We visited Cape Lodge again for our anniversary celebration. Obviously this is the best choice when we are not away, we just love to go Margaret River and enjoy the good food and wine there…
Walked from the hotel side to the restaurant, we just walked to the outdoor deck to enjoy the lake view with a bit sunset color as we arrived early.
Going into the restaurant…
We were having the open kitchen window view as before, seems not much changes since we were here a few years back.
The food menu is having two choices now. The degustation menu is back. The only other choice is a four courses menu. In terms of the pricing and choices, I believe the four courses menu offered more value and you got a better selection of your favourable dishes as well.
The wine menu is much enhanced now. More choices and the wines are grouped into different style, easier to pick for most of the people I believe. Also the last section of the menu, it offers some fine wine selection of some top wineries in the region.
I tried to look for Cape Lodge wines but I missed that ! I checked with the sommelier and he pointed me to the first page. Oh yes, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Shiraz were still there. Anyhow, I had picked a bottle of Harewood Estate 2014 D Block Pinot Noir from Great Southern. We always love Pinot Noir to match both the seafood and meat, easier to match some set menu.
Overall the service provided by the waiters are much improved. I feel that they are more experienced hence more confident. As we always deal with a lot fresh and young servers in this area.
OK, with both 4 courses ordered, we started with the amuse bouche, a smoked ocean trout. The smokiness is really intense and the ocean trout is really fresh !
One of the service standard, like the re-dressing of the napkin when the customer is away.
Starter is served… I am not 100% sure if they are serving the meals to the patron at the same time before or not. However, they were this time.
Starter 1 – Jerusalem Artichoke Soup (grown across the road, vanilla oil)
Impressively, the Smoking Allowed (43c Ocean Trout, dill, cucumber, mustard) was still stored in the jar and served right at your table.
The house baked bread was served after the starter, before the entrée, which is a miss ! They should serve the bread before the starter, also we noticed that they did for other tables. In addition, another miss is the bread was cold although we were told that it was freshly baked.
Entree 1 – King Prawn (oyster mushroom, chestnut, cavolo nero, parsnip)
The prawn is big, fresh and delicious. I can taste the real favour from the ocean, just like we cook it at home. However, the seasoning is a bit heavy and makes it quite salty.
Entree 2 – Crab Souffle (twice baked, albany asparagus, hand picked crab meat)
Main 1 – Margaret River Wagyu cheek (shiraz braised, smoked potato, charred onion, broccolini)
One of the best beef cheek ever ! Beautifully braised cheek and it’s just melting in your mouth !
Main 2 – King George Whiting & Exmouth Bugs (fillet, roasted tail, blood orange, fennel, saffron, spinach)
Again, the seafood, especially the bug was too salty. I don’t think the chef needs any seasoning for the bugs and prawns. Just the nature favour would be good enough.
Also, if the chef picked a rectangular plate for this dish I think the presentation would be nicer.
Forgot what they told us, kind of the fruit tea, to clear up and prepare our palate for the dessert.
Also, some sweet or fortified wine’s choice if we want.
Ordered coffee comes with the menu…
Flat White, a bit disappointed with the latte art. I hope their barista would be doing a better job next time.
Dessert 1 – Blood Orange & Candied Lemon (sponge, jam, ivoire mousse, candied lemon ice cream)
Dessert 2 – Bahen Chocolate Emulsion (chocolate soil, salted caramel, vanilla ice cream)
Chocolate (Petit two ?)
Also, we were given a small pack for the following day’s morning. I recalled I only have that in some Michelin Star restaurant in France before. Definitely Cape Lodge is trying to enhance their quality level and providing much better customer experience. Not to mention the waiter offered us a wine bag when he saw us taking away the bottle during check out. I believe if they checked that before we leave the table, that would be much perfect !
Another improvement would be the refill of water, our glasses were never re-filled although it’s almost emptied after the entrée. It would be a standard service to refill (not being asked) in a quality restaurant or 5 star hotel. Nevertheless, I asked for the refill after dessert and the waiter didn’t forget and come back after she cleared the plates in the table.
The house baked financier is very sweet. Texture is a bit soft.
All in all, although there’s some room for improvement, we considered this meal is one of the best that we had.