Well, this place just blew me away very unexpectedly!
With a cousin visiting from Melbourne, a wine tasting day was in order, and due to our weekend work schedules we went down to where the sea meets the vines on a Tuesday. Something that I did not realize would make a big impact on our day is visiting Mclaren Vale on a weekday. Not many restaurants are open through the week and I was determined to avoid the bakeries and restaurants on the main street as I did not want view looking onto a road, this and the fact I was determined to find somewhere which would not break the budget of three postgrad and one undergrad uni students defiantly took me some time! So I hope this review helps in that aspect!
Not much to look at first, Ekhidna Winery is on the corner of two significant roads but the first sense other than visual that you notice about the place is the smell. When you walk onto the veranda the food wraps around you like a grandmas pie!
A view which is beaten by other Mclaren Vale restaurant's such as D'Arry's Veranda or Settlement Wines, Ehkidna Wines smartly settles itself at the back of the building on the flat tucked away in the vineyards.
The waitresses were very good, giving us each numbers so the bill could be evenly split and after taking our orders suggested that we do a tasting at the bar. We ordered the Antipasto platter to share as an entree and after the tastings it was sitting there waiting for us and a perfect way to line the belly after a bit of wine!
The food and service in this restaurant surpass the wines that we tasted, The Linchpin, Shiraz was our choice for the meals, but for forty dollars a bottle to take away or fifty dollars at the restaurant I have had better wines for under that price and were not the highlight for us of Ekhidna Winery.
The beer flight that one of us had with the meals; five for five dollars was very popular with the table and something worth getting if your a beer and or ginger beer fan.
The IPA was not as crisp and light as other IPA's and the higher alcohol content of 7.4 was a good touch. The dark was a good classic charcoal flavor with a nice thickness. The ginger beer and 50/50 was thought to be very sweet and therefore not as popular. The wheat beer had a subtle wheat flavor with non wheat beer drinkers probably able to enjoy it (Luke Rogers, 2013)
I had a scotch fillet with a truffle mash and it was cooked beautifully, as I was the driver it was a perfectly heavy meal with strong favors that suited the Linchpin Shiraz very well. The arancini balls were a highlight as well with a creamy richness and tomato sauce on the side.
The seafood entrees of prawn vermicelli and chorizo and scallop had by friends were very well priced for under $15, however, I have been informed that they should not be a substitution of the mains (which was what my friends did) as they did not have bold flavors to complete the meal after the very flavorsome antipasto (highlights included the goats cheese and mushrooms).
I would highly recommend this restaurant if you are not after the wines as first priority, if you bring beer loving diners here you will be a very popular person The quality of food and once again the price makes Ehkidna wines high on my list as somewhere to try!