I absolutely adore long lunches.
Setting off before midday and whiling away an entire afternoon over amazing food, exceptional wine and adult conversation… It’s one of my favourite ways to spend a lazy day.
Unfortunately, having super busy lives doesn’t leave much room in our daytime schedule for lunching, which is why Cory and I have instead been hitting the LOTLL trail at night for our edible adventures.
We’ve been totally relishing in our Land of the Long Lunch dates together, even if technically for us, it’s been the Land of the long Dinner instead…
Anyhoo, this week on my LOTLL bucket list was Pike & Joyce in Lenswood.
A single vineyard partnership between two historic hills families.
But these guys, well they’re a little bit different from the rest…
They don’t actually serve dinner.
In fact they only serve lunch, and they only serve it 3 days a week from Friday to Sunday.
However, this arrangement surely suits considering Pike & Joyce were recently bestowed the 2015 award for ‘Cellar Door with the Best Food’ by Gourmet Traveller magazine.
A lunch this good, it need only happen 3 times a week one might say…
Unfortunately because of work commitments, my beloved had to pass on the relay torch to another Olympic eater, so this time around I dined with my good mate Dougal instead, which I will add turned out to be quite fortuitous for me since my camera battery died when we got our entrée, and Doug’s is a professional photographer.
Note to everyone: Sad fact about Bree #35… I always forget to charge my camera… Unless I remember… Which is never.
And, since we’re friends and we’re being all truthful and stuff; Another sad fact about me is that I’m truly terrible at directions.
I get lost, a lot. Even when I know the way (This may, or may not have something to do with my left-right discrimination issues. Yet another sad fact).
Bree: Which way do I turn babe?
(Bree turns the car)
Cory: Your other Left.
Like the time, straight after this Pike & Joyce lunch last Friday, when I drove my family to Marion Bay for the weekend to visit our good friends, and I made a wrong turn at Minlaton, and ended up at Arthurton, before driving back to Minlaton.
Good God, I even drove backwards through Maitland – See map below for a visual example of my moronic mystery tour;
As a side note, I’ve actually driven to Marion Bay (on course) more times than I could ever count. Help. Me.
So naturally, since I’m an appalling navigator, before I departed on my Pike & Joyce journey I studied Google Maps.
And, in the end I made it OK, but not without making at least 3 wrong turns.
I also wondered out loud while I was driving the final lap up a lonely dirt road…
Is this right? A Winery… Up here? Has my iPhone GPS gone MAD!
One last windy, tree lined turn and there it was.
A noble fort on the hillside, overlooking its vast and bountiful land.
The unassuming stone exterior, screening you from the treasure that lies within…
An open and light, glass clad dining room with a super modern and seriously stylish cellar door.
There’s not a single traditional open fire (underfloor heating instead) or dark wood panel in sight, and the cellar door isn’t nestled away from the restaurant floor, it’s out and proud. The dining room centrepiece, it is a winery of course.
Then the view, it actually brought a tear to my eye.
A panoramic 180° landscape of the Adelaide Hills and beyond, that deserves, no needs to be appreciated in the day time, which is probably just another reason why they don’t bother with dinner service.
A day just like last Friday, is the perfect day to admire it. A cold and blustery, rainy day.
Yes I agree, summer would be simply fabulous too, but there’s something to me about watching rolling grey winter clouds over the hills and foggy rain showers in the distance. It’s really, really special.
I’ll tell you what else is really, really special… The food.
Pike & Joyce have joined forces with an outside catering company Handmade Catering, with their cellar door kitchen being headed up by the talented Chef Dean Zammit.
This collaboration means that the menu is NEVER the same twice. EVER.
It changes weekly, and with the seasons.
This I feel, makes their Gourmet Traveller award quite a remarkable feat.
Please note: Image of Oysters taken by Mcfuzzlebutt’s Manchen All the rest taken by yours truly (once my camera charged).
So, Dougal and I started with an entrée of my beloved Coffin Bay Oysters (And, if you want to know just how much I love them, to the extent of actual anaphylaxis… Read my blog post about it HERE).
Natural with Lemon and Lime (Yes, Please), and another serve cloaked with a Ginger and Tea dressing.
The dressing was fantastic, made with fresh lightly poached Ginger, steeped in T-Bar’s Migh-T black tea. It was subtle, and delicate. Complimenting those gorgeous Oysters perfectly.
Next up, I chose the Grilled Salt Water Barramundi Fillet, Braised Leeks, Fennel, Surf Clams with a “Descente” Sauvignon Blanc Broth & Tomato Oil Dressing.
I LOVED this dish. Not only was it gorgeous to look at, but the flavours going on were like a carnival of awesomeness – so many wonders in just one bowl. There was super crispy skin with melty, flaky flesh. And, that broth. To DIEEEE for.
It’s truly such a shame none of you will ever get to eat it… Although, their G.T. award will attest that next week, and forever, the dishes will likely be just as scrumptious.
Dougal chose the Lightly Smoked Duck Breast, Roasted Winter Vegetables served with Aromatic Juices.
Yes, another stellar dish and ripe for the season. The Duck was beautifully smoked and the gorgeously roasted root vegetables were a perfectly paired match.
And, Yes… We also had sides. Duck fat roasted Kipflers with parsley and sea salt (Drooool) and a Roasted Purple Beetroot, Spanish Onion, Rocket and Goats Curd salad (Double Drooool).
Being a savoury lover, usually dessert rolls around and I have my sweet-tooth husband to share it with… And in turn, eat most of…
Unfortunately, Dougal is also a savoury tooth and held no interest in this course, so I implore you, what’s a gal to do?
She’s got to eat it all. And, she isn’t going to feel guilty about it.
Belgian Chocolate Macaron with Apricot Mousse, Vanilla Crème and Pistachio… Nope, still no guilt, I’d do it again, and again.
The macaron was super sweet and chewy, as macarons usually are, but it was offset by the tart Apricot coulis, blueberries and the super tangy mousse. Such a clever dessert and pretty as a picture.
And, since gluttony is my middle name, we also got the cheese plate and it was super scrum-diddly too. The handmade Thyme and Pecan bread a tasty little triumph.
Pike & Joyce I applaud you. An exuberant standing ovation with 2013 Chardonnay in hand!
Your food is delectable, your wines are remarkable (the dreamy Pinot Noir Rose my personal favourite) and your spectacular cellar door is a symphony orchestra in one of Adelaide’s greatest natural auditoriums.
A lunchtime destination worth getting lost for, because I will certainly return again, and I will likely make a wrong turn and get lost… Again.
Until next time we dine… xxx
For more information about this award winning winery and their amazing lunches, please go to the following link; https://www.pikeandjoyce.com.au/
For more information about the Adelaide Hills ‘Land of the Long Lunch’ and to get on the trail with us, please go to the following link; http://landofthelonglunch.com.au/ or check out my blog post HERE