Wine Dine and Play: May 2015

Ripponlea Food & Wine

Ripponlea, Victoria, Australia
Simple Comfort Food
Dined in March 2015



My tour of wine country in the Yarra Valley had come to an end, and now that I was back after a long drive with traffic included, it was time to eat dinner close by to where I was staying in Ripponlea while visiting Melbourne. I had reservations to Attica, a top 100 Restaurant of the World, for the following evening, and had walked from where I was staying the night before to see how far up the street Attica was located. I passed by Ripponlea food and Wine while walking, and decided to stop in for dinner.


Scroll down to read the main review


World’s Top 100 reviewed:

Alinea
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Test Kitchen
Cape Town, South Africa
Vue de Monde
Melbourne, Australia
The French Laundry 
Yountville, Napa, California, USA
Quay
Sydney, Australia
The Tasting room at Le Quartier Français
Franschhoek, South Africa
Tetsuya’s
Sydney, Australia
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
Dublin, Ireland
Zuma 
Dubai, UAE
Attica 
Ripponlea, Melbourne, australia
LA TABLE de Joël Robuchon 
Paris, France
La Petit Maison
Dubai, UAE


Follow Wine, dine, and Play:





Star ratings chart:

5 stars
Extraordinary  
4 stars Outstanding  
3 stars Exceeded expectations     
2 stars Above average                          
1 star Average
No star rating Basic, poor, or appalling 


Review basics:


Overall Star rating by Wine, Dine, & Play:
2 of 5
Quality of food: 6 of 10
Presentation: 6 of 10
Wine selections by region:


Scroll below the main review section to see the tasting notes of the wines chosen.


8 of 10
Old world: 
France
A). Bourgogne: (Chablis). 
Spain: La Rioja 
Italy: Venito
New World: 
Argentina: Mendoza
Chile
A). Central Valley)
Australia: Barossa Valley, Yarra Valley, 
New Zealand
A).Marlborough: (Wairau Valley, Awetere Valley, Waihopi Valley,
B). Hawke's Bay: (Havelock North, Gimblett Gravels, Te Awanga, 

   “Explore the restaurant wine list

Customer service: 5 of 10
Ambiance: 5 of 10
Corkage fee’s: American Restaurant standard is $25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style: Casual
Dress code: Casual
Reservations: Not Required 
Walk-in: Accepted
Child policy:


The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a child’s menu or cater to them; however for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended for children not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. Hire a Babysitter. See Alinea Baby Gate, god I love Alinea.
Cuisine style: Contemporary, Bistro, Modern, New Zealand (Kiwi), Australian, Vegetarian
Music styles: Background instrumental
Experiences: Rustic, Trendsetting, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood gem.
Gratuities: Industry standard is 18-20% added to parties of 6 or more
Payments: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Parking: Street Parking
Transport options: Bus, taxi, personal vehicle, and walking
Wifi The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level: Medium
Smoking: Nonsmoking restaurant
Patio: No


Food price per person 
(Excluding tax & gratuity)

$43.00


Price chart:
$£€¥ -               Under 50.00 
$£€¥ x 2 -          Under 75.00 
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 

**Currencies chosen reflect the world’s major travelers and restaurant connoisseur’s**

My food bill:
Currency: Price chart:
$43.00 Australian Dollar (AUS) $
$34.00 United States Dollar (USD) $$
£22.00 Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP) ££
€31.00 European Union (EUR) €€
$41.00 Canadian Dollar (CAN) $
¥206.00 Chinese Yuan (CNY)   ¥¥¥¥

To get up to date currency rates:












From restaurants home page:

Ripponlea Food and Wine is just a stone’s throw from the Ripponlea train station and a go-to for foodies and lovers of simple comfort food and conversation. Boasting an open kitchen, rustic surroundings and a cocktail list that will blow your mind, Ripponlea Food and Wine plays host to a menu of staple dishes with a twist. Whether it’s for a quick creamy latte, a Saturday long lunch or a cheeky Tuesday afternoon cocktail, Ripponlea Food and Wine is all about every day dining with a difference.


