Fancy a day out in the country? In just 45 minutes from the city you can be out in the vineyards of the Yarra Valley.
One of the most popular wineries in the Yarra Valley is Yering Station. It’s the first winery established in Victoria and is definitely worth a stop for the cellar door/art gallery, produce shop, boutique accommodation, restaurant and small Farmers Market open every third Sunday of the month.
The Wine Bar Restaurant dominates the grounds and is a lovely place for a weekend lunch on a sunny day. Every table is bathed in the afternoon light streaming from the floor to ceiling glass wall that fronts onto a magnificient view of the Yarra Ranges.
The menu is Mod Oz, with Asian and Mediterranean influences. To start we dipped into the crusty bread and dukkah while waiting for our entrees – tempura soft-shelled Singapore crab, coconut rice, mint and crispy shallot ($24) and glazed duck breast with porcini, eschallot and leek dumpling, tatsoi and port reduction ($24).
The crab was delicately battered and the light crunch combined well with South East Asian influenced ingredients. My duck breast was very tender but the dumplings were not very successful, with a very thick dumpling skin that was still floury in the middle.
A similar heavy-handedness with dough seemed to afflict RM’s stodgy butternut pumpkin and spinach tortellini, which was combined with soya beans, miso and the overpowering flavour of the very pungent blue cheese ($34).
My main was very prettily presented but the quince glazed pork loin was over-cooked. Fortunately the slab of pork belly was pull-apart tender and sat atop an apple rosti with a dab of quince aioli ($38).
Overall the menu read better than the actual execution of the dishes. Given the glamorous location and fine dining feel of the restaurant we were a little disappointed with the imprecision of what I’d consider to be basic cooking techniques like making pasta dough and roasting meat.
However, Yering Station in general still gets a HOT. Why? Basically, the view and ambience of the restaurant is wonderful and it’s the kind of destination that I would bring overseas guests. If you catch the right Sunday you can walk off your lunch with a visit to the small Farmers Market stocked mostly with Yarra Valley gourmet products.
The produce shop has even more opportunities to buy jams and relishes and we finished off our meal with single-serve takeaway tubs of Gundowring icecream sitting in the sun.
So despite the below-par experience at the restaurant, overall you can still enjoy a great afternoon out at Yering Station.
The Wine Bar Restaurant, Yering Station, 38 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen +61 3 9730 0100
10am – 5pm daily
Serving lunch between 12pm – 3pm with extended hours on the weekend and Public Holidays from 12pm – 4pm.