Since its inception in 1984, the Lake House has set the standard for regional dining in Australia. It is one of the nation's most celebrated restaurants, with various accolades offering proof of its success. Most notably, the Lake House is listed in the Age Good Food Guide with '2 Chefs Hats' along with the honour of 'Best Country Wine List.' Despite its high profile and ongoing reputation for excellence, the atmosphere at the Lake House is far from pretentious. It instead proves to be one of the most relaxed and enjoyable dining experiences in the country.
The quality of service greatly contributes to the enjoyment of the dining experience at the Lake House. The staff remain attentive and thoughtful without being intrusive or pushy. Furthermore, the staff gladly provide additional information regarding the menu items. Furthermore, they are also happy to discuss changes to the dishes, in order to adequately accommodate the dietary preferences of guests. It is interesting to know that co-owner and executive chef Alla Wolf-Tasker and head chef David Green are extremely loyal to growers and producers in the nearby area and they continue to source local produce wherever possible.
To this end, the menus are altered twice seasonally to best accommodate the availability of local produce. The seasonal rotation of dishes ensures that no two visits to the Lake House are quite the same. A good option for guests is the Express Menu, which is available from Monday to Friday. This particular set menu allows guests to sample a variety of dishes, as it includes two courses and a glass of wine for the standard price of $50. On the weekend, guests can enjoy a two course lunch or dinner or else the more extravagant option of the eight course tasting menu.
The dishes at the Lake House are prepared with careful attention to detail. Moreover, they are perfectly proportioned and absolutely scrumptious. For the first course, guests could expect to find anything from a delicate asparagus and leek soup to the house Caesar salad, which due to popular demand, is now more of a mainstay item on the menu. Second courses are quite varied and generally evolve around a staple ingredient, which may include spring lamb, free range chicken and duck, rabbit and hare, Murray cod and trout as well as yabbies. Although the menu tends to be quite meat centric, vegetarian options are always available.
The desserts are also divine and are worth the extra expense. Tasting plates are available, which allow guests to sample a variety of treats, which may include pana cotta, chocolate mousse and sorbet. For those wanting a smaller sweet ending to their meals, there is a dessert trolley with options as varied as caramel popcorn and nougat.
The ambiance at the Lake House completes the dining experience. The restaurant is perfectly sunlit, owing to its large windows and guests can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding namesake lake. The architecture of the restaurant intermingles flawlessly with the immediate natural environment and guests can even anticipate a visit from the resident kookaburra on the outdoor terraces.
Where:King Street Daylesford 3460 Victoria, Australia
Cost:Menu Express - Two Courses and a Glass of Wine $50 (Available Monday to Friday); Lunch - from $70 for Two Courses; Dinner - from $76 for Two Courses; Eight Course Tasting Menu - $135 (Additional $80 with Matched Wines)