Lochiel House is situated in a beautiful old cottage built by a former convict that dates back to around 1825 (so even older than The Boy)! Despite the history and beautiful location it's Lochiel House's locally grown produce and use of ethically raised meat that attracts me. Chefs Wayne and Phil are also big on "nose to tail" dining and I'm keen to challenge myself to start eating bits of the animal that I would normally screw my nose up at (except for intestines - blergh)! We're hear for some extreme dining!
For my entree I choose the intriguing sounding Gin Cured Salmon, Horseradish, Potatoes, Lemon ($16). I love the salmon + I LOVE the creamy potato salad sprinkled with dill but it's the GIN component that gets me on this dish - is there anything that Gin cannot do I ask you? The Boy follows his souffle-loving-heart and orders the Cheese Souffle ($18) - it's miraculously light and fluffy and tastes almost like cheesy yet aerated scrambled eggs - totally different in texture to the dessert souffles we've been indulging in lately. It's quite simply...amazing!
The chefs very kindly send out a surprise middle course for us to try, the special of the day: broccoli in prosciutto + artichokes with a Pork Fat Mayonnaise. Yep, you heard right: PORK FAT MAYO! Pork fat has been used instead of oil in the making of the mayo and as it cools, the fat solidifies leaving the mayonnaise to look more like a quenelle of butter...it's amazing and we end up just eating by the spoonful, sinfully delicious and not at all fatty tasting. The vegetables on this dish were picked that very morning from the Lochiel House kitchen garden which I just LOVE, you could not be eating fresher greens if you tried. The entire dish is dusted with a pork crackling crumb - need I say more?
For my main I choose the Nose to Tail Pork with Cauliflower ($38). I actually thought there would be something wobbly, offally and confronting on my plate but everything was quite tame (*phew*)! This dish was so beautifully presented and offered so many different tastes of pork - a pork lovers dream come true. We could tell that a lot of thought and care has gone into presenting parts of the pig that we wouldn't normally eat in this country - it was a true work of art (and skill) and I think really respectful to the animal. Well done is all I can say.
Looking at the plate from the bottom we have: cauliflower puree sitting under spice cauliflower; pork belly; a pork tail and potato hash (this was GOOD!), a quenelle of "cauliflower cous cous" (raw, finally diced cauliflower that actually had the texture of cous cous - lovely); a croquette of richly braised pigs trotter; a ballotine of pigs head (looking happily like my beloved Porchetta) and the longest strip of pork crackling EVER!
The Boy ordered the Assiete of Lamb with Leeks + Peas ($38) which came with the jackpot of wibbly-wobbly offal...Lambs Brain! Neither of us had tried brains before so were both excited and freaked out, and really pleased that they were nice. There is no strong lamb flavour and the soft texture of the brain was counterbalanced by a lovely crispy outer shell - almost like eating a large sweatbread. I'd also never tried a Scotch Egg before so was also excited to see a Scotch Quail Egg on the plate - delicious. I missed out on trying the Milly Hill Rack of Lamb (The Boy inhaled this) but I was offered some of the Pea Panacotta - lush, creamy and lovely.
We couldn't pass up the Chips with Truffle, Parmesan + Parsley ($9) - they were even more delicious than the look, super fat and crunchy. I also like to eat a bit of greens with my main meal so choose the Lochiel Garden Salad ($9) with everything in the bowl coming straight out of their kitchen garden - love it.
Although we'd just ordered two desserts the chefs send out a complimentary dessert - I think to purely test the capacity of this food bloggers stomach! Always up for a challenge we ate every crumb of the Lemon Panacotta with Lemon Verbena Ice Cream and Bay Leaf Shortbread. Being a lover of tart, citrus flavours this dessert was right up my alley. The ice-cream was made using Lemon Verbena that grows in the kitchen garden - it was tart, lemony and delicious!
The Boy could not pass up a dessert simply titled "Chocolate" ($18) and when the plate arrived at our table we were both slaw-jawed with delight! So much chocolate (plus Peanut Butter ice cream) all in one place. If you have a sweet tooth then this is the dessert choice for you - "bendy chocolate", aerated chocolate, chocolate crumb sat along side a slice of orange olive oil cake and a piece of fresh orange.
Inspire by my other favourite drink, Pimms, my dessert, "Pimms No. 1" ($18) was almost too pretty to eat, almost! This dessert was AMAZING, each mouthful was like eating a perfect lolly: sweet, but not too sweet. Each mouthful had a medley of different textures - Pimms jelly, cucumber sorbet, soft meringue, mamarshmallow foam and raspberry jellies. This was the perfect note to end our amazing lunch with. What a great afternoon!
After we finished eating we decided to go and check out the lovely kitchen garden...to say I was a little jealous of this garden is a massive understatement. I could've sat at out in the garden all afternoon, enjoying the sun and the sound of the bees buzzing happily from plant to plant. I love that SO much of the food we enjoyed in our lunch came from this garden - can't get more locavore than that!
Lochiel House is at 1259 Bells Line Of Road, Kurrajong Heights. Phone them on 02 4567 7754. We'll be going back for a Saturday brunch ASAP!
Well, what are you waiting for? Get in your car and GO GO GO!