Our first visit to Xanadu came when I’d been Chef’s wife for all of a few days. Honeymooning in Margaret River, the Xanadu cellar door was on our must visit list and good job, as their 2005 Shiraz was a cracker. I think we bought a whole case! Fast forward a decade or so and we were back again, invited by the Xanadu team, and so glad to see their wines are as exceptional as ever.
Driving down the sweeping vine-lined driveway, I have to admit I was singing ♪♪Xanaduuuu♪♪ the kitsch 1980’s hit from the Olivia Newton John movie of the same name. Right now, towards the end of summer, the lush vines are heaving with grapes.
Xanadu is a kind of idyllic paradise, and well-cooked Margaret River produce coupled with top notch wines are certainly a match made in heaven.
Xanadu is set in gorgeous surroundings, I totally got distracted by the hundreds of white butterflies fluttering over the rosemary bushes on our way in.
Manicured lawns are a great spot to throw down a bean bag. A ski-lodge style dining room is equally as stunning, with its high ceilings, stunning artwork and stacked wine barrels. It was a glorious summer’s day, so we sat out on the patio.
I’m a bit notorious for wanting to pinch Chef’s wine. Reluctantly, he let me sip his 2015 DJL Shiraz. It’s wonderfully smooth. He was safe though, as I’d picked a cracker of a Chardonnay. It’s a big call, but I’m confident to say that the 2016 Xanadu is my favourite chardy of all time! It’s not a surprise that Xanadu was awarded James Halliday’s Wine of the Year in 2014.
There’s a few ways to dine at Xanadu. Your experience can be as formal or informal as you want it to be. Share a platter or a few small plates with a glass of wine on the lawns or try a little bit of everything in the “Xanadu Fest”, a chef’s choice degustation for $85pp. Chef and I enjoyed a three course “prix fixe”($60pp).
The menu by their award winning Head Chef Melissa Kokoti features an abundance of fresh local produce. To start, we shared the Xanadu board, featuring a velvety smooth chicken liver parfait, meaty terrine, pickles and my favourite – crisp pork belly.
We loved the ever so tasty walnut and pig’s head terrine.
I had to fight Chef for the last morsel of moreish crisp cider glazed pork belly!
There’s loads of crisp breads and baby brioche loaves, which Chef spread with copious amounts of parfait.
For main, Chef relished the Indian inspired kashmiri spitchcock. Tender chicken pieces are served on an aromatic lime pilaf, along with a mango chutney pickle and mustard seeds. It’s a wonderfully fragrant dish, topped with fresh herbs, spring onion and a squeeze of lime juice.
I adored the beef flank, cooked perfectly, so it was beautifully tender. On the side are buttery potatoes, fresh watercress and radish served with a lip-smacking bone marrow vinaigrette and horseradish.
Little Chef chose the crumbed chicken and chips, from the children’s menu. The children’s meal deal is $16 for two courses, which includes ice cream and a drink.
After he’d finished his lunch, Little Chef headed to the shady playground, still in view of our table. Leaving us to enjoy the rest of our wine and dessert in peace.
Chef’s pick was the simply named “chocolate + banana + coffee”. What was plated was far from simple! A scrumptious dessert of all of the above plus delicious caramel and toffee flavours.
A pretty strawberry panna cotta was the perfect way to end a delightful lunch. Served in a stemless wine glass, with jelly, parfait, fresh mint, and tiny meringue kisses.
We finished our trip to Xanadu with a peek into the barrel room and also the massive warehouse, which is floor to ceiling full of wine.
And of course a cheeky tasting at the cellar door!
A delicious lazy lunch over a glass of wine is my favourite thing to do when in Margaret River. Admittedly, we don’t always feel comfortable taking eight year old Little Chef along to some of the more formal winery restaurants. Xanadu ticks all the boxes. There’s bucket loads of class, whilst still keeping a laid-back, holiday feel. Xanadu is a must stop winery for foodies and families in the Margaret River region. We thoroughly enjoyed re-visiting this little piece of Margaret River paradise.
Big thanks to Dexter and his front of house team, as well as Chef Mellissa and her talented Chefs, for making our Xanadu lunch so special. We’ll absolutely be back.