in my previous post we spoke about a gem of a cellar door in the Clare Valley called Paulett Wines. next to this cosy, warm and every so welcoming cellar door is a equally impressive and modern cafe named the Bush Devine Cafe.
after visiting the cellar door for a tasting we saw the menu and the cake cabinet and couldn’t resist the temptation to book ourselves a table for the following day. it has only been open for less than 2 months but you might want to book a table in advance as word is spreading about their excellent food.
the staff who run the cellar door also look after the adjoining cafe so you know the service will be great- and it was. we were early for our booking but we were quickly seated out on the next under a heater as it was a little frosty (9 degrees, why am I complaining?!) from the deck you have incredible views of the lush rolling hills and vineyards and it really is the perfect setting for wine, coffee, food or dessert. as we were here for lunch we meant business so we chose all of the above.
the menu may be small but when you read whats in it you wont be suprised. the dishes are complex and showcase a range of traditional Aboriginal and Australian flavours and ingredients such as wattle seed, quandong and lemon myrtle. a lot of their produce is sourced on site, with Paulett Wines boasting a large on site “bush garden” dedicated to growing some of these traditional ingredients for their dishes.
as I was all wined out (
to many tastings) my partner and I ordered ourselves a latte and pot of tea and soaked in the view while we pondered over the menu. if your not after lunch or are inclined to share then they have plenty of choices with platters for 2 consisting of cheese and crackers (three cheeses wih quince cheek and inhouse made lavosh), the Bush Devine Platter (Bush DeVine staples including saffron and lemon aspen labneh, eggplant chutney, carrot jam, olives, mushrooms, meats and crusty bread) and the Bush Devine Liver Pate (housemade using local Greenslades chicken with lemon myrtle). For under $20 a pop it was hard not to chose 2 to start with, but we decided on the Dukkah and Olive plate- dukkah, local marinated olives and olive oil, bush tomato syrup with home made crusty bread.
the dukkah was not your average dukkah- this had plenty of crunch and chunks of nuts that you had to spoon on your bread (or in my case, straight into my mouth). the olive oil was complimented by the sticky bush tomato syrup which was a bit sticky and a nice change from your typical balsamic. my other half and I almost started a small war over the olives, and the bread was fresh and perfect to mop everything up.
when it comes to mains there was 7 meals to select from. some may say that’s not enough, but for people like me will rejoice as I am indecisive and are known to change my mind 10 times prior to ordering. when you see the menu you will soon agree that you are actually spoilt for choice and you will struggle to decide even from the 7.
Australian flavours are the stars of each of the dishes, such as the Murray salt and pepperleaf squid with desert lime and chilli mayo, the asian mushroom bake with lemon myrtle cream and the Gnocchi with elegant Wattleseed cream, braised smoked roo and parmesan cheese. drooling yet? I was.
I decided on the Bush Devine Duck Curry (changes from chicken to duck on occasions) with Basmati rice with all the trimmings ($20) and the other half picked the Pork Belly Parsnip Puree and Warragul Cream and Parsnip Chips ($20).
Ok so I was a bit apprehensive about ordering duck- I’m not usually a fan but I was easily persuaded. Glad I was, as this dish was a winner. 2 large duck legs were surrounded by a mild yellow/green curry that paired perfectly with the slightly sweet duck. The meat of the duck fell off of the bone like it had been in a slow cooker for hours. The curry was a great consistency and their was ample rice to soak up the remainder of the sauce. In the curry were these thing bean like numbers and little yellow chillis that were not to hot and added a bit of colour to the dish. On the side were a small dish of picked cucumbers which were quite possibly one of the best I have had (I’m a huge pickle freak). They were the perfect cleanser throughout the dish.
I somehow managed to snaffle 2 pieces of the other halfs pork belly and I’m glad I did. It was cooked to perfection and wasn’t to fatty like a lot of pork bellies can be. The parsnip chips were crunchy and the puree was a great combo with the meat.
There was also the option for sides so of course we had to opt in. We chose the roasted baby potatoes with garlic aioli. These tiny bundles of goodness had the perfect amount of seasoning, were soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside. don’t get me started on the aioli- if licking the bowl wasn’t frowned upon it would have happened.
after the mains I was at the point of explosion but that didn’t stop me ordering dessert. the other half ordered a tiramisu from the cake cabinet brimming with goodness and I chose the trio of ice-creams. because who doesn’t love icecream.
the tiramisu had plenty of coffee flavour and was layered in a stemless wine glass with ample of sponge and creamy goodness. there was a side of sticky sweet sauce to pour over the top which to me resembled a maple/tawny/coffee flavour. delicious!
my icecream huge and like no flavours I have had before. the Wattleseed chocolate had only just come out of the machine so it was sticky and a tad melty- but the flavour was huge. rich cocoa filled my mouth and the texture of the seed was strange but I liked it! the quandong was sweet and for me resembled a berry flavour. The Honey Macadamia with fresh river mint was packed full of huge chunks of macadamias and was sweet from the honey. After your first spoonful the hint of river mint comes out to play and is a lovely little pairing.
you find the Bush Devine Cafe next to the Paulett Wines cellar door, Polish Hill River Road, Sevenhill via Clare. book in advance especially on weekends.