Have you watched the movie ‘The Lake House’, with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock? It’s a love story of two people who met through replying emails they found in the mailbox of a lake house. They fall in love with each other through exchanging letters, but there is actually a two year time difference between them and Keanu Reeves dies before he is able to meet Sandra Bullock >_< don’t worry it’s a happy ending because Sandra Bullock was able to save Keanu Reeves in the end and they walk happily towards the lake house :D
This isn’t a movie review hehe but when Mr Bao asked where I would like to go for our annual anniversary meal (sorry I’m very slow with my reviews), I immediately chirped ‘The Lake House’! He looked at me funny and said “what house?”. Then I went on this rant about the amazing restaurant in Daylesford, that was recently features in Masterchef Australia :P Mr Bao wasn’t fussed, his only request was, “I have to be satisfied and feel full, I don’t like going to fancy places where I leave still feeling hungry” hahaha I had to laugh at that ~ Yup Mr Bao sure eats a lot!
Just a quick overview, The Lake House is a well-established 2 Chef hat restaurant in Daylesford, a town about 1.5 hours away from Melbourne. It is known to be ‘the’ place to relax and rejuvenate, with many spa and massage resorts. I first heard of The Lakehouse, when the contestants from Masterchef, visited and I was immediately mesmerized by the beautiful scenery :)
We did have some issues with booking a table, Mr Bao was supposed to book two weeks in advance… but he forgot and finally when he tried to book a table, they could only put us in at 2:30pm…We were tempted to change the date and just go another time, but then decided we might as well go to Daylesford early and just walk around the town. So on a relatively sunny Sunday ~ Mr Bao and I left Melbourne at around 11:30am and we expected to arrive at around 1pm. Luckily on our way to Daylesford, The Lake House called and said there were some cancellations and we could change our booking to 1:30pm. That just worked out perfectly for us!
After a pleasant drive, we finally go to The Lake House and it’s actually quite easy to find as there are signs specifically for it ~ we parked our car and walked right into the restaurant. I really like ambiance of The Lake House, with lots of sun light and fresh air :) We were immediately led to our table at the back with a wonderful view of the lake outside ~ It’s just so romantic hehe I can understand why people would want to get married here.
The staff were attentive and nice but lacked a little friendliness, they took our coats and gave us the menu. We had already had a peek at the menu online and knew we wanted to grab the 3 courses meal and keep things simple which was $96AUD per person. They also had the tasting menu with 9 courses, but it just seemed too much for us :) We didn’t order any wine either because we had to drive ~ damn next time we’ll stay over night and just cab here.
Olives and Grissini sticks
Once we sat down comfortable with the menu in our hands, the waiter immediately brought over a little plate of olives and grissini sticks ~ neither of us are olive eaters, but Mr Bao gave it a shot anyway and simply said ‘hmmm very olivey’ not sure what that means :P the grissini sticks were lovely though slightly salted and oh so crunchy!
Bowl of bread
While we were fussing over what to order for our entree and mains, a lovely basked filled with freshly baked bread was brought to our table. It was stated in their menu that the bread is freshly baked twice a day on premises, and you could as soon as you held a piece in your hand :) I’m not really much of a bread eater but can never resist freshly baked bread with French butter and sea salt ~ Yum! Mr Bao really liked the baguette and even asked for seconds hahha I was tempted but wanted to save space for the other delicious dishes yet to come.
Slow 63 degree egg, soft polenta, mushrooms, curd, smoked mushroom consomme, porcini pangrattata
We had 6 options to choose from the Entree menu, but the 63 degree egg immediately caught my eye so I got that ~ There were two elements of this dish, egg, polenta, mushroom and curd was served on a large plate while the smoked mushroom consomme and porcini pangrattata was served on the side in a little glass.
