Riverbank Estate is a winery with lovely views in the heart of Caversham. I was drawn to the venue when looking to see what Kiran Mainwaring is doing now (former chef at Dear Friends and Co op dining). We booked a table for a winter Sunday lunch, but were pleasantly surprised to see that there are several tables and a food stall laid on in a marquee for those who just want to pop in for a casual lunch. There was live entertainment too and it’s one of those places where people gravitate with their camp chairs and cushions and settle in for a lazy Sunday afternoon drinking wine.
We chose a glass of Rebellious vermentino to start proceedings, a nice drop, not unlike a riesling, with great fruity overtones.
Perusing the menu, I really fancied lobster and chips, so placed my order, but unfortunately they didn’t have any, so I reconsidered and decided to try the wild fish of the day which was crimson snapper served with endive, capsicum, purple cauliflower, orange and passionfruit gel and burnt butter sauce. I asked for the butter sauce to be minimal, and it was – just a few dribbles around the plate. It was a delightful dish, superbly fresh fish with a good citrus zing from the gel.
My partner chose one of the daily specials, brisket risotto, which was really good. Great slow roast brisket on a nice creamy risotto, topped with a little beef jus.
We deliberately skipped starters so we could have dessert, and my partner chose the mixed berry and apple crumble with vanilla bean ice cream and marshmallow. This was a little disappointing, and felt like the components had been prepared separately and put together on the plate. The apple was firm – not the nice stewed apple that you expect with a crumble, the berry seemed to be mainly berry juice, the crumble topping seemed to have been cooked separately and then sprinkled on top, and the marshmallow was just plonked on the side. A more traditional crumble all cooked together (without the pastry case) would have been nicer with some lovely gooey melty marshmallow around the edges, and maybe some custard.
I chose the best dessert. A cherry choc dome with crystallised dark chocolate and cherry ripe ice cream. Everything about it was excellent. Luscious chocolate mousse, crisp chocolate shell, honeycomb, sauce and a very addictive cherry ice cream.
I like Riverbank – I like the vibe of the place, and the food is mainly great. The live music did clash a little with the music from the main restaurant, but it was a cheerful and friendly experience, and we will be back, because I am determined to sample the lobster and chips!
Last visit date – July 2021
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