We decided to Trust the Chef at Knee Deep Wines in Margaret River

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With the disappointment resulting from our cancelled Adelaide trip still fresh in our minds, we both looked forward to our weekend break down in Margaret River with an exaggerated level of enthusiasm. Our darling fur-child Eddie had made a full recovery and we both coördinated getting out of work on time on the Friday making for a perfect start to the weekend. To facilitate this further, earlier on in the week I had purchased enough gourmet treats to feed an army and the Boy had stocked up on wine, champagne and plenty of beer. We drove down on the Friday night to our Chalet at Chandeliers on Abbey where we have stayed before some years back. The following morning we lazily lounged in bed and I flicked through my Twitter feed to see what was happening in the real world. I was awakened by a stunning photograph of flash cooked snapper for Knee Deep Wines.

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I was actually so excited by its beauty that I woke the Boy up to show him. It was met with some grunts of approval before he drifted back off to sleep. Later that morning as I was cooking us breakfast, I mentioned the photo again and he suggested making a booking at Knee Deep for lunch. Expecting there to be no chance to score a table at such last minute I whooped with joy when I was told there was one table left!

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Knee Deep Wines first started producing wines in 2004 and are rated 5-stars in the most recent James Halliday Australian Wine Companion. We arrived a little early and enjoyed working our way through their collection at the cellar door before we sat at our table. We particularly enjoyed the 2010 Limited Release Kim’s Chardonnay with its buttery creaminess and the medium bodied 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. Knee Deep Restaurant’s chef Ben Day is a recent addition to the kitchen only starting in late February this year and since then has received a number of accolades including a Chef’s Hat in the 2013 West Australian Good Food Guide.

"nasturtium flowers" "nasturtium leaves" "Freshly baked" "organic sourdough" "cultured butter" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Margaret River" "Margaret River food reviews" "Margaret River reviews" "Margaret River valley" "gluten free" "local produce" "Bickley Valley wines" "Perth activities" "winery region" "Margaret River winery reviews" "Margaret River restaurant reviews" "West Australian wineries" "West AUstralian Wines" "West Australian Good Food Guide" "Knee Deep Winery" "Knee Deep Wines" "Cheeky Monkey Brewery" "Cidery" "Margaret River Beer" "Cheeky Monkey Margaret River" "Margaret River Breweries" "Degustation" "Ben Day" "Vegetarian"

Freshly baked organic sourdough with cultured butter

We chose the “Trust the Chef” five course menu where the chef chooses five courses for us matched with Knee Deep Wines for $115. To start with we were brought some freshly baked organic sourdough and cultured butter which are both made in house. The butter is made from local cream and infused with beautiful fresh nasturtium flowers and leaves. The aromas wafted across the table and made me so hungry I started to salivate.

"Marinated olives" "Gordel olives" "Sicilian olives" "Manzilla olives" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Margaret River" "Margaret River food reviews" "Margaret River reviews" "Margaret River valley" "gluten free" "local produce" "Bickley Valley wines" "Perth activities" "winery region" "Margaret River winery reviews" "Margaret River restaurant reviews" "West Australian wineries" "West AUstralian Wines" "West Australian Good Food Guide" "Knee Deep Winery" "Knee Deep Wines" "Cheeky Monkey Brewery" "Cidery" "Margaret River Beer" "Cheeky Monkey Margaret River" "Margaret River Breweries" "Degustation" "Ben Day" "Vegetarian"

Gordel, Sicilian and Manzilla marinated olives

Thankfully our waitress didn’t leave me hanging for too long and after apologising for not having any gluten free bread available, brought some flavoursome marinated olives for me to nibble on. She informed us that like most ingredients used in the kitchen all the olives are marinated in house with the chef using different marinades for each type of olive.

"un-homogenised milk" "Millers dairy" "Cowaramup" "Fresh Milk curds" "wild fennel" "fennel pollen" "zucchini" "jarrah honey" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Margaret River" "Margaret River food reviews" "Margaret River reviews" "Margaret River valley" "gluten free" "local produce" "Bickley Valley wines" "Perth activities" "winery region" "Margaret River winery reviews" "Margaret River restaurant reviews" "West Australian wineries" "West AUstralian Wines" "West Australian Good Food Guide" "Knee Deep Winery" "Knee Deep Wines" "Cheeky Monkey Brewery" "Cidery" "Margaret River Beer" "Cheeky Monkey Margaret River" "Margaret River Breweries" "Degustation" "Ben Day" "Vegetarian"

