Built from 1937 to 1939, the heritage owned Carrick Hill Estate was constructed as a result of a marriage between Edward Hayward, the son of a rich merchant family, and Ursula Barr Smith, the daughter of a wealthy family that specialises in raising livestock. The cafe is located in what served as the garage of the Carrick Hill House. It offers a wide variety of Western dishes, along with a few Asian inspired dishes. Their menu changes slightly based on the seasons so you can expect to see different dishes offered, depending on the time of the year you visit.
Making using of lobsters from Kangaroo Island, their Lobster Dumplings with Black Vinegar were quite juicy with the skin of the dumplings not being too tough. The black vinegar sauce gave the dish a delectable tangy taste and bit of freshness was provided by the slices of raw radish.
Lobster Dumplings with Black Vinegar (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Named after the farm where the chicken was sourced from, the Crumbed Urrbae Chicken had a crumbed chicken breast of a generous size. The chicken had a distinctive flavour from the marjoram that was included in the crumb coating. The jus really helped to bring out the flavour of the chicken and there was a bit of sourness from the finely cubed pieces of lemon. Some witlof leaves provided another crunchy element to the dish.
Crumbed Urrbae Chicken (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The gnocchi in their Oxtail Gnocchi was very well done, with a light and fluffy texture complemented well by the tender and rich oxtail ragu it was tossed in. A scatter of grated Parmesan cheese completed the dish with its salty flavour that did not overwhelm the other ingredients.
Oxtail Gnocchi (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
One of the dishes listed as a takeaway dish, the French Onion Soup had the right amount of caramelised onions to give the rich flavour the dish is known for, without making it too thick. Served with the soup was a toasted slice of bread that was at its best when doused with the soup.
French Onion Soup (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Their Scones were one of the best we have eaten - with a light, crumby texture set off wonderfully by the crisp crust. The moreish buttery taste of the scones added to the enjoyment of eating them. As expected, cream and jam are served with the scones.
Scones (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
A good amount of seating is available with the outdoor seats providing a picturesque view of the gardens. If you are looking for a good place to enjoy a bite to eat while visiting Carrack Hill, consider dropping by the café for a taste.