Margaret River is not just a lucky land where plenty of fresh produce, food and wines. Not to mention the beaches for surfing and any other water sports. Some unique moments could be created by human’s thought and extra efforts. Like the travelling kitchen by Fervor, we tried their pop up dinner held at Windows Estate at Margaret River in 2015 Valentine’s Day !
We arrived about 30 mins earlier. The kitchen setup was done and the main dinning table was nearly set. I thought there’s some tent setting up but there’s not. Also, we were told the dinning area supposed to be over the lawn and under the stars. Unfortunately, the strong breeze in the evening changed their plan to set up the dinning table back to the veranda. Thus the over sky night view is cut but it helps to keep us a bit warmer because it’s unusual cool night in this late summer February.
Anyway, the menu is amazing ! Both the food and wine menu are attractive and make you feel hungry. However, I would prefer one single menu to see how the food and wine are pairing up that’s would be much perfect.
The appetizer starts with the Pepperberry Cracker. A lot of wild plants are utilized and we just recalled we had been to the bushfood factory in Youngs Siding near Denmark / Albany. A bit unusual and strong favour, but nice !
Being a pop up kitchen, most of the food are cooked (if needed) and prepared in advance. What the team need to do is mainly to plate and present the dishes.
The Wallaby Tartar is my first time for both Wallaby and eating it raw. Texture-wise is very nice, soft and smooth. Favour is not as bold as the saltbush and cracker though. I think if they served in the order of the printed menu, i.e. having this tartar first would be better.
OK, back to the table, start with the first course. the Raw Esperance Scallop with Scallop Chip and Lemon Myrtle is spot on ! It’s not common to serve raw scallop in WA, I think that’s our first time. And to me, this is the dish of the day. The freshness of the scallop, with a hint of lemon myrtle just bought up the whole dish to the heaven ! Nevertheless, I would expect they serve this with a small plate not just using the natural scallop shell as the carrier.
Shark Bay Crab with riberries and dune spinach. A bit salty and overpowering. However, it’s still not a bad dish. The pairing single vineyard SSB is fabulous ! The french oak gave the wine different layers and a unique after taste.
The crocodile tail with samphire and desert lime. It is buttery and mild favour. So your palate is dropping from the sky high saltiness back to the ground. Although the crocodile is sliced very thin, it’s hard to further cut it down into smaller length for a bite. A bit chewy but it’s a good first time experience though. I tried some crocodile soup back to my childhood I believe, long time ago I could only hear the name but not details of the taste. Crocodile meat is kind of expensive meat in HK and common for cooking soup. Some are dried meat which is used for some Chinese medicine purpose as well I think.
Finally the last savory course, Kangaroo. The most presented dish of the day. However, the main let down is the temperature, favour and texture of the meat. This is my second time trying Kangaroo. My first time experience was in a brewery restaurant in Fremantle, it was good and just like beef. Although it was a good experience, I said right afterward I tried not to further eat it because the roos are our best friends 🙂 Nevertheless with this set menu I tried it again and not really like it this time. I think the cooked meat must be served hot or at least warm, unless you are making some salad for a summer lunch, etc. A cold cooked meat served in a chilly night is just not a pleasure. The favour may be alright, but again, the favour of every dishes come together just like a roller coaster ride, up and down, up and down. Lastly the main let down is the meat itself, quite chewy.
We got a chance talking with one of the diners Kelvin who own a farms with Kangaroo too. And we only aware the Kangaroos for eating are all from wild. Shooters will shoot 20 roos at one time in his farm area. And the meat is best from the young kangaroo.
It was a nice evening not just food and wine. With the opportunity to talk to different people, I can see the community are sharing a lot of information through this occasion. We met also some vineyard owners in the neighbourhood, as well as some visitors from UK and some “Big Apples” owning a house in the area.
OK, back to desserts…
Eucalyptus ice and Kakadu Plum Sherbet. Try to clean up the palate a bit.
Last dessert… having smoke captured in a tiny jar, like a magic to finish up a great night 🙂 Right, it’s a unique experience to taste heaps of unusual food and favour which tested our palate’s comfort zone. We had a very high expectation for this dinner and all in all, the team were doing their best and created a good dinner for all of us. Hats off to the team once again !