It's rare to see a day like this in the middle of Winter but to experience it, A* & I had to travel out of Melbourne into the Mornington Peninsula (Thanks Celeste for the correction!) region. We had a whole day planned for our day trip into the wining and dining region, which started off with a lunch date at Max's at Red Hill Estate.
While perusing the menu, they brought out Bread which came with their own Olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar & crushed Dukkah. We were recommended to dip the bread in each one which proved to be a great flavour combination.
With too many options, we decided to choose Fresh antipasto plate which allowed us to sample a few entrees. The pumpkin soup was warm and hearty and the Smoked Salmon with the beetroot dip went well together. The calamari was tender but along with the Kangaroo fillet, which was tough, they were nothing special. I did not taste the ravioli so cannot comment but A* said it was okay.
I prefer my Oysters au natural however I am always open to trying new combinations. The yarra cavier gave salty bursts when they popped and however I found the Balsamic vinegar was too heavy with the oyster.
The lamb was still pink inside and tender with a dukkah crust. They splashed my dish with their Balsamic Vinegar which I noticed (and I'm sure you can too) that they use a lot in their dishes. The Balsamic Vinegar was used too heavily and I had to rely on the carrots for relief of the overly tangy flavours.
As you can see again, they used their Balsamic Vinegar promeninently in the dish. The Pork was tender and the skin was wonderfully crispy. However, the Balsamic Vinegar let the dish down as it made it far too salty and tangy and I had to offer A* some of the carrots from my dish as everything on his place was doused in the vinegar.
The Chocolate fondant was decadent and gooey while the Panna cotta was beautifully creamy and had specks of vanilla bean. The petit orange and almond cakes were slightly hard but it was a nice dessert altogether.
This is a nice homely restaurant and it is obviously a favourite for locals although it doesn't compare to my favourite restaurant in the area which is Montalto Winery (review to come).
Will I return? No, I found the flavours of the food here repetitive and uninspired.
Max's Restaurant at Red Hill Winery
53 Shoreham Rd
Red Hill VIC 3937
(03) 5931 0177