Chasing a Plate dined as guests of Merricks Creek
The Mornington Peninsula just got a little bit better with the recent opening of Merricks Creek’s cellar door. This family run vineyard which produces startling drinkable chardonnay and pinot noir is the epitome of simple pleasures. When you want to avoid being enclosed in a vineyard restaurant facing a degustation menu then Merricks Creek is the place for you.
In the same vein as Foxey’s Hangout, share plates that feature fresh, seasonal produce that’s neither tricked up nor over-worked is the premise here. Take the roasted tomatoes paired with Main Ridge goat curd, grilled ciabatta and basil. The juicy intense tomatoes, creamy, smooth curd and fragrant basil are natural partners. Or the 20 month aged Italian prosciutto di Parma, Shaw River buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with ciabatta. Again, super simple but vibrant and oh so delicious.
We also sample the earthy tarragon marinated mushrooms which are a hit- TBS doesn’t even like mushies and he goes back for seconds. The crispy thins with Parmesan, prosciutto and rocket are a kind of gourmet toastie- intense in flavour from the parmesan and completely addictive. The rare eye fillet with caper vinaigrette and ciabatta is good but makes the least impact out of all the dishes.
Don’t pass on dessert. The Kahlua espresso deconstructed tiramisu is less rich than your traditional number, here Merricks Creek line up shot glasses of Kahlua espresso and marscapone cream for you to dip your savoiardi biscuits into. Make it a quick dunk lest your ladyfinger winds up at the bottom of the glass. Delicious. The white chocolate mousse pots topped with fresh tangy passion-fruit are equally good. Like the savoury share plates on offer the desserts are simply executed but extremely satisfying.
But it isn’t just the food and wine that will leave you impressed. The cellar door extends out onto an open air balcony which affords diners an incredible view of the vines. The space is tasteful and spacious- we could have easily wiled away a few more hours and a couple more bottles of wine that afternoon. And if all that isn’t enough to get you there, the staff have got service down pat- they’re engaging, attentive and knowledgeable.
Easily one of our new favourite spots on the Mornington Peninsula.
Good to know:
Wines by the glass $10-$15
Share plates for 2 range between are either $11 or $15
Dessert share plates for 2 $11
44 Merricks Road
Merricks (corner of Yal Yal Rd)
Telephone +61 3 5989 8868
Open 11:00am to 5:00pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays bar Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Photography: Thomas Southam