with the right amount of sweetness and saltiness. This was a winning dish and I would highly recommend ordering this to compliment the meal.
Moving on the desserts, due to my previous bad experience with lavender sorbet, I was put off trying any lavender type dessert. However, their Kooromba Lavender Ice Cream with Polenta Snap and Wild Berries ($13.90) proved me wrong. The subtlety of lavender in the ice cream, complimented with raspberry sauce was actually really good. I was secretly glad that my friend did not listen to my advice, ordered the dish and willingly let me try some.
I ordered the Passionfruit Soufflé with Almond Biscotti and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ($13.90). The salted caramel on the bottom of the soufflé gave a new dimension to the taste – saltines of the salted caramel, sweetness of the soufflé and the sourness of the passionfruit worked well.
The Chocolate Brioche Pudding with Cherries and Hazelnut Gelato ($13.90) looked really good too.
Overall we found the mains to be just average, but were impressed with their desserts. It was the relaxing afternoon lunch complimented with beautiful scenery that kept me going back year after year 🙂