If the Michelin star was available to Australian restaurants then the Lakehouse in Daylesford would be up there with the best of the best. It is consistently a two hat restaurant as voted by the Age good food guide and it is mighty worthy of this status, with superb food, beautiful surrounds and passionate staff.
The Lakehouse is under the arm of Executive Chef Alla Wolf Tasker and Head Chef David Green, where they have procured themselves into a position of producing virtually everything, from house baked breads to an extensive charcuterie range, on the premises. During the day, the sunlit restaurant offers magnificent views through wonderfully large windows. The split level terraces outside also offer a lovely spot to sit in the warmer months with the resident kookaburra’s gracing the many balconies also enjoying the view.
The Lakehouse is something special and it exceeded all my expectations. When we arrived into the car park the first thing I noticed was the amount of luxury cars sitting in the car park, so I parked my modest little car in between a Porsche and an Aston Martin. Hmm my mind suddenly wandered to that bumper sticker that says “my other car is a Porsche!” As cliche as it was – it was so apt in this situation!
Once inside, my dining companion (my mum) and I were greeted by the lovely staff and shown to a table that overlooked the picturesque lake. With menus in hand we quickly decided on the “Tasting” menu which was an eight course food extravaganza. Now this is not cheap at $145 a head but I can assure you that you will be delighted with the presentation and taste of each plate. The plates are small as with any degustation menu but over eight courses you will be indeed satisfied.
There is lot’s of local art work around the Lakehouse including on the plates. Tables are set for a silver service.
The tasting menu offers a choice of either a seasonal menu or a vegetarian menu.
First course – a beautiful starter just entitled”snacks” with fetta filled churros and spicy savoury muffins. The fetta in the churros was incredibly light and fluffy and just melted in your mouth.
Second course – Spanner crab, whitefish sashimi, jalapeno, lime and mint. Each flavour was very distinct on it’s own but adding the jalapeño flavour gives the dish a definite zing.
Third course – Veal tartare, mojama, bonito and resting on nori.
Fourth Course – Bug agnolotti, house kimchi and tempura tofu. The tofu just melted in your mouth almost like a mousse texture held together with the tempura batter. This was a beautiful dish, pasta was perfect.
Fifth course – Partridge, wild mushroom, black barley, lardo and nettles. I have never had partridge before but this was cooked perfectly – soft and tender and the flavour was lovely.
Sixth course – Wagyu cheek, eggplant, pumpkin and togarashi. The couple next to us were ahead by one dish so they let us know when ours arrived that this was totally sublime and to savour it as it just melts in your mouth. They were not wrong, so I gave this one the respect it deserved and lingered with the tasting experience and enjoyed the bliss of every mouthful.
Seventh course – Simply entitled Citrus and bitters. Now this one intrigued me on the menu, as I wasn’t sure what this entailed. I was thinking perhaps a dessert but had no idea until it was explained on arrival! So in the larger glass was an icy citrus sorbet, with a slice of jellied citrus fruit and the bottom layer was a white chocolate. The little shot glasses were filled with a citrus soda and finally on the sticks were a modern take on the lemon meringue in a bite size form. A refreshing way to cleanse the palate.
Eighth course – A winters ramble consisting of citrus icecream, chocolate mousse, chocolate and a pistachio cake. Absolutely delicious.
We did finish with a pot of tea which was served with marshmellows and a biscuit shard. Overall the whole experience lasted around 3 hours and we were more than satisfied. Each plate was delivered to us with an explanation of what each entailed, by staff who were formal in their deliverance but warm and friendly throughout their service. The Lakehouse showed us today exactly why they are innovative and consistently set the standard on not just good food but great food.
There are a number of choices for lunch from a two, three or four course menu or if you want to indulge your taste buds and treat yourself to an amazing dining experience then go for the eight course tasting menu. The tasting menu will give you something that you could not make at home and that’s the type of experience I want at a restaurant.
This venue is very pricey and you can easily blow the budget once you order some alcoholic beverages. Prices start from $80 per person for the two course menu.
The Lakehouse is located in Daylesford in regional Victoria.
Address: 4 King Street, Daylesford.