Main review:

The klaxon alarm went off in a steady tone and the barriers lowered to stop all vehicle and foot traffic as the train passed by and rolled into Ripponlea Station, which was only a hop, skip, and a jump from the Restaurant Ripponlea Food & Wine. As I sat sipping on a local beer, (not Fosters lol) the train would come in every ten minutes or so, as it was the main route in and out of Melbourne. I had taken the train a few times already for tours in Melbourne and rental cars. Luckily the restaurant was a very relaxed experience, because if it was finer, the trains would ruin it. 

With my dinner, I wanted to relax after a long driving day, and tasting wines in the Yarra Valley had me craving beer instead. The menu consisted of small starter plates, large entree, and dessert selections. There were sixteen starter selections, and eight entrees, which told me that a lot of people would come here for splitting food or small plates to enjoy after work or on a weekend. The small plate selections varied from Olives, Pita Bread, Organic Quinoa salad, to Tuna Tataki. I asked what one of the best starters was, and was moved to the Stuffed Buttered Mushrooms, served over a grilled olive bread with goat cheese and ricotta, topped with a balsamic glaze, a very good starter indeed.


For the entree selection one item caught my eye on first sight, and even though I scanned all items, I kept looking back to what I would order. They had Ribeye Steak, Chicken Breasts, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, and a Wagyu Beef Burger, which was originally recommended, and I was tempted. Instead I chose the Confit duck Shepherd’s Pie, with wild forest mushrooms, leeks, duck fat Brussels sprouts, with a red wine jus. The pie was topped with a puff pastry style crust versus mashed potatoes like a typical Shepherd’s or Cottage Pie dish, but all the same it was interesting in taste, and enjoyable. 

After this meal, I was unable to enjoy a dessert from their selections of apple Crumble, to Tiramisu, even though they looked good as well. 



This Restaurant reminds me of:

Nice bistro, close to home, and a very relaxed atmosphere with good quality comfort food. With this style Ripponlea Food and Wine reminds me of Ecco Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, and Hanks Seafood in Charleston, South Carolina. 


Other Australian Restaurant favorites:

Aria


Other trending Restaurants on Wine, Dine, and Play:

Pizza Republica, in Centennial, Colorado
Wolfgang Puck, in Orlando, florida
Safar Restaurant, in Dubai, UAE



Restaurant address:
15 Glen Eira Road 
Ripponlea VIC 3185














Cross streets:
Glen Eira Avenue & Hotham Street

GPS Coordinates

Latitude:-37.876530
Longetude:144.995811

Contact Information: 

Maître d, Reservations:
(03) 8804 1313
Restaurant Website: Ripponlea Food & Wine
Email: Contact Restaurant
Social Media:


Facebook Link                
Pinterest



















Review by:
Chef Sean Overpeck (CFE)



















Chef Sean cooks for soldiers in Afghanistan, 2012:










"Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."


TTFN

TarraWarra Restaurant

 Healesville, Victoria
Fantastic Lunch in Wine Country
Dined in March 2015


Day two of wine touring the Yarra Valley had me dining for lunch at a very art deco style winery, where I enjoyed the tastings with a wonderful lunch and some great company from some other American tourists visiting from Los Angeles. The dining room, and tasting room were located inside a circular building surrounded by columns and a separate circular museum building, the TarraWarra Vineyard had the architectural feeling of ancient Greece in modern times. 




Scroll down to read the main review

World’s Top 100 reviewed:

Alinea
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Test Kitchen
Cape Town, South Africa
Vue de Monde
Melbourne, Australia
The French Laundry 
Yountville, Napa, California, USA
Quay
Sydney, Australia
The Tasting room at Le Quartier Français
Franschhoek, South Africa
Tetsuya’s
Sydney, Australia
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
Dublin, Ireland
Zuma 
Dubai, UAE
Attica 
Ripponlea, Melbourne, australia
LA TABLE de Joël Robuchon 
Paris, France
La Petit Maison
Dubai, UAE




Follow Wine, dine, and Play:




Star ratings chart:
5 stars
Extraordinary  
4 stars Outstanding  
3 stars Exceeded expectations     
2 stars Above average                          
1 star Average
No star rating Basic, poor, or appalling 



Review basics:

