Two creative foodies out to discover enticing flavours and food ideas. When we aren't tucking into our latest delicious find, we're photographing and designing our hearts out.
Published October 26th 2014
Food for thought - a journey of culinary mastery
Hentley Farm is a small winery and restaurant a little off the beaten track in the heart of the Barossa. It's just down the road from Seppeltsfield winery along a dirt road. Venture past the vineyards and you'll come across a gorgeous restored stable. Seating just a few, the intimate and rustic space inside is enhanced by the authentic stone walls and exposed beams. once seated our culinary journey began, and our outlook on food would never the same.
Let's see if these images alone can tempt you to take the 14 course (well, let's call it 14 plus) discovery menu at Hentley Farm. We're still lost for words...
Now that we've got your attention, let us describe the incredible afternoon we had and why we recommend to start saving your pennies! The discovery menu starts at $170, or $235 with paired wines. We felt that this was a very reasonable price; the experience alone was worth every cent. The chefs took pride in taking us on their journey, coming out to present each dish and finish them off where necessary with a dash of burnt butter or a sprinkling of puffed wild rice. We spent 5 hours there running out of synonyms for 'Wow' and 'Yum'.
The menu fluctuates to coincide with the best seasonal produce available, or what is currently ready to pick from their garden. Don't worry, if you are vegetarian, there is an alternative discovery menu for you.
The best dish of the day in our opinion (and the only one we didn't manage to photograph) was definitely the dessert. Dubbed Foliage it consisted of Pine Needle ice-cream topped with Lilly Pilly and Fig Leaf. What an extraordinary creation. It could only be described as a sweet, fresh dish; not overpowering or heavy but the perfect balance of flavours to complement the previous dishes without leaving you feeling overly full.
For us the 2012 Quintessential Shiraz Cabernet was the best wine of the day. Silky tannins, cherry and plum shiraz overtones are paired with the cabernet's bright hints of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and green olives. This is a wine made to please.
Seven of Hentley Farm's impressive wines were paired with particular dishes throughout the journey as some were intended to linger across multiple dishes. We recommend you pre-arrange a designated driver, as glass sizes are generous and the wine is much too delicious to pass up. Otherwise do what we did, have one person opt for the wine pairings and the other without so both can still try each wine and safely drive home after. Just so you know: Hentley Farm was recently presented with James Halliday's award for Winery Of The Year 2015 and we couldn't agree more.
To top off the afternoon, we were each presented with a personalised menu to take home; a printed keepsake of the exploration undertaken so that it will never be forgotten, and even now continues to bring a smile to our lips whenever its read.
Our advice to you is simply this: Let Hentley Farm erase all previous food knowledge and open your senses to an entirely new dining experience. Food pairings are odd, unique, and daring. You will question - what, how, why? But as each culinary combination hits your tongue the answers will be there, so simply sit back and appreciate in delectable silence. Your taste buds will be at the mercy of these masters of fine food, so let them astound you!
We aren't afraid to say this was the best meal we have ever had. We give Discovery at Hentley Farm 5/5 Wanders for tantalising our taste buds in ways we didn't think possible.
Where 1 Wander isn't worth getting off the couch for and 5 Wanders should leave a trail of dust in your wake: it's that good.
We had a great time at Hentley Farm for my brothers birthday. We did a wine tasting and it was just fantastic. The lady that took us through the tasting was so knowledgable. I came across this cool website where you can search and filter cellar doors in SA, check it outwww.vineguide.com.au :)