Cape Lodge is a five star luxury boutique hotel in the Margaret River, and not only is the hotel itself an award winner, but the retsurant has also been named in Conde Naste Traveller’s 2012 Gold List for Best for Food.
J and I had a late booking at the restaurant one night during our Margaret River stay.
First of all, we found the restaurant hard to find at night. We drove down the long drive way, stopping when we got to the first lot of buildings and car park. We wandered into the reception area but no-one was around and there was no directions for the restaurant. We eventually found a small sign tucked away outside to one side of the driveway. We hopped back into the car and drove on. We stopped at the next car park. Same again, where was this bl**dy restaurant?
After another quick walk around (it was quite dark, and the lighting was minimal), we spotted another sign pointing in the direction of the restaurant. Another short drive to a third carpark, and a walk down a path and we finally made it, hurrah!
We wandered in and decided to be seated straight away instead of having a drink at the bar.
The restaurant was a little dark, but I liked the simple decor, and I suspect the view over the lake (pond?) would be lovely during the day. It was only when you looked at the ceiling (as you do) that you can tell you are in a hotel and that conferences and the like could be held in the same room.
The menu at Cape Lodge is said to change everyday, and offers both a degustation and an a la carte service.
As the degustation is the same dishes from the a la carte, but without the choice, we decided to go with a la carte, which was $95 for three courses.
The entree and main dishes are selected from a choice of seven. I presume that the portion sizes are adjusted depending on what you select for each course.
Home made sour dough with roast garlic butter and olive oil was brought out.
After we had ordered we received an amuse bouche for the kitchen, a tempura scallop.
For entree I had the Amelia park lamb noisettes, romesco, asparagus, confit cherry tomatoes, ver juice reduction
Points were definitely received for serving three cutlets as opposed to two. The cutlets were tasty and succulent.
J had the Donny Brook marron, char grilled, green papaya salad, palm sugar dressing
He said it was really beautiful, crisp, fresh and well cooked, and he wished he had got it as a main.
For main course we both had the Dardanup beef, red wine poached, sarladaise potatoes, beans, veal jus
It was a very generous serve of beef and it was beautiful and tender, but I couldn’t eat all of mine.
I did find the ratio of beef to accompaniments to be too large. I ran out of potatoes and beans very quickly and was just left with the meat.
J would have liked the option of having a mustard with his.
During dinner we had a bottle of Heydon Vineyard chardonnay and J also had a glass of their red. The sommelier was excellent, helping us out twice with what were great recommendations. Cape Lodge’s wine list is reported to have over 14, 000 wines on it, so even if you do a know a bit about wine, a little bit of help is always a good idea!
We were struggling a little by this time as our dinner booking was for 8:30pm, and it was well past that now, and seeing that we had been in bed by 9pm every night of our holiday with our body clocks still on Melbourne time, we were feeling a wee bit tired.
But there was dessert to be had, so we vainly battled on.
J, after eyeing off the apple dessert we had seen come out to other tables, went with the fruit cocktail, which consisted of rhubarb jelly, passionfruit and coconut cream, warm marshmallow, lemon granita, beetroot reduction and compressed seasonal fruits.
He liked it but it didn’t blow him away, he compared it to a fancy fruit salad.
I chose Chocolate, strawberries and cream, which was strawberries, chocolate mousse, pistachio nut praline, strawberry powder, chocolate wafer.
Awesome dessert, loved it, the mousse was so good.
The service through the evening had been extremely professional and polished and of the silver standard. This is not a bad thing, but I don’t think it would affect the service if it was a tiny bit relaxed. I also found it hard to get someone’s attention as it got later in the evening.
Along with the bill, we received petit fours.
It was a really good dinner, and we would recommend it for a fine dining experience in Margaret River.