DRIVING through picturesque farming land, just 20 minutes from Midland, is a gastronomic delight waiting in the heart of the Avon Valley.
How had I never stumbled upon this before? The Wild Goose Cafe is an impressive establishment situated on the 243ha Noble Falls Estate in Gidgegannup.
The a la carte menu has something for everyone, from hungry carnivores to vegans with options to share or to have a meal just for you.
I opted to share with my dining partner, affectionately dubbed the ‘Velvet Sledgehammer’ in honour of her uncanny ability to deliver a hard blow as delicately as possible.
We started with the Wild Goose Chef’s Board which was brimming with generous serves of teriyaki pork bites and cinnamon apple sauce, duck liver pate with warmed, artisan herbed bread, rosemary polenta chips with olive tapenade, marinated olives, Milan’s chorizo, gherkin and seeded mustard with garlic butter Naan bread.
It was a masterpiece of delicious flavours that reflected the changing seasons and featured incredible local produce sourced from WA suppliers.
It was perfect for grazing over with a glass of 2006 Noble Falls Estate merlot malbec cabernet.
The Velvet Sledgehammer and I are renowned for our penchant for duck liver pate, and this green peppercorn offering with muscat jelly topping was rich and silky. We struggled to think of a superior pate we’ve devoured.
The Buffalo Wings are barbecued with Uncle Frank’s famous hot sauce which is so popular patrons are begging the chef to bottle it.
The salt and pepper calamari was blissfully simple, dusted in rice flour and served with a tangy-sweet hit of house sriracha mayonnaise, a Thai hot sauce.
Equally delectable was the salmon rillettes using hot-smoked Tasmanian salmon and served with warm herbed ciabatta sourdough bread. It was creamy but light, without being overpowering.
Head chef Han Moon’s passion and pride in what he plates up is evident in everything that lands on the table.
And what a gorgeous place to eat his food.
The restaurant is something else.
No expense has been spared on this large, rustic timber building that pairs beautifully with its location amongst the trees.
Upon entering the colossal wooden doors, the foyer beckons oozing industrial-rustic charm. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to discover depending on whether you want to sit inside and out.
The grounds of the estate are perfect for a ramble after a good feed with a wine dungeon and an old soap factory to explore.
Sundays start early at the Wild Goose with breakfast available from 8.30am and the ambience revs up in the afternoon with great live music. With a fantastic lawn for the kids to play on it is certainly a family-friendly venue.
With the weather cooling down, the Velvet Sledgehammer and I will be back for the pate where we’ll plonk ourselves on a comfy leather couch in front of the large open fire. But this time I’m not sharing.
Wild Goose Cafe
2927 Toodyay Rd, Gidgegannup
Wednesday to Friday 10am – 4pm
Saturday 10am – 8pm
Sunday 8.30am – 4pm