While a trip to the Swan Valley can often mean battling the boozed-up party busses, don't let that scare you off. There are some seriously exceptional dining experiences to be had!
Here are the best Swan Valley restaurants to dine at this summer.
Old Young’s Kitchen
The latest restaurant to open its door in the Swan Valley is Old Young's Kitchen, and if this name rings a bell, it’s because it’s right next door to the notable Old Young's Distillery, home of fantastic gin and vodka. At the helm of this new eatery is Rohan Park (who’s been at Santini, fleur and Fervor), and on the menu, you can expect a few crowd pleasures like pork sirloin, beef shoulder and scallop crudo. But if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, impress your mates with your sophisticated taste and order the crocodile chorizo or the kangaroo tartare with emu egg yolk. Given they’re adjacent to a distillery, Old Young’s Kitchen also has an impressive beverage menu. Their ten cocktails highlight a different product from the Old Young’s range, and many of the wines and beers come straight from the Swan Valley—such as Mash, Funk Cider, Lancaster, Chouette and more. With its terracotta floors, flashes of pinks and reds, emerald coloured walls and long wooden tables under the vines, this new restaurant will be a scenic spot to enjoy a long lunch this summer. Preview lunches are running from Thursday to Monday, and their doors will officially open in early January.
Mandoon Estate has certainly established itself as a noteworthy Swan Valley destination, and one suited for all occasions. They’re home to a fine dining restaurant called Wild Swan if you’re looking for gourmet lunch, but if you’re after a more laid back afternoon, try Homestead Brewery, known for their pizzas, burgers and German-style beer. There is also The Llawn, a great spot to enjoy picnics and live music.
Bailey Brewing Co.
Bailey Brewing Co. is home to craft beers and a menu that’s sure to please many. While faves like chicken parmigiana, fish and chips and burgers shine through, you’ll also find chilli prawns, pizza, barramundi, curry and heaps more. With beers, wines and cocktails are aplenty, it’s sure to a chilled out afternoon.
One of the most well-known wineries in the Swan Valley, Sandalford Winery is also one of the best. At the Sandalford Bar and Restaurant, you’ll find dishes crossed between modern Australian and European, and as well as wood-fired pizzas they have lobster, lamb rump, and handmade pasta. If you want to try something a little different, why not book yourself in for a wine cruise? Leaving Perth in the morning, you'll cruise up the Swan River and arrive by boat. How glam. Enjoy a delicious lunch at Sandalford before cruising back to town.
Look out towards Sitella’s lush vineyard as you dine on high-end produce whipped up by Head Chef Mike Price, who’s had quite the career cooking in London and Paris. Sitella’s menu includes plenty of meat and seafood dishes, from lamb ragu to seafood chowder and caramelised pork belly.
Lamont’s, which you might have come across in Cottesloe, the CBD or Yallingup, is all about seriously good wine complemented by superb food. Their Swan Valley winery focuses on gourmet tapas, with the likes of grilled halloumi, spicy buffalo wings and grilled Exmouth prawns on the menu. Otherwise, opt for a cheese platter, and of course, you’ll want to pair all this with their amazing wine.
Funk Cider’s second venue is the perfect crossover of boujee and boozy. Think rustic vibes with bright and airy decor, perfect for summer. We dream of the long bar with 18 rotating taps, serving up signature ciders and craft beers (all sulphite-free and preservative-free). Food-wise, you’ll be satisfied with their hearty, upscale pub grub or tapas.
With elevated views of both the Swan River and the winery’s rolling vines, Riverbank’s Mediterranean menu will have you coming back for more. There’s a separate section of the menu dedicated to thick steaks, but otherwise, order a few smaller plates to share, or tuck into substantial gnocchi, pork belly or fresh fish. They’ve won heaps of awards here, for both their restaurant and wines, so it’s pretty much assured you won’t be disappointed.
Oakover Grounds, with its retro references and an industrial-cool fit-out, is a fun spot to spend the afternoon. After a lunch of beef brisket, squid or a chicken snitty, hop on one of the water bikes, which can be rented for free. Now that’s something you can’t do in the city.
Edgecombe Brothers describe themselves as rustic and relaxed, somewhere you can dine under the wisteria, overlooking a picturesque lake while enjoying premium burgers. There are other eats on offer too, or you can nibble away at a grazing board full of cheeses, olives, relishes and fresh bread.
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Image credit: Old Young's Kitchen