Rustic yet modern. A degustation like no other. A damn impressive wine list.
That’s just a start of what you’ll experience at Leonards Mill.
Located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Leonards Mill is nestled on a bend in the coastal town of Second Valley. Located about 90kms out of Adelaide, it’s well and truly worth the drive.
Many a times have the other half and I driven past this gem, but on every occasion they have been closed. Not today. Cue excitedness.
Leonards Mill is situated in a 170 year old mill, surrounded by beautiful gardens and two doting cottages for those who are looking to extend their stay. Out the front you are greeted by lush lawns, plenty of casual seating and a huge deck for when the suns out- the perfect place to watch the world go by. When we visited it was a tad on the cold side so we opted to sit inside.
The interior is impressive- keeping parts of the old mill on display like wheels and exposed beams, yet keeping it fresh and modern with beautiful pendant lighting, clean lines and gorgeous artwork (these paintings are by Adelaide artist Jane Smeets). As soon as we took our seat we felt cosy and well and truly looked after. This restaurant pays attention to the finer details and the wait staff are incredibly attentive and friendly.
When it comes to the food you are spoilt for choice. There are two menus on offer- the “Taste of the Fleurieu” and the “Miller’s Menu”. The Taste of the Fleurieu is their flagship menu and guides you through the region, showcasing the finest things in food and wine. It is available in a 2 or 3 course setting, or a 6 course degustation, with the option of matching South Australian wines.
The Miller’s Menu is more of a bistro style menu- but let me tell you they don’t skimp on flavour or presentation. My partner and I couldn’t decide what to eat so he opted with dining off of the Miller’s menu and I picked off of the Taste of the Fleurieu menu.
When it came to wines I had a glass of the Mosquito Hill Blanc de Blanc Vintage 2011, while my partner had the Dodgy Bros Grenache Shiraz. Both are made here in South Australia, as are all the wines on their wine list, and they were divine.
Prior to my entree coming out I was given a variety of breads served with hand churned butter, as well as a side of fermented mushroom with parmesan and smoked aubergine crisp with aubergine puree and goats curd. I shared these with the other half and secretly wish I didn’t as the bread was so fresh and the butter perfectly salted.
For entree I ordered the Beetroot and buffalo curd with rye and hibiscus gel, whilst the other half chose the Cheese and Jalapeno croquettes with chipotle mayonnaise.
Let’s start with the Beetroot. I seriously have never seen Beetroot cooked so many different ways. There were rounds that were super smokey and the mini beets were delicious. The hibiscus gel was sweet and tied in perfectly with the buffalo curd which had a strong but smooth flavour. The dish was as pretty as a picture and was even topped with beetroot soaked dehydrated crackers to add a crunchy element.
The croquettes were equally as delicious- super cheesy, crunchy on the outside and very moorish. We could have easily devoured another plate.
When it comes to mains ordered the Lamb neck with charred shallots, apple and sheep labneh whilst the other half had the Portuguese style chicken trinchado with chargrilled bread.
The Kangaroo Island lamb was oh so lush- the meat was falling apart as soon as it hit my fork and it melted in my mouth. The apple flavours worked perfectly with the sauce and the apple round were a nice crunchy touch- I loved this dish and couldn’t fault it. It also came with a side of Dutch Cream Potatoes with onion and parsley- a little added bonus and really zesty and different.
The Portuguese chicken was more of a soup/broth, but my goodness was it tasty. It wasn’t too spicy, had ample chicken pieces in there as well as the addition of things such as olives. It was served with two pieces of grilled ciabatta which was used to soak up the remainder of the liquid- because we couldn’t dare see it wasted.
As always we ate dessert. We opted for the Lemon, caramelised white chocolate and ginger botterkoek. Again, plating was intricate and perfection. The lemon sorbet was zesty and sweet, the meringue was soft and lightly toasted. The squares reminded me of a fudgey consistency, with the white chocolate having a caramel taste to it. Honestly, one of the best desserts I have had in a long time.