On our recent venture down to McLaren Vale, we visited the award winning Serafino Wines, where we were fortunate enough to experience and taste some delightful dishes from the new menu.
Executive chef, Daniel Armon, took us on a culinary adventure through the new contemporary menu. Daniel’s passion for food is clearly evident as each dish was presented meticulously and every bite brought joy to the tastebuds.
It only took me one bite to fall in love with the Beetroot Tortellini, which was my personal favourite from the new menu. The tortellini itself possesses a beautiful beetroot plum colour, which is perfectly paired with the smoked yellow beetroot, adding vibrancy and colour. The candied pistachio and walnut foam hold a light and salty note, while also adding texture to the dish. The Serafino Bellissimo Montepulciano is full of energetic red fruits, which would pair well with this dish. This Montepulciano was also awarded the Gold Medal for “Best Mediterranean Wine” of the Show at the 2017 McLaren Vale Wine Show.
The Smoked Eel is yet to officially be released on the menu; however, I can say that it was an exceptional dish in all aspects. Daniel explained that the inspiration behind it came from the ocean. The visually intricate dish has many different textures, which all complement each other in unison. From the smooth whipped cod and crustacean aioli, to the clam pearls and sea succulents, this dish truly encapsulates an ocean seabed. The shimeji mushrooms, beetroot and squid ink crisps also add a nice crunch to the dish.
What do you get if you mix blue swimmer crab with pasta? You get a Crab Cannelloni! The crab is perfectly balanced with the sweet corn custard. Sprinkled with rye pangrattato and crustacean oil, this dish is a seafood and pasta lover’s dream. The Serafino Bellissimo Vermentino is zesty wine, recommended for a seafood dish like this.
The Quail and Cotechino is a well put together dish that also incorporates the Serafino moscato. Succulent quail is met with a flavourful carrot and fennel puree, sharp pickled fennel and golden raisins. This dish would couple well with the Serafino GSM, which is a medium bodied wine with notes of plums and orange rind tannins.
The Chicken and Mushroom was another personal favourite of mine. It consists of a crisp chicken skin wafer, balanced carefully on perfectly cooked chicken breast. Delicate dollops of asparagus and buttermilk gel, combined with mushroom consommé, create the perfect grouping of flavours. The Serafino Reserve Chardonnay would be a great match with this dish.
The Kingfish is married with a piquant prawn bisque, laced with vanilla oil. The fish itself has a slight caramelised top, while still remaining succulent and subtle. The plate is elegantly garnished with edible flowers, nasturtium leaves and sweet granny smith cones. The Serafino Reserve Chardonnay is also recommended for this one.
The Dry Aged Beef consists of a sirloin, short rib cut that sits on a creamy pomme puree, next to a mouth-watering porcini croquette, topped with a full-bodied pickled garlic swirl. The Serafino Sharktooth Shiraz is a full bodied, rich and intense wine that would go nicely with this dish.
Now, onto the sweet stuff! The Crème Fraiche Cheesecake is dulcet in taste, while remaining flavourful. The pistachio sable and pear sorbet collaborate well to create the perfect combination of sweet and savoury. The almond tuile is not only decorative, but deliciously crisp too. This version of a deconstructed cheesecake is a must try!
The Rhubarb and Pistachio is a visual masterpiece. The bright rhubarb gelee is gently laid over the smooth pistachio ice cream and honeyed pear gel. The pistachio sable mirrors a shortbread crumble and compliments the rest of the dish superbly. The Serafino Tawny has notes of mature fruit, aged oak, toffee and walnut, which align well with this delicious dessert.
The new menu reflects the high standards held at the Serafino Wines Restaurant. Although I had my favourites, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every dish we tried! Head down to McLaren Vale and make a day of it, while also enjoying the gorgeous views and award winning wines on offer.
Words by Silvana Weyerhauser-Maher
WHERE: 39 Kangarilla Rd, McLaren Vale