The Royal Mail Hotel An Innovative Dining Experience
The World Loves Melbourne was invited to experience one of Australia's finest dining degustations at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld Victoria. The Royal Mail Hotel has been on our bucket list for some time so we were thrilled to journey to Dunkeld and imbibe it's pleasures.
People passing through the town may not realise the genius that lies within Royal Mail Hotel; exceptional dining with Head Chef Robin Wickens and top notch accomodation (we stayed in Halls Gap driving safely aware of kangaroos).
Every day, chefs harvest produce that inspires that day’s menu from the large organic kitchen garden. Royal Mail Hotel orchards and olive groves provide further seasonal produce. Eggs from the free range hens are collected daily. Their own farm provides our lamb and beef.
The wine enjoyed as part of the dining experience is from a vast collection; we couldn't believe the quality and uniqueness. This collection has been privately curated over the past 40 years and forms a wine list that has been awarded Best Hotel Wine List world-wide by Fine Wine magazine (UK). We vote for the highest wine accolades possible!
The Royal Mail Hotel recommend guests indulge in the signature experience - the eight course Chef’s Tasting menu with matched wines, served Wednesday through to Sunday evenings. We enjoyed a fabulous five course option of the highest standard.
Pre dinner snacks with rocket juice, rhubarb chicken parfait, linseed crackers and a chocolate ice cream delighted.
Dining is elegant and relaxed; with stunning views of the Grampians out the large windows.
Royal Mail interpretation of Eggs on Toast was a highlight; can we have this every day?
Anyone for bread? It's amazing to consider all aspects of the meal are sourced from their large property in Dunkeld.
Vegemite butter was compelling with nuances; not too heavy on the vegemite taste.
Royal Mail Hotel is a seasonal champion and they were showing off their amazing garden here with Tomato,nasturtium panna cotta, basil seeds, wasabi ice cream, served with a cracking 2015 Brokenwood Pinot Gris, Beechworth Victoria. So refreshing and the best taste of the garden ever!
How do people come up with these genius names? Octopuses Garden is a clever dish. Thinking of The Beatles song "our little hideaway beneath the waves"; this is like a secret underwater garden as a flow on from the previous course.
The octopus was a highlight but the accompanying potatoes and upland cress from the garden were exquisite. Salty and earthy with wine match n.v equipo Navajos la nota de manzanilla, Sanlucar Spain.
Great ocean duck, smoked beetroot, seeds, bitter chocolate oil was a triumph in taste and texture; and we were loving the introduction with chocolate with the duck which enhanced the richness, but balanced by the garden elements. Served with 2007 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy France. To be honest the quality of the wine is up there with the quality of the food; one reflects on the exceptional wine pairings.
A famous dish is the Royal Mail Beef (their own beef!), carrots in fig leaf, malted barley, cheddar whey; served with 2012 Izway "Bruce" (actually we had the "Harold") Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia. Paddock to plate baby!
Dessert was also stunning with Dark chocolate aero, mint, milk chocolate; a nod to aero chocolate. Not a heavy dish it was playful and a wonderful combination of flavours. This was served with 15 y.o. Henriques & Henriques "Sercial", Madeira Portugal.
A surprise was the edible sweets in the pot; our table decoration was actually a dish!
Wow! Royal Mail Hotel is a must visit during your stay in the Grampians! (If staying in Halls Gap just be careful of kangaroos on the road).