The Mornington Peninsula exposes as many excellent restaurants as it hides. Being such a large expanse of heavily treed, green area of rolling hills, vineyards, farms and of housing. It’s not hard to stumble on a place of interest you may not have known even exists. This happen to me while driving to Balnarring. I stumbled across Willow Creek Vineyard. The long drive into the property takes you right up to the old homestead which is one of the quaintest four chimney homes I have ever seen. It is perfectly preserved and the surrounding grounds well kept.
But the restaurant: Perched up on the highest part of this expansive estate is Salix. This complex comprises bar, casual eating area and fine dine eating restaurant. With floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking rolling vineyards the view is as beautiful as it is staggering. There is also a large decked area for those who like to stay close to Mother Nature. I arrived for lunch and chose the casual eatery. The complex is modern, simple and spacious.
It is a bit hard to judge food quality without ordering a full meal. I went of the tasting plate and though I thought it a little costly for what you get it was well presented and of the highest quality. The tasting plate would be good over a wine or two mid-afternoon or as a light lunch. Big eaters forget it you’ll lose weight on this one. Service was prompt and efficient if not just a little cold. The wine list heavily supports the local grower which is great to see.
This would be one place I would recommend if you are not from these parts and wanted to sample the local “noble rot”. The whites are what the Peninsula is best at (in my opinion) and there is an extensive selection on the list. Also tastings are available on the premises so you can try before you buy. Willow Creek Vineyard is beautifully presented, hosts tranquil views of rolling vineyards and has some excellent local wines to savour. Put it on the list.