The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 6 July 2007

The Grape, Roleystone

Roleystone is a quiet, almost-country-like town located in the hills less than one hour's drive east from Perth CBD. Rob's dad owns a gorgeous house in Roleystone, and that was where we spent most of our time on our last visit to Perth. (And while I understand why some people like the peace and tranquility of country living, as a restless person I probably won't come to truly appreciate the quiet life until I'm much older.)

Down the road from the house (a few minutes' drive, or a short walk), there is a restaurant called The Grape Gallery. The Grape is a nicely decorated, sizeable restaurant with friendly and professional staff. The Grape serves contemporary Australian dishes, and the serving sizes are big enough for me (although Rob's dad would have preferred his order of grilled chicken to be bigger). Prices of the main courses range between AU$20 to mid-30s (discounts if you have the Entertainment book).

We went there for dinner one evening with Rob's dad and aunt Tess, and it turns out that Tess used to work there. As she chatted with the waitress, it was revealed that the place is under relatively new management by an Irishman who is also the chef. That was promising: the food will be contemporary Australian with an Irish flair.

We had some Irish bread to start with, which I guess is more correctly called Irish soda bread, as they were made using baking soda and not yeast. The bread was quite nice, almost cake-like and crumbly.

Whenever we dine out together, Rob and I usually order different dishes so that we can taste the other's order. That night, both of us wanted the Tasmanian salmon dish, but Rob (being the gentleman that he is) gave in and ordered the grilled chicken. If memory serves me right, there was lamb, beef and a vegetarian pasta (fusilli) on the menu too. The grilled chicken was a quarter-chicken (wing/breast part) served on top of leeks with a goat's cheese sauce. The salmon was served on top of mashed potatoes and topped with prawns. They were both beautifully presented. The chicken meal was nice, and the goat's cheese sauce wasn't as strong as I expected. The salmon dish was also quite nice, although a bit on the overcooked side. Actually come to think of it, I've never had a fish dish done just right in Australia.

The grilled chicken and salmon meals:

For desserts, you could choose from brownies, creme brulee, bread pudding and various sweet offerings. Rob's dad ordered the bread pudding (he's of English descent), and Tess ordered creme brulee whilst Rob and I shared a huge platter of cheese and crackers. Smoked cheese, brie and a mild blue cheese (still far too strong for my tastes :P).

Verdict? It's worth a visit if you're in the area, say on the way to or from Araluen Park.

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