Located next door to the Mt Barker branch of Wallis Cinema, the Wallis Tavern is built adjoining Auchedarroch House, whose name comes from the Scottish Gaelic term 'holy place of the oaks'. The house was first built by Scottish immigrant Lachian McFarlane in 1860 and went through many owners before being purchased by the Wallis family in 2000. The building was restored after it suffered a period of neglect from the 1970s.
Wallis Tavern offers both chicken and beef schnitzels with a good range of "deluxe" toppings, alongside the choice of having it just accompanied by chips, salad and your choice of gravy, pepper or Diane sauce. I opted for the Bolognaise topping, which had a delightful meaty texture complemented well by the topping of melted cheese. The chicken schnitzel I chose was cooked just right with the refreshing salad helping to balance out the rich taste of the Bolognaise sauce.
Bolognaise Schnitzel (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We were delighted by the meltingly tender beef cheeks in their Cheeky Beef Pie, which has a rich savoury flavour from the Coopers Stout that it was braised in. The topping of flaky pastry contrasted wonderfully with the succulent filling and the pie was partnered well by the roasted vegetables served with it.
Great for those who want a more formal dish, the pork belly in the Slow Braised Apple Pork Belly was juicy and well set off by the crisp crackling. Both the crisp potatoes and seasonal greens were cooked to perfection with the cauliflower puree adding an earthy tone to the dish. The most notable part of the dish is the maple jus which gave the dish its distinctive sweet-savoury flavour.
Slow Braised Apple Pork Belly (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For visitors planning to coordinate their visit to the Wallis Tavern with a session at the Mt Barker Cinema, there is a deal for $30.50 which includes lunch or dinner at the restaurant alongside your movie ticket. The décor of the restaurant helped to give it a cosy and slightly formal feel and the large carpark in front helps to eliminate the hassle of finding parking space. My mother loved the view of the landscaped grounds through the glassed walls along one side of the restaurant.