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Woodland House Accessible Elegance


Within the walls of what was Melbourne’s most iconic restaurant institutions, Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarland are quietly getting on with it. Woodland House’s menu is wowing guests with its delicate simplicity, modern technique and contemporary style. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience Sunday lunch at Woodland House. We imbibed the finery and a superb degustation (at reasonable prices) for those who enjoy a long Sunday lunch. As I write this review the impression is one of unwinding and being satiated by chefs and wait staff that bring food savvy and innovation and the highest of standards. 

Thomas and Hayden were trained by Jacques the master, but they've forged their own identities with aplomb and style.

Anyone for crisps?

Rockling, crab emulsion, almond was a cracking start. Rockling has no bones and is a firm fish meat, fun to eat as such, and the rich crab emulsion made this a cacophony of seafood tastes.

John Dory, sheep's whey, bottarga, dill was another triumph of texture and taste. Crispy skin a delight; the John Dory was presented perfectly cooked.

It seemed some of the cream of Melbourne bloggers were present, all up for a fine dining lazy long Sunday lunch. The extraordinary Maitre d' and Sommelier Gareth Burnett pulled out a stunning 2011 Etna Rosso Archineri Pietradolce DOC from Sicily Italy. Try getting your hands on some of this wine yourself; not an easy task. The wine list is epic with three glass status from Gourmet Traveller's Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards. Gareth wowed us with both his professionalism and turn of phrase. I wish he would start his own blog.

Heritage character building of iconic standing with modern touches within...

This dish packed a punch; the Snail, pig tail combination boasted bold flavours and textures. Where do you find snails these days? For many, including The World Loves Melbourne, this was the highlight.

This menu covers some ground. From high class seafood to snails and now Spatchcock. Artichoke puree was the perfect sweet complement to the gamey flavours of the Spatchcock. Another great use of artichokes in season.

Olivia is a woman of charm and style as Operations and Events Manager. Pictured here with Asha Xavier from Fairfax.

Shortrib, sweetbreads, kohlrabi is a standout dish; with perfectly cooked short rib melt in your mouth, sweetbread indulgence, and the vegetable of the hour, kohlrabi. Slow braised short rib, is there a better dish to imbibe in a Melbourne winter?

By now the satiation levels were fast rising. The advent of black pudding, intense and rich, combined with playful crips and a combination of cow and sheep milk cheese, was a revelation.

Art on a plate. Celeraic, macadamia milk sorbet, fermented pineapple was a beautiful looking and delicate dish. A sexy dessert.

Our Sunday lunch at Woodland House reached peak satiation with Petit Fours.

Olivia took us on a tour of the manor; lace ironwork a feature...

Finery at every turn...

Woodland House continues to impress with its fashionable decor and iconic rooms.

Classic stairway...

Gardens have a charm of their own...

Woodland House is accessible for those who enjoy finery and fine dining excellence. Our Sunday lunch was one of the best we've had all year. Highly recommended.

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