Following a great dinner at Ezard, I planned for a day trip away from the city, taking advantage of the day’s baby-sitting (of Lil’ M. ) service offered by our visitors this month. We headed for the town of Daylesford – known for its highest concentration of mineral springs and spas. Lunch reservation was made at Lake House restaurant.
The setup was artistically impressive, filled with art work ranging from wall paintings to table plates. The atmosphere was very relaxing, with cool spring breeze circulating, and the place was brightly lit by sunlight coming through the glass windows bordering the restaurant. We ordered the house brand water – Salus – a bottle of sparkling water and a bottle of still water ($3.5 each). Tasted very much like tap water from home!
We took awhile to decide on what to eat as there were a few menus to browse through. Lake House was offering the Two ($70), Three ($88), Four ($106) and Eight ($130) Courses Menu, the Lunch Menu Express ($50) or we could go à la carte.
After consulting our waitress thrice, Ms. L. went for the Lunch Menu Express and I chose the Two Courses Menu. (Post-Ezard, we make sure our orders have the same number of items!). Desert was not included in our orders. An additional of $18 was incurred for each desert ordered.
Lunch started with some tasty grissini and a variety of olives. Ms L.’s Lunch Menu Express came with a glass of Lake House Sparkling Rosè, (made exclusively by Cope Williams, Macedon, Victoria). Freshly baked bread and house-made butter followed suit.
My gorgeous entree arrived first. Its the Smoked Skipton eel in pancetta, shallot confit, beetroot remoulade, mustard crème fraiche. The presentation of this dish was excellent, chose this as my featured image for this post. The taste of the beetroot slightly overwhelmed the whole dish. This could be countered if you mix a little of the mustard and shallot with the eel-pancetta couples.
Ms. L.’s express menu started with the Lake House Caesar salad, with white Spanish anchovy, local prosciutto and crisp crumbed poached free range egg. I took and an additional shot of this dish to show the perfectly poached egg. This was the best Caesar Salad we’ve tasted so far; ‘Emperor of all Caesar Salads’.
Next was the main dishes. Ms. L. picked the Crisped confit duck leg with pork belly, coriander and Shiso salad. The duck leg was excellent – really crispy skin and the meat was very tender. This is coming from a person who wasn’t a duck meat fan! She didn’t remember the pork belly part – maybe it was a tiny portion.
I went for my all time favorite meat – 12 hour suckling pig with celeriac, sauce chutney and ‘smokehouse’ Riesling braised cabbage. It was a belly of a suckling pig, I guessed. The meat was very moist, tender and it melted so easily, no chewing required! The crackling was perfect … do admire my crackling below!
We had a hard time deciding on desert. The usual suspect was not available. Ms. L. selected the Lemon and liquorice with curd, ice-cream and mousse ‘caviar’. Her desert was refreshing and the liquorice ice-cream was a stand-out.
With no specific preferences, I picked the longest worded desert on the menu – Roast plum clafoutis with rosemary goat’s milk gelato, crumble, plum wine gelee, and Lake House’s wild damson confiture. It was just ok for me.
There are many more signature dishes to try out at Lake House. I don’t see us passing by this place in the near term but definitely join the rest who has visited Lake House in recommending this place as a pit-stop in Daylesford.Lake House King Street, Daylesford, 3460 Victoria, Australia. 61-3-5348-3329 www.lakehouse.com.au
Recent Award: Two Chef’s Hat – The Age Good Food Guide 2012