Choosing a lunch destination in the Swan Valley is probably the grown up equivalent of being a kid in a lolly shop; except that there are actual lolly (and chocolate and nougat) shops in the Swan Valley which makes the choice even more treacherous.
Since it was my sister's birthday I was leaving the choice up to her. One of her favourites is Jane Brook Estate Winery as she is particularly fond of the wines. I cannot comment on the wines, being up the duff (and designated driver) but most of the other diners seemed to be enjoying a bottle or two with their lunch.
Like many of the wineries in the Swan Valley, the restaurant had both indoor and outdoor seating. The verandah at Jane Brook is perhaps not surprisingly covered with a grape vine, and overlooks the dinky little brook and surrounding vineyards.
If you are not a fan of making choices then this is the place for you. There are literally three options for lunch, all platters designed for two people, all costing $50. They change with the seasons and the kitchen does seem to have a bit of flexibility when it comes to mixing components.
From the Sea includes smoked salmon, prawn cocktail, taramasalata, and brie.
From the Garden includes a mushroom tarte tartin, vegetarian pancakes, vegetarian dip, and marinated goat's cheese.
From the Valley includes house-made pate, salami, pork and Muscat terrine, and a huge portion of cheddar cheese.
Each platter also includes marinated olives, a loaf of crusty bread with EVOO and balsamic vinegar, seasonal salads, and seasonal fruit. Gluten Free bread from Lawleys is available on request and you can also opt for extras, which range from $8-$12 and include smoked salmon, sardines, pate, olives, grilled chorizo or another loaf of bread.
We chose the Valley Platter to share and were able to swap the salami for prawns. I was dubious about the quantity initially but once again I was proved wrong when we struggled to finish (but we made a concerted effort).
The 'seasonal' salads on this occasion were whole cos lettuce leaves dressed with a mustard vinaigrette and a tasty coleslaw, which we ended up wrapping in the lettuce. We were perhaps a little disappointed at the 'seasonal fruits' which was simply a pile of unadorned strawberries. The paté was a winner, just like Mum makes, perhaps even better (sorry Mum), super smooth and very moorish. Pity the pregnancy police have forbidden it, I could only look on in jealousy as my sister ate the entire bowl. Still she very generously shared her slice of terrine with me, a slab of different textured pork, with large Muscat's throughout, wrapped in thin bacon. It came with a bowl of red onion jam that was delicious on its own.
There is a dessert menu if you can find the room ($12 each) which includes many winery-appropriate dishes such as chocolate pudding with spicy red wine sauce and a waffle basket with Jane Brook liqueur Muscat sauce and ice-cream.
Alternatively they offer cheese platters with a choice of three cheeses – La Tradition Du Bon Delice Cremiers, La Tradition Du Bon Fourme d'Ambert and Raclette Paseur. One cheese plus accompaniments is $16, two for $22 and three for $28.
Anything that is not made on-site is locally supplied such as coffee from Yahava, bread from Lawleys, cheese from Blue Cow and poultry from Mahogany Creek.