Eating my way around Daylesford
Sometimes you go to a place and there’s just something about it that you can’t put your finger on. Daylesford and its surrounding areas is such a place, and while you can’t put your finger on it, you can certainly get your knife and fork around it. 😉
It’s a balmy evening as my dining companion, lastminute Lovely Nicola and I, set off on the short walk to Kazuki’s Restaurant. I did some research before our trip, and based on what I read, we are in for a culinary treat where Japanese flavours meet French technique.Greeted at the door by the lovely Martin, we are whisked to a table with a view of the setting sun outside. We kick off dinner with a refreshing pre-dinner drink suggested by our expert waiter for the evening. Plum or Japanese Lime Sake served on the rocks with soda water. Fresh and tasty, the culinary journey begins.Keen to try a few things from the menu (it all looks amazing) Nicola and I decide to share both entrées and dessert and select a main each. Three courses for $80, it really doesn’t get any better.
The food is impeccable and the service matches it like a glass of fine wine. Everything about this restaurant is impressive, from the fresco gold leaf artwork on the walls to the small details in the food. It’s amazing to find city-quality dining in the middle of this small town. I take a deep breath and relax into the weekend, knowing that I am on the cusp of a special few days.
Top 5 Instagram-able Moments from Kazuki’s
Wombat Hill House Cafe
It becomes apparent that Daylesford is more than meets the eye as we approach the Wombat Hill House Café in the local Botanic Gardens.
Arriving on foot for lunch (needed to walk off Kazuki’s from last night!), the beauty of this spot is not clear until we step inside and are greeted by the attentive staff that clearly love what they do.
Before we can drool over at the tasty treats on offer, we are whisked outside to explore the fresh vegetable garden responsible for much of the menu!
We leave ourselves in the hands of the staff for a tasty starter which is a Ploughman’s platter, made up of a fresh salmon spread, local Holy Goat goat’s cheese (think camembert but goat’s cheese…I’m dying!) accompanied by fresh pickles and warm crusty bread. The Wombat Hill Café has only been here for two years but it feels like an institution.
|Hot tip: This place is a must-do for lunch, especially in winter, when I imagine the welcome respite the homemade food and open fire would provide from the cold Victorian winter. They also offer freshly stacked picnic baskets with blankets so you can venture out into the gardens to nourish stomach and soul. Such a lovely idea that is on my must-do’s for my next visit.|
The Argus Dining Room
The Argus is set in the dining room of the original 1930’s Mineral Springs Hotel. Now occupied by the Pepper’s Mineral Spring Retreat.
As we walk in, the dark timber floor boards and crisp white table linen combine to give this dining room an old world charm. Needless to say I am hungry (given all the eating I’ve been doing I’m not sure how!) and looking forward to dinner. The low lighting says “date night” dining but Nicola and I soldier on, happy to have a girly dinner for two!
Our waitress, Alex, has a wonderful command of the menu as she explains what is special about The Argus and Head Chef David Willcocks. It’s simple, the menu is a list of ingredients for each dish. How it’s combined, cooked and presented changes daily. Let the adventure begin!
I opt for the entrée special of jamon with fresh figs a number of ways, an elegant dish with stand out flavours. Followed by one of the signature dishes of Sher Wagyu MS8+. Nicola opts for the Yellowfin tuna for entrée (I have plate envy) and the blackened eggplant for main course. Once again we decide to share dessert and the highlight is the cheese plate with a generous serving of lavosh, nothing worse than a chef stingy on the cheese board biscuits!
When it comes to the wine I offer expert Sommelier Jeremy Sheill the task of choosing for me. When in a restaurant of this calibre, I find there is nothing better than handing this task over to someone far more talented that I. It pays off!
Nicola and I leave The Argus feeling content and wanting more, the sign of a great meal. The return visit is already on my mind…
Top 5 Instagram-able Moments from The Argus
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Have you been to Daylesford? Any foodie tips?