I adore the Perth Hills and any excuse to visit the brilliant Bickley Valley! I’m on a mission to work my way around the many boutique vineyards in this very special little wine region – just moments from Kalamunda. A spot we’ve been repeat visitors to is Hainault Vineyard. Their casual café has now been taken over by a local French Chef Benoit Lasplace (formally from the Print Hall and Rockpool kitchens) and his wife Chantelle (who it turns out I went to school with her younger sister!) and re-opened as French inspired restaurant Mistelle Bickley.
The stunner of a spot is surrounded by dense jarrah forests, near to the old Perth Observatory. Sweeping views over the lush vineyards are enjoyed from all tables at the hilltop bistro. We usually sit on the wide veranda or decking area, shaded by a big avocado tree. There’s also more casual seating by the lawns, also perfect for kiddies to run about on.
On the wine list you’ll find a variety of single vineyard Hainault wines. There’s Rose, Merlot, Cabernet, Semillon, Sparkling Pinot Noir Brut, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. There is also local beer, coffees, teas and soft drinks available. Their Gewurztraminer is pretty darn good, as is the rose, and I order a glass to enjoy with my lunch.
Since Hainult’s café became Mistelle, the food offering has really stepped up a few notches. We dined on a Friday lunch, when they offer a prix-fixe (set menu). There’s a larger menu on weekends. We opt for the two courses at $38 (or 3 courses for a very reasonable $50). My mum raved about the house made chicken liver parfait, with fresh sourdough and a onion relish. This silky, creamy parfait went down a treat with a glass of wine!
I enjoyed the ball of house made pork rillettes, served with slices of fresh sourdough and baby gherkins.
For main my Mum loved the crispy skinned, confit duck leg, served with a fennel puree and orange.
I loved the succulent Manjimup grass fed beef short rib, with carrot puree, spring onion and a beef jus. Their other mains option of pan seared ricotta gnocchi also sounded delicious.
The Gluten Factor
The menu does not have gluten free information on the items, (eg not marked as GF). Our waitress was really helpful and knowledgeable though, when I asked for a bit of guidance. There are gluten free dishes as well as dishes which can be made gluten free, so I certainly didn’t miss out on anything – even with a smaller set menu. The GF version of pork rillettes is accompanied by deliciously crisp nut and seed crackers.
Mistelle is a charming bistro in the beautiful Bickley Valley and definitely a must stop on a tour of the Perth Hills vineyards, for friendly hills hospitality, delicious bistro-style food, and good wine. Be sure to say bonjour and enjoy a long lunch with that laid back French vibe – I love it!