Cannibal Creek Winery
- Pork and Duck Terrine
- Vodka Cured Salmon
- Confit Duck Leg
- Pork Belly
- Beetroot Salad
- Lemon Tart
- Coconut Crème Caramel
- Cheese Platter
Cannibal Creek Winery is a small-volume independent winery with a lovely building situated on the top a hill in Gippsland. This forms a beautiful backdrop to the food and wine available which celebrates both local produce and a uniquely French sensibility.
The starters included local Cannibal Bakehouse bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, free range pork and duck terrine with toasted brioche and pickles as well as a vodka cured New Zealand salmon, coriander dressing, radish and samphire. The sourdough bread from the local Cannibal Creek Bakehouse was beautifully dense and delicious with a lovely crust that really mopped up the local olive oil. The terrine really showcased both pork and duck flavours, tied together with an outer layer of pancetta, while homemade toasted brioche formed a buttery textural contrast and pickles adding a bit of zing. The salmon, however, was a highlight, as the vodka curing process really enhanced the fresh pieces of fish, adding density to a flavourful mouthful with a coriander dressing and slightly briny samphire.
Moving onto the mains, the confit duck leg is a staple of French cuisine and Cannibal Creek offers a fantastic rendition of this dish. Meltingly tender duck leg was paired with smooth cauliflower puree and broad beans. The uniquely sweet and caramelised carrots and mandarin sauce really tied this classic dish together. Pork belly has become a theme in restaurants of late, and while common, it does become an effective litmus test for the way a restaurant works. The pork belly here is delicious, well seasoned with the requisite crispy skin, but has been served with perfectly cooked kipfler potatoes, cabbage, fennel and a very nice apple cider jus. As a little bit of a ‘side’ to the two proteins, a beetroot salad accompanied but was an equally considered and tasty addition, with multiple flavours such as the earthy beetroot, quinoa, sweet potato and creamy feta combining into a fresh dish perfect for summer.
It would have to be said that desserts are a bit of a highlight at Cannibal Creek. A coconut crème caramel made for a really considered twist on a popular dessert. Infusing the custard with coconut before setting in a bain-marie, produced a smooth and silky pudding luxuriously coated in caramel. The lemon tart was so creamy with perfectly assertive lemon flavour, nestled in lovely pastry. The quenelle of chantilly cream sat so decadently atop the slice while all the richness was cut through by dried blueberry, mint and passionfruit syrup.
If there was an experience to be taken away from Cannibal Creek, it’s how much richer a dining and winery experience can be with a more personal approach. The smaller scale operation excludes itself from hype and a tendency towards impersonal service, but more importantly, a consistent vision is apparent throughout, which is something that especially shines in the food.