Dining, Dining Reviews

Lunch at Bankvale Run, Marnong Estate

Two weeks ago an exciting new restaurant opened 4 minutes from our house, called Bankvale Run – part of Marnong Estate. Set on the most exquisite grounds, with a surrounding vineyard, Angus Cattle (my absolute favourite) and stunning architecture. It is located 15 minutes from Melbourne airport and only 35 minutes from Melbourne CBD.

I was so excited to have somewhere close by that we could go to on special occasions, where we would celebrate birthdays, anniversary, Christmas and so on.

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Booking was simple and easy to do through Open Table and I like how you can modify your booking through the website, saves making a phone call.

Bankvale Run is open Thursday and Friday for lunch and dinner, and on Saturday & Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is led by Executive Chef, Matt Coates who previously worked at the Sofitel in Darling Harbour.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by some amazing views. They have hit the nail on the head with the placement of the restaurant, overlooking rolling hills through big glass windows. The only trouble I had was the lighting with my photos ha!

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The interior is absolutely stunning, with the most amazing open kitchen where you can see the Chef’s busy at work. Although he won’t admit it, my husband loves watching the kitchen whenever we dine out and from where we sat he had a bird’s eye view on it all.

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I love the colour palette of the interior, you can see so much thought has gone into the design. Its warm, inviting and blends with the rugged exterior. The use of the slate and wooden floors, matched against the tanned leather is perfection. The perfect escape for a cold Melbourne winters day!

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Of course, I had to get a shot of the bathroom, even though we live 4 minutes down the road. It was equally stunning, and I love the choice of soap they have gone with – very upmarket.

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Prior to opening, I’m certain the menu included several more items that have since been removed and I recall sitting with my Husband (who is a chef) and pondering how they were going to manage with so many different dishes. However upon arrival, the menu appeared significantly shorter. I questioned one of the Waiters, however he stated the only thing that had changed was the layout of the menu?

img_3986Views from our table at Bankvale Run.

img_3978Extensive drinks menu, I wish I had tried an Espresso Martini!

img_3979The perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine in the afternoon.

I may be a little biased, however I do find the menu very typical, think the classics like Salmon, Pork Belly etc. I also get bothered when you have to buy the sides separately, I  just feel the protein should come with something, anything!

We skipped entrees and went straight to mains as nothing really stood out. The Crumbed fried sardines, lemon and caper mayonnaise do sound really tasty and perhaps I’ll have those next time.

I ordered the Pan fried salmon fillet, tomato, caper and pea tendrils, priced at $34. I requested the salmon be cooked well and they cooked it to perfection. I really enjoyed it, although a little small, the flavours were very nice. I do wish I had two cherry tomatoes though ha!

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My husband ordered the 300gm Black Angus scotch fillet, herb and garlic butter, jus and lemon, priced at $32. He ordered it medium-rare and was more towards the medium side, only slightly. Of course I had to try his and was blown away by the beautiful smooth flavour. It was quite a good size.

img_3983Excuse the poor lighting on this picture, the sun wasn’t playing fair!

We shared a bowl of the Polenta chips with roasted tomato salsa, priced at $10. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of them, they looked like French fries though. Pleasant and crispy.

At this point, I admit I was feeling a little deflated. Again, I’m an extremely harsh critic due to where I’ve dined and having a husband who is a chef but then we ordered dessert.

What we ordered for dessert isn’t even on the menu, I’m assuming it was the freshly baked cake of the day, priced at $12 however this was something else. Both my husband and I were absolutely blown away by this dish. It was so delicious, I would drive back there right now and have it if they were open. It was like a cheesecake with jelly in the centre and a biscuit base. OMG. Absolutely blown away, and the creativity! I think that’s what I was searching for in the mains and entrees, especially since most of Melbourne does really creative things with food.

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After lunch we went on a walk around the grounds, which made me super happy as it really is so beautiful. Especially seeing the old homestead, I’m actually tempted to stay here as it looks so inviting!

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They have set up a large space for growing their own produce, with a little greenhouse. I love when restaurants do this, especially if they have the space. It’s also nice for guests of the homestead to have these beautiful grounds for wondering.

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There is also a new tennis court for the guests of the homestead. With views like that from the tennis court, even I would take up tennis!

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After we wandered through the grounds, we slowly made our way back to the car. I really didn’t want to leave as I have fallen in love with Marnong Estate and all it has to offer.

img_3994.jpgBeautiful views, perfect for that fab Instagram worthy shot!

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As we strolled back to the car, I couldn’t help but think when will I return. Hopefully within the next 2 months when we have visitors from Sydney. I really want Bankvale Run to be a success, especially for our community. Mainly, so that I can celebrate many more birthdays there and tell my future grandkids that I dined here “when it first opened”.

I recommend you try this place when you can, its great for kids (the kids menu sounds pretty good) and it’s just a great spot for being semi outdoors.

I hope you enjoyed my review, do let me know your thoughts, especially if you have been there!

Renee
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