Fresh Milk curds from local milk, wild fennel, fennel pollen, zucchini, and jarrah honey (Matched with 2013 Chenin Blanc)

For our first entrée, it was like the long awaited joy of spring had been captured and masterfully spread across our plate. Fresh tangy milk curds made from un-homogenised milk obtained from Millers dairy in Cowaramup, vibrant seasonal flowers and wild fennel laced the plate with shavings of zucchini and zigzags of sweet jarrah honey. Scattered in amongst the colour were paper thin “milk crisps”. Our waitress described with great enthusiasm how the chef made these crisps from skim milk infused with all the parts from the wild fennel plant. Each crisp is flavoured with sprinklings of fennel pollen to add extra punch and brought a wonderful textual contrast to this unique and pretty dish.

"samphire" "dune spinach" "salt bush" "sea celery" "pig face flowers" "native spinach" "Smoked eel" "yabby" "beach herbs" "coconut broth" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Margaret River" "Margaret River food reviews" "Margaret River reviews" "Margaret River valley" "gluten free" "local produce" "Bickley Valley wines" "Perth activities" "winery region" "Margaret River winery reviews" "Margaret River restaurant reviews" "West Australian wineries" "West AUstralian Wines" "West Australian Good Food Guide" "Knee Deep Winery" "Knee Deep Wines" "Cheeky Monkey Brewery" "Cidery" "Margaret River Beer" "Cheeky Monkey Margaret River" "Margaret River Breweries" "Degustation" "Ben Day" "Vegetarian"

Smoked eel, yabby, beach herbs, coconut broth (Matched with 2012 SBS)

Continuing with the same level of originality and intrigue our next dish consisted of a wedge of smoked eel, yabby tail and for the Boy a curly whirly prawn cracker. It was freezing cold and raining outside and the delicately flavoured, warming coconut broth hit the spot.

"samphire" "dune spinach" "salt bush" "sea celery" "pig face flowers" "native spinach" "Cone Bay Barramundi" "octopus tentacle" "mojo picon" "ink" "Asparagus" "puffed milk" "beach herbs" "2010 LR Chardonnay" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Margaret River" "Margaret River food reviews" "Margaret River reviews" "Margaret River valley" "gluten free" "local produce" "Bickley Valley wines" "Perth activities" "winery region" "Margaret River winery reviews" "Margaret River restaurant reviews" "West Australian wineries" "West AUstralian Wines" "West Australian Good Food Guide" "Knee Deep Winery" "Knee Deep Wines" "Cheeky Monkey Brewery" "Cidery" "Margaret River Beer" "Cheeky Monkey Margaret River" "Margaret River Breweries" "Degustation" "Ben Day" "Vegetarian"

Cone Bay Barramundi, octopus tentacle, mojo picon, ink, Asparagus, puffed milk, beach herbs (Matched with 2010 LR Chardonnay)

Each dish exuded Chef Day’s passion for local and seasonal produce and this dish was garnished with locally foraged “beach herbs”. He later informed me that these beach herbs can include on any day the familiar samphire along with dune spinach, salt bush, sea celery, pig face flowers and native spinach.

"samphire" "dune spinach" "salt bush" "sea celery" "pig face flowers" "native spinach" "Cone Bay Barramundi" "octopus tentacle" "mojo picon" "ink" "Asparagus" "puffed milk" "beach herbs" "2010 LR Chardonnay" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Margaret River" "Margaret River food reviews" "Margaret River reviews" "Margaret River valley" "gluten free" "local produce" "Bickley Valley wines" "Perth activities" "winery region" "Margaret River winery reviews" "Margaret River restaurant reviews" "West Australian wineries" "West AUstralian Wines" "West Australian Good Food Guide" "Knee Deep Winery" "Knee Deep Wines" "Cheeky Monkey Brewery" "Cidery" "Margaret River Beer" "Cheeky Monkey Margaret River" "Margaret River Breweries" "Degustation" "Ben Day" "Vegetarian"

Cone Bay Barramundi, octopus tentacle, mojo picon, ink, Asparagus, puffed milk, beach herbs (GF version) (Matched with 2010 LR Chardonnay)

I am a sucker for meticulous presentation. In my own line of work as a vet, attention to detail is everything especially with my niche field of feline medicine. When this attitude is applied to fine dining, it is by far a step in the right direction in my humble opinion. Our main dish of barramundi and octopus was indeed a plate of perfection. Each component and flavour was carefully thought out and prepared yet still retained an air of simplicity with no pretention. The octopus passed my current “Barcelona test” and the mojo picon had just a teeny bit of kick to it.

