The menu was intentionally small given that COLENSO had only opened here a little over 3-weeks previously and the owners were clearly testing the waters at the new venue.
The business had previously been very well established in Woodend, enjoying excellent patronage, outstanding reviews and winning the 2016 Macedon Ranges Business Excellence Award for 'Food and Beverage'. Denied a lease extension on the Woodend premises the business was forced to move and opened the doors in Kyneton on 1st October.
COLENSO's small but outstanding menu combines with a fabulous range of wines to deliver an extremely enjoyable dining experience.
Our group of three started with a sharing plate of olives, olive bread, crusty bread, pickled capers and pate.
Of the four mains on offer we chose a beef tenderloin with paris mash, green beans & shallots, a pan seared snapper with heirloom carrots, orange, pistachio and daikon and a potato gnocchi with blue cheese, mushrooms, walnuts and broad beans.
My fish was outstanding. Lightly oiled, beautiful crispy skin and a good-sized portion that, along with the vegetables amply filled my plate.
A sneaky taste-test of my wife's beef tenderloin revealed a beautifully cooked piece of meat that literally melted in the mouth.
The sister-in-law wasn't sharing her gnocchi with anyone but judging by the way it disappeared it was on a par with the other two.
We finished with two serves (but three spoons) of a fabulous creamy chocolate desert elegantly served in small brandy balloons and just a great way to end the meal.
The outstanding PARAMOOR ......
..... and nearby HANGING ROCK wineries are just two of the regional producers who contribute to COLENSO's outstanding Wine List.
COLENSO's Wine List is a showcase of Central Victorian regional wines and received a '1' Glass Rating in the Gourmet Traveller Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards 2017.
The list included offerings from Granite Ridge, Hanging Rock and Mount Towrong to name just a few - not cheap but offering a diverse range of outstanding wines.
Our choice was a 2017 Paramoor Pinot Gris, just another outstanding example of the Paramoor product and ideally suited to our menu choices.
At the end of a very relaxed lunch the bill came to $189.50 for a shared platter entrée, three outstanding mains, two deserts, an excellent bottle of wine and three coffees.
It certainly proved to me that you should never judge a book by its cover or a restaurant by its front facade. COLENSO was an extremely enjoyable experience and, just like Arnie, we'll be back.
Once almost a ghost-town Kyneton has reinvented itself as a centre of culinary tourism. COLENSO is just another string in its wining & dining bow.