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Kate reviews: Seville Estate — and gets her heart stolen

FOOD REVIEW

3AW Breakfast food reviews: 8.15am every Friday

Seville Estate
65 Linwood Rd, Seville
sevilleestate.com.au

Press PLAY below to hear Kate’s review on 3AW Breakfast.

By Kate Stevenson

Some places just get you. They steal your heart at first sight and it was like that for me with Seville Estate.

It’s the Yarra Valley, but not as you know it. Not the big bustling wineries you’ve passed a million times. It’s tucked away over the back of the usual suspects like Coldstream, Yarra Glen and Healesville. Officially the “upper Yarra Valley”, it’s on the road to Monbulk, and it’s tucked down a dirt road.

Seville Estate is unassuming, and quite beautiful at the same time. A renovated former family home offers accommodation, the landscaped native gardens lead you to the brand new restaurant and cellar door, which are both striking and yet down-to-earth at the same time.

It’s just a joy.

We know the wines are good, James Halliday told us when he awarded Seville Estate 2019 Winery of the Year. A humbling title for winemaker Dylan McMahon, whose grandfather and former local GP, Peter, planted the first vines back in 1972.

So certainly, any meal should probably start with a tasting. Cellar door staff are unpretentious, but absolutely knowledgeable, it’s a great introduction to the wines, the property, and the ethos of the venue.

Into the restaurant and it’s a stunning, simple space. What looks like a tin shed from the outside, is all space and light inside. Pale timber floors, beams, and furniture; huge glass windows; and sublime views over a big deck surrounded by gorgeous gums.

The menu is ever-changing, and I mean constantly. They have a decent kitchen garden on site, and brilliant local producers, so it’s all about making the most of the bounty of the day. There are always some smaller plates, a number of mains and the gnocchi is a staple – although the sauce changes regularly. The overarching feeling from the menu and resulting meal is one of freshness. Beautiful, thoughtful, real food.

So what did we eat!???

Well, we started with a plate of charred padron & friggitello peppers (above) with garlic and mustard. The peppers are grown on nearby Ramarro farm, we didn’t get the famous one in ten spicy padron pepper which was fine, and I hadn’t heard of the friggitellos before so they were fun to try (but pretty similar to the padrons to be fair).

Cone Bay Barramundi brandade (above) was a fabulous, fishy, cold weather dish. The sustainable WA Barra is poached and simply flaked through mashed potato. These guys served it wrapped in slices of salty, house cured local pork with crisps to pile the above-mentioned on and devour. Loved it.

Rounding out the small dishes was the house-smoked duck leg ham (above) with mustard pickled pears. The kitchen team buy in whole ducks for mains, but bone the legs and brine for 24 hours in Madeira and maple syrup. Next, they’re cold-smoked and rolled, poached, and finally pan-seared before being sliced and served with local pears pickled in mustard seeds, star anise and white wine vinegar. It’s a simple looking dish, with buckets of personality.

To the mains, and a piece of Victorian lamb (below) was pan-seared and served perfectly pink with local charred leaks and romesco sauce.

But then then there was the Grana Padano parmesan tart. Oh my. The parmesan and mustard shortcrust pastry is part baked; then filled with a mixture of organic Timboon cream, local eggs, and crème fraiche and finished off in the oven. It comes with a simple, fresh Ramarro farm salad, and it is is rich and unbelieveably good. One of my favourite dishes of the year.

It’s clear to say I’m smitten. For someone who grew up on a dirt road in the Dandenongs, this place just feels like home. The laid back, uber-friendly reception, and understated surrounds belie a stunning food offering and excellent wines that should be a given fixture on any regional Victorian foodie road trip.

I honestly can’t wait to return.

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