Daylesford is one of my favourite places in Victoria, I love the town that is always bustling but still maintains the small-town charm.
Two weekend’s ago, we returned to Sault Daylesford after dining there nearly two years ago when Chef Santiago Fernandez was in residence.
Sault is located on the most beautiful properties with Lavender bushes scattered with a path leading to a stunning chapel overlooking the lake.
The restaurant itself, is a charming cottage and as you enter you are welcomed by a delightful fire and seating before you turn to your left and the big windows overlooking the property catch your eye.
By coincidence we were seated at exactly the same table we sat at previously, which worked for me as I wanted that brilliant natural light for my photos.
I had emailed several days in advance to request seating by the window however didn’t hear back.
We decided to have the Winter 2018 7 course tasting menu for $110 per person with the optional cheese course which was an additional $10 per person.
Freshly baked bread was swiftly delivered to the table and was served with the most delicious ricotta butter. I think one of my favourite things about eating in a fine dining restaurant is the butter. I never normally eat this at home so love having it as a little treat when out.
First – Heirloom beetroot, Holy Goat piccolo cheese, basil, Pedro Ximènez glaze
This was a stand out dish that excited me for what was to come. The cheese had a different texture to it but once you cut through it, the delicious creamy Holy Goat piccolo cheese was utterly dreamy.
Second – Cured Kingfish, finger lime, wild rice, truffle, lemon
The Cured Kingfish was a standout, I loved the generous serving size and the use of the finger lime as the citrus. Those little bursts of tart were heaven. Unfortunately, I could taste the truffle at all.
Third – Trout, potato crisps, fennel ketchup, nasturtium berry, leaves
The trout was cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth. The crispness of the potato matched the dish perfectly. I found the flavours subtle which was perfect as the trout really was able to shine.
Fourth – Quail breast, pancetta-wrapped quail leg, sprouts, black barley, quail egg, pickled walnut, quince aioli
I found this dish delicious but very common. Most fine dining places do something similar with quail, and while it’s not the easiest to work with I’d love to have seen a little more creativity. The black barley was a good choice to add some texture to the dish.
Fifth – 48 day house-aged beef sirloin (served medium rare, peak whiskey mustard, baby onions, beef jus
Another great serving size, the beef melted in my mouth. The beef jus it was served with was flavoursome and the peat whisky mustard was perfect. Sometimes the dish can be simple, and in this instance simplicity was all that was needed.
Optional Cheese Course – Fromage d’Affinois, caramelised onion and bee pollen ice-cream, Waldorf garnish
I’d be lying if told you I didn’t order this because of the reference to bee pollen. One of my favourite dishes I ever had was at Marque in Surry Hills, Sydney. It was so simple with honeycomb and I thought maybe this would be similar – I don’t know why ha!
This was something else though, I loved the caramelised onion and bee pollen ice-cream, savoury yet sweet and went perfectly with the Fromage d’Affinois.
The Waldorf garnish was cute too – I liked how they did that!
Sixth – Granny Smith apple sorbet, poached rhubarb
Classic flavours that work perfectly together to cleanse the palette and prepare you for what will undoubtedly be a rich chocolate dessert. The sorbet wasn’t too tart which was great and the rhubarb had a great amount of sweetness to it.
Seventh – Chocolate, white rum ganache, chocolate coffee crumb, poached pear
This was an extremely decadent dish which unfortunately I couldn’t finish – purely because I’m not a big lover of chocolate desserts (however my Husband loves this!). I really enjoyed the chocolate coffee crumb, a great technique was used here and it tasted great. Peat was a great choice to help break through the sweetness of the chocolate and white rum.
No petit fours were served which was disappointing however it didn’t put a dampener on the meal.
What I love most about Sault is that you never leave hungry. Serving sizes are generous and I find the menu affordable for such great food.
After lunch we took a stroll around the property to walk off lunch, it is incredibly relaxing to be surrounded by such beauty and fresh air.
You can find more about Sault, including menus here.
If you are in Daylesford, Sault is where you should dine at. I’d happily go back in a heartbeat, I’m serious – put this on your list of must do’s.