I thought this was a very delicate dish especially with the slow cooked egg and soft polenta. I really enjoyed the flavours and textures of the dish and could definitely eat many spoonfuls of the mushrooms and curd, but Mr Bao didn’t really like the texture commenting it was just too ‘mushy’ for his liking. While we found the smoked mushroom consomme to be slightly salty but overall, I really liked my entree ~
I knew Mr Bao was going to choose this as his entree as soon as I saw it on the menu :) Japanese or Japanese-inspired food is his favourite and he actually wanted to go to a Japanese restaurant for our anniversary but lol I coerced him to come here instead. He really liked the combination of flavours with his entree especially the mackerel saying it was cooked ‘impeccably’ which is hard to get and very often mackerel we’ve had have been overcooked. I had a taste too and thought the wasabi and edamame went very well together and liked how the wasabi wasn’t over powdering the other less dominant flavours :)
Terriyaki glazed mackerel, wasabi, edamame
There were another 6 main courses to choose from, but I immediately ruled out three lol simply because I don’t eat Rabbit, Kangaroo nor did I want a vegetarian dish hehe so I only had the choice of beef, seafood and duck :) Mr Bao and I discussed it and decided seafood’s probably not the best option since we both have eczema, so I got the beef ribs and he chose the Roast Duck ~
Pastured beef – 12 hour rib smoked tongue, sweetbreads, roast winter vegetables, yorkshire pudding
I love fine dining not just because of the food itself, but also because of how nicely everything is plated…it really is a piece of art ~ when the waiter placed my main course in front of me, I couldn’t help but notice how small and cute the yorkshire puddings were hehe ~
The beef rib was so soft and tender basically melt in your mouth, the roast winter vegetables were lovely with a slightly tangy sauce. Mr Bao didn’t seem to like the little shallot ~ but I was impressed with the yorkshire puddings they were still slightly warm, soft but not doughy :D
Roast Duck – pomegranate, dukkah crusted ‘bisteya’, carrot, citrus pickled eggplant, grains
I’m actually quite surprised that Mr Bao ordered the duck, because his parents are always telling him ‘no duck, its poisonous for your skin’ but I guess it was our anniversary and he just wanted to ignore it all hehe ~ but then I already warned him that he may not like this dish cuz he doesn’t like the other elements – pomegranante, carrot or eggplants…but still he ordered it against my recommendation :P Once again plated beautifully, and even though the duck was cooked to perfection, still slightly pink Mr Bao took a bite and didn’t like the sour taste of the pomegranate nor the carrots. I on the other hand really enjoyed his dish and thought it was lovely and the sourness really just gave it a tang ~ so we ended up basically eating each others dish instead :)
Roast Pumpkin – so delicious!
I am obsessed about pumpkin! I can eat it everyday, any time for breakfast, lunch or dinner :P So when the waiter asked if we wanted to add any sides, I immediately ordered the pumpkin, even though Mr Bao wanted the mash potato ~ wakkaka too bad! I know you are going to think I am exaggerating…because how delicious can roast pumpkin with butter be… but trust me! These roast pumpkin were so so so DELICIOUS! Mr Bao had to fight with me to get a few pieces lol I basically ate the whole thing myself ~ talk about simple pleasures hehe!
We took our time polishing off the main dishes, then we saw one of the waiters walk out to the balcony and feed one of the kookaburras that had flown and stopped on the bench, Mr Bao thought it was really cute and decided to go outside and take a photo with it :) Pretty close up shot hehe ~ Mr Bao and I did have a mini argument though hahaha he kept arguing it was an Owl when CLEARLY it’s a KOOKABURRA!
‘Violet Crumble’ – textures of chocolate, winter violets, honeycomb
INSERT PIC – ‘Violet Crumble’ – textures of chocolate, winter violets, honeycomb
Now to Desserts :) I thought I would have trouble choosing from the dessert menu, but it was easier than I expected hehe ~ I was only really tossing between the ‘Violet Crumble’ or The Winter shared dessert for two. I was very tempted to get the shared dessert for two as the lovely female waiter said that it had small samples of desserts that were not on the menu. But I figured only having little bites of desserts wasn’t going to satisfy my ginormous sweet tooth :P Furthermore, she wasn’t able to tell us more about the desserts that we were going to get… so I decided to go with the ‘Violet Crumble’. It reminded me so much of the Violet Crumble I had at Adriano Zumbo’s dessert train in Sydney, they even looked a little similar hehe ~ The dessert had a few components, first was the chocolate parfait, then a piece of chocolate cake and topped with ice-cream, little bits of honeycomb and edible flowers :) I really liked this dessert especially the different textures of chocolate. But would have liked a little more ‘honeycomb’ as this was supposed to be a ‘Violet Crumble’ interpretation ~ And the edible flowers hehe so pretty! Does anyone know where I can get them?
Red wine pear, gingerbread pain perdu, creme cassonade
Mr Bao wanted to order the selection of ice-cream and sorbets, which I’m sure was going to be delicious but that wouldn’t be very adventurous would it? :P So I kept going on about the red wine pears and saying ‘You know you like pears, you are always complaining that I don’t know how to poach them, it’ll be delicious’. Sure enough Mr Bao was convinced and got the red wine pear :) I had a lot of trouble taking a good photo of this ~ because the ice-cream was melting so quickly! The red wine pear were so tender ~ not too soft but just right :) While the other elements the creme cassonade and the gingerbread pain perdu when eaten together really resemblances Christmas pudding .
Tea to help with digestion ~
Even though we didn’t have wine we did order tea to finish off this wonderful long but delicious meal :) Not sure what tea served us but it was exactly what we needed to kick start our digestion process so we can eat even more later on in the day.
Both Mr Bao and I had such an amazing time at The Lake House, we enjoyed all the dishes, the flavours and combinations along with the portrait-like surrounding. So glad we chose this place for our anniversary dinner and would recommend anyone who is going to Daylesford to definitely visit The Lake House. I think I’m gonna try the Tasting Menu next time I come and maybe try and ask if I can order more desserts :P