Acclaimed Perth Chef Keiren Mainwaring (formerly of CoOp Dining and Dear Friends) has returned to the Swan Valley! He’s banging the pots and pans in the award winning Riverbank Estate kitchen – a place I’ve wanted to visit for many years. This gave me even more reason to book a table at a winery that had ben on my to-do list for far too long.
As the name suggests Riverbank overlooks the Swan River, and beyond that, the heritage buildings of Guildford. The cellar door and restaurant has a welcoming country feel and elevated views over the vines and river below.
Such a view is best enjoyed over a glass of vino. And we did just that with a bottle of Cab Merlot, from Riverbank’s On The Run label.
I love that there’s a strong focus on local West Aussie produce at Riverbank. Before we even walked through the entrance, we were greeted by tanks of live crays and crabs. Large cuts of meat hang dry-aging in a fridge by the kitchen.
We started our long lunch (it was a special birthday for my Mum) with a few share plates. First up was fresh ciabatta with smoked butter, confit garlic and a house made cow’s milk burrata cheese. This is served with a Calabrian pork nduja, a black olive caponata. The burrata was lusciously creamy and just the right texture.
Baked Carnarvon scallops, are served in the shell and topped with smoked cheddar and chardonnay gratin. I could have eaten a mountain of these.
Onto mains, where we chose to go solo. My dad enjoying the Wandoo smoked free range pork belly, served with a white bean ajo blanco and my Mum choosing a tasty market fish dish.
There’s a range of seafood to choose from in the live fish tanks – from blue swimmer crab, Lancelin live cray fish and Darwin mud crab. I chose the Gidgegannup marron served with a chenin blanc and roast garlic butter, potato salad and green apple remoulade. It was deliciously delicate, though I would have loved more of that butter.
Children have a decent choice from the kid’s menu. Little Chef enjoyed a quality house made chicken goujons, chips and salad.
The portions are a little small, the silver lining being that this ensures we have sufficient tummy space to enjoy 3 courses! The cherry chocolate dome, with crystalised dark chocolate, and absolutely scrumptious cherry ripe ice-cream was a delight.
A mixed berry and apple crumble, with vanilla bean ice-cream, and passionfruit marshmallow was also a winner with Little Chef.
With a tasty locally focused menu, excellent wines and a stunning view, Riverbank makes for a fab lunch spot in the Swan Valley. Don’t put off booking a table for as long as I did!
Find Riverbank Estate at 126 Hamersley Road, Caversham.