Tokar Estate Winery & Restaurant – Yarra Valley

Have you ever been driving down the Maroondah Hwy through Coldstream on the way to Healesville and seen the Spanish style, beautiful orange roof buildings amongst acres and hills of grape vines and trees?

Well, that place is Tokar Estate Winery. Having been to Healsville several times and eaten at Bella Vedere, I wanted to checkout Tokar Estate Winery solely because of its picturesque views of the valley and skyline.

Obviously this shows that harvest is finished, winter has kicked in, the air crisp and cold but the views still take your breath away. Tokar Estate is not all about the wines, they also have a beautiful family owned restaurant with inside and alfresco dining open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.

The restaurant is run by Leon and Rita Tokar who are very lovely hosts and gave their time to talk to myself and my partner and answered all the questions we threw at them.We arrived for lunch took some beautiful pictures outside and made our way into the restaurant. We built ourselves a little bit of an appetite and didn’t waste any time to order. We learnt that the menu changes every 2 weeks or so depending on some of the produce from the local markets and the vegetables and herbs they grow in the garden.

We also learnt from Leon that there’s no beef farmers in the Yarra Valley so it’s obviously sourced elsewhere but there is a game meat supplier in the area which they source venison and rabbit from (yummm!). Unfortunately they weren’t on the menu that day. To wet our taste pallets we ordered a tasting plate of liver parfait, bruchetta, cheese and other nibblies.

The tasting plate definitely got the ball rolling and my favourite was the liver parfait with crackers and a bit of this pickled radish type side. Also tried some mushroom soup which was creamy and delish.For mains we had a Salmon with potato kipflers dressed in honey mustard sauce and a beef steak served with a layered potato slice and vegetables.To complement our dishes our waiter suggested the Chardonnay for our entrees and Tokar’s signature wine the Tempranillo for our mains. Good choice waiter! The Tempranillo went very well with the steak. Next time we serve up some steak for dinner I’m going get the family to try this out.Now to my favourite course, dessert. My partner and I were keen to get one dessert to share but then our wandering and greedy eyes got us ordering the assiette of desserts (served on one large late) which landed us three very nice and super good tasting desserts.Here we have a dark chocolate ganache tart served with homemade vanilla ice-cream. To get the full enjoyment out of it you had to eat each component combined with the vanilla ice-cream.Above we have the chocolate moose served with a berry side. This was my partners favorite and I couldn’t agree more. The moose and tart it was in cased in was beautiful and together with the berry, it was a match made in heaven.The cheesecake looked amazing and instead of a biscuit base there’s macadamia nuts which go really well with the cheesecake and don’t forget to have it with the vanilla consummate.I waited until the restaurant cleared a little so I could take this wonderful picture of the view from inside the restaurant. If you’re seated near the window or sitting out on the alfresco dining area you can enjoy the beautiful food, fresh air and picturesque scenery of the valley. Perfect for a romantic day or night out and make sure to book on the weekends as they can get quite busy.Tokar Estate Winery and Restaurant has been ticked off on my Yarra Valley to do list and can be put onto my to visit again in spring or summer list. The tasting plate and desserts were the highlights for me and I enjoyed the Tempranilla wine which I will be trying again. Good food, good wine and great scenery makes Tokar Estate a must do on the Yarra Valley list.

A big thank you to Yarra Valley Secrets for organising a table for me at Tokar Estate on a very last minute notice and thank you to Leon and Rita Tokar for their very warm hospitality.

Location: 6 Maddens Lane, Coldstream, VIC 3770
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Phone: (03) 5964 9585

 

FOG Bar & Restaurant – Great Buzz In The Heart of Prahran

 

FOG is a classy restaurant in the heart of Prahran, serving for brunch, lunch and dinner. It’s down Greville St with a nice credible selection of great Cafes, Bars and Restaurants that I’m keen to review soon.

Ms J works close by and one night when I went to pick her up, we ended up having dinner with her boss and his wife. Great company! There was no intention of a “proper” night out so we were all dressed quite casually and started to feel very under-dressed that Friday when the herd of party people started to rock by to the cocktail birthday out at the back deck (around 6:30pm). Whoops! Others frocked up quite nicely as they came by for  drinks to kick start the weekend. With smiles all round, we didn’t care. It was a lovely start to the evening.

I’m not usually a wine drinker but the bottle that we picked was to my liking, (sorry I didn’t pay attention to the name of the wine) but I did take notice of their wine glasses (above photo)

Fog is participating in the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2011 (March 4th-14th), see here for more details.

For entree we shared a tasting plate of dips, crackers, cheese, olives & sun-dried tomatoes.Sashimi too…And I can’t forget the Thai Style Seared, Rare Beef Salad which was a delight to try and came with some crispy shallotsTasmanian Salmon which sat ontop of some black sticky rice and a bit of greens. Looks like black balls.Ms J tried the Braised Veal Ragout, I tried some too and the veal just melted in my mouth.We also picked on a salad that tasted fresh and went well with my main.My main was the Rangers Valley Angus Rump with creamy mash and some asparagus.
The food was great, the atmosphere was buzzing with lots of chatter and laughs and the service was top notch. I highly recommend trying this place out. www.fog.com.au

Location: 142 Greville Street, Prahran VIC 3181
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