Monday, June 11, 2018

Balgownie Estate (Maiden Gully, Nth Victoria) 06/2018

People go to particular restaurants for a lot of reasons including their reputations, to be seen or at least tell their friends and acquaintances that they went there, for convenience, for a particular dish or special ethnic cuisine, because of recommendations, because they're cheap and combinations of these. I'm sure you can think of more reasons.  It was a beautiful day, Balgownie was only a short drive and I had heard that the chef from Bouchon, where I had an excellent meal a few years ago, now closed, designed their menu. 
They have an outside dining area
The restaurant, a simple open space, is separated from a bar and tasting area by an island wine cabinet.

The tasting area 

is also a no nonsense space adjacent to the kitchen. Their best wines for tasting were preserved with a layer of Argon 
which works extremely well to prevent  oxidation.They offer a range of Chardonnay's, Pinot Noir's and Shiraz's none of which appealed to me until I came to the 2013 Old Block Shiraz. This I enjoyed immensely BUT it is $28 a glass!
Tuesday lunch time was not exactly rush hour. I was glad they were happy to serve one solitary customer. I ordered their Vialone Nano risotto with duck and mushroom. Ready in 5 minutes was not a good sign and indeed the risotto was not what I hoped for. It had no creaminess, for which this rice is especially noted and little character - just a soft rice.
The duck and the mushrooms were beaut.
Not much to judge by.
Score: 13.5/20

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