South Australia, our beautiful state. It has a vast array of amazing things to see and do. From the beaches, the wine regions, the city… There really is never a point where you should be able to say, ‘I have seen it all and there is nothing to do.’
The Fleurieu Peninsula is not only visually stunning, but also brimming with so many activities. We especially love food based activities…. Eating, we love eating. When we eat, we write a review so you get the lowdown on the venue, what you can expect and of course the most important, how delicious the menu was!
On this week’s agenda, Leonards Mill, nestled between the hills and coastline in Second Valley. Our Glam gal Lisa did some serious testing of their 6 course degustation menu and this is what she had to say:
As the name suggests, Leonards Mill is a historic flour mill which has been lovingly and thoughtfully restored into many things. Aside from the multi award-winning restaurant, the property is home to cottage style accommodation, a bar, function centre, and art studio.
They have also recently established a cellar door, which plays host to KI and Fleurieu Peninsula wine makers, providing a space for tastings and promotion.
As if that wasn’t enough; the chefs at Leonards Mill now also make and sell their own range of lavosh, crackers, and preserves (which are totally delicious).
This week I made the much needed return to the restaurant for a long and lazy lunch, with hubby in-tow. Stretchy pants at the ready and stomachs grumbling, we were more than prepared to dive into their 6 course degustation which is appropriately titled “A Fleurieu Tasting”. The menu is designed for the Chef to take the reins and lead you on a culinary journey, focusing on the ‘Eat Local’ philosophy (oh yes, so Glam).
Like most other normal humans, I love bread. Like, a lot. So, when I saw that we were starting with some different breads with house-made butter (using Fleurieu Milk of course), I was of course beyond excited. The delicious bread, along with some Leonards Mill crackers, more crisps, and parmesan cheese churros, were the perfect ‘carby’ start to our meal.
I thought the bread was fantastic but what followed, one after the other, was pure culinary genius, The first course can only be described as beetroot heaven. Served in about 5 different ways, with buffalo curd, rye and hibiscus, I love, love, loved this dish. It was extremely fresh, crisp, and a good way to fire up the taste buds!
The second course was one of Leonards Mills’ signature dishes. Smoked kingfish sashimi, chargrilled octopus, dashi pearls, daikon and yuzu. Served in a theatrical Heston Blumenthal style, the dish was brought to our table completely hidden by a smoke-filled glass. The waitress lifted the lid and revealed the fish, and it was as pretty as a picture.
If I’m being honest, reading the ingredients listed on the menu; I would have only recognised the kingfish and octopus…. Maybe the dashi pearls. But that’s half the fun with this kind of menu! It’s sitting back, relaxing, just embracing what’s on the plate in front of you and trusting that the Chef/s knows what they are doing (which, in this case, they totally did).
Next up and new to the menu was the crispy skin black bream, with bites of prawn, lime, prosciutto, crunchy quinoa, and the most amazing jalapeno sauce. My favourite savoury dish for the day; the flavours and textures were insanely good.
To end the savoury dishes, the Kangaroo Island lamb neck, served with charred shallots, apple, and sheep labneh. So tender and juicy; and the apple really complimented the lamb meat. Another winner!
One of my all-time favourite desserts is lemon meringue pie. So when I was presented with a deconstructed version, with caramalised white chocolate and ginger boterkoek (biscuit), I was in heaven. It was just so good.
Last, but not least, was a soft mousse-like chocolate ganache, served with coffee gelato and blackcurrant sauce and gels. This was an excellent flavour combo, and like the lemon dessert, I could have eaten ten more serves!
Aside from the amazing food experience, Leonards Mill only stock high quality, SA produced (mostly Fleurieu) wine. I enjoyed a Little Brampton 2015 Clare Valley Riesling, and Brocksview Estate 2010 Carrickalinga Shiraz, and Hubby enjoyed the Goodieson beer range from McLaren Vale.
The staff really do deserve a special mention. They are so professional, friendly and enthusiastic; the service was the delightful cherry, on top of a wonderful and fulfilling pie.
The setting is another bonus at Leonards Mill. We enjoyed the sunny Spring weather, eating and drinking on the sun deck, with mellow tunes playing in the background. Inside, the restaurant is just as nice, and is especially warm and inviting in the colder months.
On certain days you can visit the stable art studio, where artwork, pottery and sculptures by local artists are on display.
There are regular events at Leonards Mill, including a “Lock in Lunch” happening on Friday October 16th. The Classic Adelaide Rally cars will be driving past, and you can enjoy an outdoor lunch, with live music and local artisan and producer stalls.
For more details, check out the Leonards Mill website. If you can’t attend the events, you MUST go and enjoy a meal some time. Worth every penny, and you won’t regret it.
Cnr Roper Lane & Main South Road, Second Valley
(08) 8598 4184