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Pont L’Evêque, organic Sundowner apple, pickled watermelon, macadamia (Matched with 2012 Late Harvest SB)

I used to be a fan of having “all the cheese” when dining out and have been known to order up to five different cheeses for just the two of us because it’s too hard to choose. I figure it’s just another way I show my “all or nothing” side of myself. Since then I have come to realise that with the right chef it is possible to have just one cheese and turn it into a course of its own right by simply pairing it with the right accompaniments. Five is not necessarily better than one! A humble slice of Pont L’Evêque was served with organic Sundowner apples, pickled watermelon and shaved macadamia. Pont L’Evêque is a French cheese and is one of the oldest Norman cheeses still in production. It is an uncooked, un-pressed, washed rind cheese made with cow’s milk and is creamy pale with a smooth fine texture and pungent aroma.

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Quince & watermelon sorbet with oats

A refreshing palate cleanser of quince & watermelon sorbet gave just the right element of turning our savoury to sweet notes on our palate and tuned us in perfectly for the final course; dessert.

"dessert" "desserts" "Bitter Chocolate espuma" "blood orange sorbet" "blood orange jelly" "chocolate and cardamom crumb" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Margaret River" "Margaret River food reviews" "Margaret River reviews" "Margaret River valley" "gluten free" "local produce" "Bickley Valley wines" "Perth activities" "winery region" "Margaret River winery reviews" "Margaret River restaurant reviews" "West Australian wineries" "West AUstralian Wines" "West Australian Good Food Guide" "Knee Deep Winery" "Knee Deep Wines" "Cheeky Monkey Brewery" "Cidery" "Margaret River Beer" "Cheeky Monkey Margaret River" "Margaret River Breweries" "Degustation" "Ben Day" "Vegetarian"

Bitter Chocolate espuma, blood orange sorbet and jelly, chocolate and cardamom crumb (Matched with 2010 LR Relseas Cab Sauv)

After not a single dish faltering in its own wonder, we were wide-eyed with anticipation to see what was going to be next. We were not disappointed. Foamy light bitter chocolate espuma with blood orange sorbet and cubes of tart blood orange jelly lay hidden under fracturable shards of chocolate wafer. This whole dish of magnificence was dusted in freeze dried blood orange powder.

"dessert" "desserts" "Bitter Chocolate espuma" "blood orange sorbet" "blood orange jelly" "chocolate and cardamom crumb" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Perth restaurants" "Perth food reviews" "Margaret River" "Margaret River food reviews" "Margaret River reviews" "Margaret River valley" "gluten free" "local produce" "Bickley Valley wines" "Perth activities" "winery region" "Margaret River winery reviews" "Margaret River restaurant reviews" "West Australian wineries" "West AUstralian Wines" "West Australian Good Food Guide" "Knee Deep Winery" "Knee Deep Wines" "Cheeky Monkey Brewery" "Cidery" "Margaret River Beer" "Cheeky Monkey Margaret River" "Margaret River Breweries" "Degustation" "Ben Day" "Vegetarian"

Bitter Chocolate espuma, blood orange sorbet and jelly, chocolate and cardamom crumb (Matched with 2010 LR Relseas Cab Sauv)

I was impressed. For a spur of the minute decision to make a reservation because of a photo I’d seen on Twitter for a restaurant that was never really on my radar; we had experienced a total wow factor from beginning to end. Quirky and knowledgeable service, elegant but simple presentation and a level of true passion and enthusiasm that filtered from the kitchen all the way through to the dining room. This was a late minute change of plans I will never regret.

Knee Deep Winery & Restaurant

61 Johnson Road, Margaret River WA 6280 | (08) 9755 6776 | kneedeepwines.com.au
 
Price:                     $$$ (Entrees $16-22, Mains $28-40, 5 course Trust the Chef $90 + $25 matched wines)
Food:                    4.5/5 (creative, intriguing and locally sourced)
Service:                4.5/5 (quirky and passionate)
Ambience:          4/5 (even in the pouring rain, the vines are pretty as a picture)
Drinks:                  4/5 (only Knee Deep Wines available, but they matched well with each course)
Total:                     17/20
Knee Deep Winery and Restaurant on Urbanspoon 
 
 
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4 Thoughts on “We decided to Trust the Chef at Knee Deep Wines in Margaret River

  1. Hehe I look at the food you have and I am not sure whether is it a piece of art or food @@! They look so pretty! And for $90 it seems reasonable :)!

    • Hi Tracey, it was such a unexpectedly incredible meal. Cannot wait to return. Let me know what you think when you visit them!

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