Celebrating birthdays in the Yarra Valley

So a couple of our friends decided that they wanted to do something different this year. Their birthdays are about a week apart, so they decided that they would invite a bunch of people to celebrate with them with lunch in De Bortoli’s Yarra Valley Estate.

We ended up with 5 cars, ferrying about 16 people from all over Melbourne/Victoria to De Bortoli’s restaurant for a leisurely four course meal!

I was in Amir’s car, which reminded me of our Easter Roadtrip! Ah… good times. =)

Amir felt adventurous, as always, and decided to skip the highway and take the scenic (and faster, it turned out!) route. So we ended up with lovely things to look at…

Rolling hills and open fields…

Beautiful sunny winter day…

Our car arrived a bit early, so we did wine tasting, and then… CHEESE TASTING! They had a selection of cheeses that the cellar had sourced from various cheese makers around the world. I forgot to take a photo of the cheeses! But trust me they were so beautiful, I think the sky had some serious competition.

The most memorable one was the D’Affinois Double Cream– a super creamy cheese, so meltingly cool and milky I found myself tearing slighty. Another stand out was Coulommiers – a beautiful creamy cheese, with a truffle centre. And last, but definitely not least, a Heidi Raclette from a Tasmanian farm – a slightly hard cheese, with a floral, fruity note… I think you can tell, I was in heaven.

We managed to buy some back – except for the Heidi Raclette – which they had run out of, but I found out that the Heidi is stocked in David Jones’ Food Hall! So I went and bought some on Monday!

After that, we headed up to the restaurant for lunch!

Goats Curd with Chives, Parsley and Olive Oil and 3 types of bread

So creamy!

Shared plate of chorizo/salami, buffalo mozzerella, white anchovies, smoked and brined olives, parmeasen biscuits and fried zucchini balls.

The fried zucchini balls were sumptious! Light, crunchy on the outside, and pillowy on the inside…

The prettiest plate of scallops I’ve ever seen!


A row of us…

15 hour, slow cooked beef on beans, wilted vegetables and red wine jus

Rocket Salad to share, to go with the beef.

Tiramisu in a glass

The best part: Freshly ground coffee beans dusted on top – instead of the usual cocoa powder!

A toast! Fizzy Strawberry Moscato!

I think my favourite dish was the scallops – cooked to perfection, meltingly tender, but slightly over-salted. It was so pretty to look at as well… We were so full up at the end, that I gave 1/3 of my beef away and couldn’t finish my Tiramisu (while I’m no fan of tiramisu, this one was pretty good, though really heavy after that meal!). And when we were served tea and coffee with biscotti on the side, I nibbled half a biscotti and retreated behind my teapot filled with earl grey to soothe my poor over-full stomach.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday, good food, good friends, and a good reason to celebrate.

Happy birthday Cynthia and Wilfred!


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