After a month fighting the dreaded lurgy, it was with great relief I was finally declared non-toxic by the doctor who suggested I take a drive in the country to recuperate. I was beginning to feel institutionalised, so was keenly anticipating lunch at the Ocean View Estates Restaurant, one hour's journey by car from Brisbane's western suburbs. I was not disappointed.
The drive to the restaurant was most relaxing, through pleasant countryside, and along winding country roads. The restaurant itself is set amongst the vineyards, with a lake, rolling hills and stands of natural timber as the backdrop. Any time between courses can be spent just winding down in the ambience of the setting.
Upon arrival we were thoughtfully seated beside a blazing fire, the day being a little overcast and drizzly. Anne-Maree was our waitperson, and she was very attentive without being annoying as can sometimes happen.
The menu is based on fresh and local produce as far as possible, reflecting the season. As we wanted to try as diverse a selection of dishes as possible, we shared a snack and an entrée, followed up by separate mains and a shared dessert with coffee. Ann-Maree suggested a freshly bottled Merlot which certainly complemented our menu choices.
The snack and entrée arrived together, and tasted as good as they looked – attractively plated up and full of flavour. Our choices were Parmesan crumbed green olives with goat's cheese and aioli from the snack menu and roasted scallops with pickled wakame, yuzu mayo and finger lime from the entrées. The burst of flavour from the finger limes truly enhanced the fresh seafood flavour of the scallops. Note the Japanese influence which is evident throughout the menu. These two courses were more than adequate as shared starters.
On to the mains, and I chose crispy lamb ribs with heirloom carrots, labnah, and charcutiere sauce. The serving was so generous that, despite the deliciousness of this dish, my husband added half of it to his beef 2 ways, consisting of eye fillet and slow cooked short rib with potato whip, kale and garlic kombu butter. He was well pleased and I had room for dessert! If any of the cooking terminology escapes you, there is a glossary at the back of the menu. Yuzu is defined as a Japanese citrus, most similar to a lime but more tangy.
In for a penny, in for a pound, so we could not resist a shared dessert of lemon meringue, curd, yuzu sorbet, marshmallow and double cream. This was a very interesting and tasty variation on lemon meringue pie. A hot cup of coffee and my husband declared that he had never come away from a restaurant meal so satisfied on all fronts.
Tony, the chef, left the hustle and bustle of city cheffing to preside over the Ocean View Restaurant's kitchen, and we are so glad he did. No wonder this establishment has picked up so many tourism awards.