Overall Star rating by Wine, Dine, & Play:
4 of 5
Quality of food: 8 of 10
Presentation: 7 of 10
Customer service: 7 of 10
Ambiance: 6 of 10
Corkage fee’s: American Restaurant standard is $25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style: Casual
Dress code: Casual, or Conservative attire
Reservations: Required
Walk-in: Accepted, but not guaranteed
Child policy:


The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a child’s menu or cater to them; however for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended for children not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. Hire a Babysitter. See Alinea Baby Gate, god I love Alinea.
Cuisine style: Contemporary, Bistro, Modern, Mediterranean, European, New Zealand (Kiwi), Australian, Italian, International, & Vegetarian
Music styles: Background instrumental
Experiences: Place for foodies, Business parties, Romantic, Hot spot, Great bar, Great outdoor dining, Good for special occasions, Beautiful décor, Scenic views, Intimate, Classy, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood gem.
Gratuities: Industry standard is 18-20% added to parties of 6 or more
Payments: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Parking: Vineyard Parking
Transport options: limousine, personal vehicle
Wifi The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level: Low
Smoking: Nonsmoking restaurant, and nonsmoking patio
Patio: Yes
Chef:
Robin Sutcliffe

Picture courtesy of TarraWarra



















Food price per person 
(Excluding tax & gratuity)

$64.00

Price chart:
$£€¥ -               Under 50.00 
$£€¥ x 2 -          Under 75.00 
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 

**Currencies chosen reflect the world’s major travelers and restaurant connoisseur’s**

My food bill:
Currency: Price chart:
$64.00 Australian Dollar (AUS) $
$52.00 United States Dollar (USD) $
£32.00 Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP) £
€46.00 European Union (EUR)
$62.00 Canadian Dollar (CAN) $
¥310.00 Chinese Yuan (CNY)   ¥¥¥¥

To get up to date currency rates:








Scroll down below the main review to see cost of wines and tasting notes.



From restaurants home page:

TarraWarra Estate is best known as a producer of exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and we also make several other single block heritage varietals and estate blends. Our wines are made to express the unique terroir of the TarraWarra site, which is comprised of many individual blocks and planted with carefully selected clones, each contributing their own unique characteristics to our wines. 

TarraWarra Estate is internationally renowned as an unforgettable wine tasting and restaurant experience in the Yarra Valley. Respect for sustainability and provenance of the estate is integral to everything we do. The estate with its native bushland and waterways is where we cultivate our grapes, make our wine, graze our cattle and grow produce for our restaurant.  The estate is the spirit of TarraWarra. 

The lunch menu is based on seasonal produce and changes regularly. Chef Robin Sutcliffe, sources produce from local providers and grows much of his own produce in the estate's kitchen garden.
"TarraWarra Estate has crafted the perfect package for visitors to the Yarra Valley. The picturesque vines produce outstanding wine, and the restaurant presents earthy yet creative lunches in a stone-and-glass setting” — The Age Good Food Guide 2014

Main review:

Food glorious Australian Food and wine to boot. What more can you ask for when on a quick vacation Down Under? This was my second day in the Yarra Valley enjoying some great tastings, and lunch would be no different not only enjoying the cuisine from chef Robin Sutcliffe, but the wines from TarraWarra. The chef’s menu is a diverse selection of choices from across Australia with a hint of the Mediterranean, along with fresh herbs and vegetables from the local gardens or local organic producers. The dining room was small maybe with a maximum capacity of about forty people, so it is very important that you book your reservations ahead of time, as there is no guarantee that as a walk-in that you will be served.

In the starter or entree section of the menu you had a good selection and diverse amount of choices from heirloom zucchini, with pine nuts, roasted corn, and baked buffalo ricotta. There was a quail and mussel escabeche with chorizo and kipfler potatoes, a charcuterie of game terrine, pâté, and pork rillettes. I chose the hot smoked Buxton Yarra Valley Trout with an avocado & cos, with saffron dressing, topped with a manchego cheese wafer.

