HOT: Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley
Rochfords Wines Yarra Valley is the perfect location for a long lunch with the kids. The family friendly winery in Coldstream offers a kids menu, high chairs and gardens to roam.
The Yarra Valley is one of the favourite destinations for Melburnians in search of a country drive. I always like to combine a day trip there with a delicious long lunch.
On our most recent excursion to Coldstream we visit Rochfords Wines.
The restaurant is enormous but is divided into a bar, cafe and restaurant. All the windows are floor to ceiling and offer panoramic views of the vineyards and the surrounding countryside. Ask for a window view if you can!
At lunch time Isabella’s offer a la carte menu split into ‘small' ‘medium' ‘large' and ‘enormous' dishes. The kids menu is $13 with three choices – fish and chips, chicken burger and fish or margherita pizza. There are also churros for dessert for $8. It all comes presented on a melamine plate with educational images and text. ‘Education on a Plate' are also available for sale in the Rochford Shop for $12.95
The staff are well used to families visiting the restaurant. An as example of their child-friendly approach, when the complimentary bread basket arrived the waitress said that she’d cut up some smaller pieces for the kids. When I order a dish from the children’s menu to be shared between the two children she asks whether I’d like the kitchen to actually divide the dish into two bowls. Finally, when the dessert arrives the waitress asks whether I’d like the bill at the same time.
Three very thoughtful touches that made our experience dining with kids so much smoother.
For the grown ups we start off with oven baked fillet of salmon with Port Phillip Bay mussels and local Mallard confit duck leg with smoked duck breast.
On first glance both portions were very large and artistically presented. My fish is cooked right to the point of doneness, so it is still juicy and not dry and flaky. The delicate Rochford Chardonnay Marinières sauce is frothy and lightly fragrant and balances well with the delicacy of the fish. I also enjoyed the detail of the potato ‘stones’ – potatoes boiled or steamed and coated with fine grey ash. My only very minor quibble is that the skin of the ocean trout is not crispy, but all the other elements are excellent and outweigh this detail.
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Both cuts of the duck was also cooked perfectly to retain the moisture of the rich meat with no hint of stringy dryness. The confit leg, in particular, forks off the bone with little effort. The accompanying pickled red cabbage is unexpectedly sweet due to the addition of blackberries and its rich burgundy hue gives the dish a luxurious look.
My highlight is the dessert. T's ‘Death by chocolate’ is described as chocolate sponge, Belgium chocolate ganache, griottine cherries, hazelnut praline powder. What appears is a moderately small slice of rich chocolate delice scattered with berries. A delicious but fairly run of the mill ‘fine-dining’ chocolate dessert.
In contrast, my tiramisu can easily be a dessert for two or three people and the presentation of it in a flower pot is cleverly whimsical. The contents of the terracotta pot are just as delightful – marsala soaked sponge, lashings of mascarpone and a top layer of chocolate ‘soil’ to lend textural interest to the mix. I think the tiramisu in a pot is, or will become, a signature dish!
Our experience at Rochford Wines is excellent, from the food to the service to the ambience. It’s a great stopping point for a day out in the Yarra Valley which affords scenic skylines, fresh air and great wines just an hour from Melbourne.
Click here for more places to go in the Yarra Valley with kids.
- pram access;
- high chairs;
- kids menu;
- standard menu suitable for kids; and
- gardens and vineyard grounds.
Rochford Wines, 878-880 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream 03 5962 2119
Open 7 days
Cellar Door: 9am – 5pm
Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 9:00am – 6:00pm
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[…] 7. Isabella’s at Rochford Wines – one of the best children’s menus I’ve seen with food I’d happily eat. […]