It’s very rare (read, never) that I venture anywhere outside of the Adelaide CBD if it’s over an hour and a half drive, so when there was a need to venture out into the ‘country’ of SA, I lept at the idea that maybe, just maybe we could have a stop over at Skillogalee in the Clare Valley region after reading so many great reviews of the winery and restaurant.
Outdoor dining area under the shade of an old olive tree
We arrived a little after midday and was seated at one of the tables under the verandah overlooking the hills and vines. Skillogalee operates a wine tasting and sales area along with the restaurant which is housed in and around an old stone cottage oozing with charm. A perfect setting to a relaxing lazy lunch with great service to boot.
Pappadums with lemon and pepper
Thin crispy pappadums to start with hints of lemon and sprinkles of pepper to stimulate our appetite.
Starters of pork belly and Szechuan pepper beef strips arrived shortly after.
Pork belly with cauliflower puree and watermelon; $18.50
Fatty pieces of pig with a more chewy than crackling piece of crackle sat on cauliflower puree with cubes of fresh pink watermelon and sprigs of watercress with freshly cracked black pepper. Such a pretty and colourful dish.
Szechuan pepper beef strips with aioli; $11.50
The Szechuan pepper beef strips with a humungo(!) mound of aioli was kind of a let down. We thought it’d be presented as a beef steak cut into strips with a slightly pink centre (medium rare) seasoned with Szechuan pepper but it was a different interpretation to what we had in mind. The beef strips were coated in Szechuan pepper and spices and cooked well done so each bite was on the tough and chewy side. The accompanied salad was a welcomed surprise for some colour and crunch.
Confit duck served on braised red cabbage with broccolini and chestnut puree; $33.90
Moving on to the mains, the duck meat fell straight off the bone, it was incredibly tender and flavourful. The braised red cabbage provided a nice crunch with some juice however the chestnut puree was left untouched for most of the meal. In the famous words of Manu Fiedel, ‘where is the sauce?’ – (if you say it with a French accent, it has a better effect… hehe!)
Wirreanda eye fillet of beef topped with anchovy butter, roast sweet potato, green beans and beetroot; $35.90
Steak round 2, redemption from the one we had at Jolleys. The meat was cooked perfectly, medium rare, with a pink centre and the meat tender and juicy. The anchovy butter melted over the eye fillet evenly whilst the steak sat on a generous heap of cubed firm roast sweet potato (which could have used a bit more time in the oven) and sweet vibrant beetroot wedges with a side of crisp snappy green beans. Yummy!
Lovely view, great weather, simple style food and friendly service. Skillogalee’s menu changes seasonally so food is served with the freshest, local (if possible) and in season ingredients.
Skillogalee Winery and Restaurant
Spring Gully SA 5453
P 08 8843 4311
Mon-Sun Lunch, dinners by arrangement