I love the vibe at wineries and breweries in the Margaret River area. They’re often geared towards families and I’d always hoped that the Swan Valley would follow suit with some quality family friendly venues, closer to home. Last year my prayers were answered with the fab Mandoon Estate. I’ve been hearing good things about the Oakover Winery’s transformation into kid friendly Oakover Grounds and so we headed there for lunch to check it out.
The winery is in a lovely setting, on a little lake and surrounded by rolling lawns. We were there for lunch, celebrating my birthday with Chef’s brother O (The Pasty Chef) and his lovely bride-to -be Kristie. It was a cool Autumn weekend, but sill pleasant enough to sit outside on the veranda.
I should have been sampling the Oakover wines, but coffee was calling my name. Oakover Grounds is also home to FiORi coffee, which is roasted fresh on site.
The menu is a good mix of casual favourites – share plates, burgers, salad and more. O and I are both pork-addicts so we both had our beady eyes on the fennel salted pork crackle with sidekick cider gel, $10. The plate was brimming with jaw cracking goodness!
Chef picked the organic beef burger, $26. Topped with tomato relish, bacon, cheese, lettuce, pickle and mayo, with a generous bowl of chips on the side. It was all washed down with a local craft beer. Oakover Grounds have a small selection of boutique beers on tap.
O and I both chose the special of house made gnocchi with pulled beef and mushrooms. Wow, that was a stunning dish and something I was not expecting! The pillowy soft gnocchi was amongst the best I’ve had and complimented by the rich meaty sauce. I could have happily licked the plate clean. If it was a permanent fixture on the menu I’d be back in a heartbeat.
Kristy enjoyed the Clarence River school prawns, $13. The crisp prawns are eaten whole, served on a bed of creamy tartar sauce and grilled lemon on the side. It would also be a great dish to share.
Little Chef scoffed his kids cheese burger, $12. The slider style burger was made up of a beef pattie, tomato relish and cheese and chips on the side.
Afterwards, Little Chef was keen to have a ride on the peddle boats. They are free to use. It was good fun and worked off a little bit of lunch!
Keen Fishermen Chef and O were excited to hear the lake is stocked with fish. Rods are free to use and if you catch anything then you can take it home for dinner, at $16 per fish. The boys caught 5 Barramundi in just 15 mins, they were stoked!!
Fish for dinner!
New Head Chef Bec McConnell has banged the pans at some fine Swan Valley establishments, including Sandleford Winery. We enjoyed her food and will certainly be back for more!
Oh and if you need any more reasons to dine at Oakover…