The flavor was very mild compared to most smoked fish recipes, and the avocados were much different then Haas avocados that Americans would be used to, but still very tasty. Round it out with the cheese and your in heaven. I didn’t pick up the saffron favors so it must have been very mild, and based on the price of saffron, I would put little amounts in dishes as well. With this dish I enjoyed the TarraWarra 2013 Estate Chardonnay which they have available for $28.00 Australian dollars from there tasting room. (Scroll down below the main review to see wine tasting notes)

As I had placed the order, before the starter arrived, I was invited to the tasting room, attached directly to the dining room, where while enjoying the full range of wines that TarraWarra had to offer, i began talking with an american Gentleman, who later introduced me to his extended family. They were from Los Angeles, and were enjoying Yarra Valley as part of their tour. While sitting down to eat the starter course, they invited me over to their table to eat with them.  

On the main course selections they had selections ranging from barbecue baby chicken, slow cooked salmon, twice cooked duck leg, and finally the highlight of the day for me, the Egyptian spiced dukkah crusted kangaroo loin, with some tahini yoghurt, and warrigal greens sautéed with harissa spices. After all, if your in Australia you have to enjoy the exotic meats that you don’t normally get, so kangaroo is at the top of the list for Australia. While in South Africa and Zimbabwe eating at restaurants such as Two Oceans and Boma, I enjoyed Ostrich Fillet and Mopani Worms, which did nearly make me sick lol. 

With this course I had a glass of their 2009 K Block Merlot, which paired with the kangaroo perfectly, canceling out the strong harissa spice flavor, while not affecting the flavors of the loin itself. With the dish as a side I enjoyed the heirloom tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, basil, and vincotto, a very nice palate cleanser. By the time I was done, I could not fit room for desert even though I wanted to. They had a selection of lemon polenta, white chocolate and coconut creme, affogato, and a selection of wine sorbets catered to their wines with a farmhouse cheese plate. 

TarraWarra Restaurant also offers selections that are gluten free, and with advance notice can cater to your allergen specifications.




This Restaurant reminds me of:
This was a fantastic experience, and TarraWarra Restaurant is added to my top three favorites from the Victoria Region of Australia, Vue de Monde being at the top of the list, but I would compare my experience for this lunch to other winery restaurants I have eaten at in the past such as Terroir in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and At.mosphere in Dubai on the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.



Other Australian favorites:
Aria, Sydney

Other trending Restaurants on Wine, Dine, and Play:

Bourj Al Hamam, in Amman, Jordan
McCrady’s, in Charleston, South Carolina
Grill 225, in Charleston, south Carolina
Tapas 218, in Canton, Ohio
L’Ecrivain, in Dublin, Ireland

Cost of wines and other alcoholic beverages:
$25.00 AUS




Tasting Notes:
Wine & Grape:
Nose (Bouquet):
Palette Experience:
2013 Estate Chardonnay
Stainless steel tanks and French Oak: 15% new; 90% Barrique. The wine has grapefruit and lemon zest aromas with underlying notes of cashew nuts. 
CONTACT WINERY
The palate has a creamy yet fine texture derived from 10 months on lees and a lovely drive with persistence of flavor. With oak and tank maturation, the wine shows an elegant complexity with appealing freshness. 

2009 K Block Merlot
12 months in French Oak
50% puncheon (500L) and 50% barrique (225L) (20% new barriques)
The appealing characters of plum, dark fruits and savory spice are layered with complexities and texture of oak, silky tannin and lovely palate weight.

Fruit for the Estate wine was sourced from 10-27 year-old vines across various blocks. 




Wine Regulatory: 


Restaurant address:
311-315 Healesville-Yarra Glen Rd, 
Healesville VIC 3777, Australia



















Neighborhood:
Yarra Glen

GPS Coordinates

Latitude:-37.659428
Longetude: 145.468294


Contact Information: 

Maître d, Reservations:
+61 3 5957 3510
Restaurant Website: TarraWarra
Email: Contact Restaurant
Social Media:


Facebook Link                

Twitter @_TarraWarra_

Pinterest

Blog


Hours:
Lunch and Tasting Room:

Monday
9:00 am –5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am –5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am –5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am –5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am –5:00 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
  
Standard Time (GMT + 10:00)

Proprietor / Manager:
Darren Fraser









Review by:
Chef Sean Overpeck (CFE)






















Chef Sean cooks for soldiers in Afghanistan, 2012:






"Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."


TTFN
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