Iron Chef Shellie

Red Hill Estate & Max’s Restaurant

Accomodation and a restaurant, definitely don't go past the pork on the menu!

Travel & Dining

Red Hill Estate & Max’s Restaurant
May 26, 2011

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Red Hill Estate & Max’s Restaurant

So blogging in sequence, the third stop on the 12 hour eatathon was Max’s Restaurant at Red Hill Estate.

This is where I met up with Thanh, and we spent about half an hour tasting ALL the wine…. yup, that’s right; EVERY SINGLE WINE, including one that wasn’t even on the list! So, even though I didn’t finish off every sample of wine, it may explain why my photos aren’t that great towards the end of this post! Bear in mind… 30 minutes of wine tasting + sharing a bottle of wine over lunch… lots of wine = photo standards slightly slipping!

Just like at Foxeys Hangout, the vineyard here favours sparkling wines. This is due to the altitude and other environmental factors. Their Shiraz varieties are grown on six other vineyards down in Merricks, where the terrain is much more flat.

I tend to favour the sweeter varieties. I’m not one for dry wines like Chardonnay. My favourites were definitely the dessert wines; and Trent tells us he has even tried the liqueur muscat over ice-cream. I can so imagine how delicious it must taste with ice cream!

We take a moment to enjoy the view; 190 degrees of Western Port Bay. You can even see Phillip Island and beyond. Working here must be really hard with a view like that! Wish I captured a panoramic shot; but I’ll be heading down there again later this year, so I’ll do it then!

We took a stroll over to the on-site accommodation at Red Hill Estate, Max’s Retreat. We were allowed a sneak peak before guests checked in. This recently renovated farm cottage was the original cottage on the estate. It has 2 bedrooms, complete with ensuite (one with a corner spa), 2 sitting rooms, an open plan kitchenette with dining room, large outdoor deck; and one of the most amazing views on the peninsula. This place would be perfect for two couples having a nice get away. Hopefully I can convince some friends to stay here one day with me.

Then it was time for lunch at Max’s Restaurant, the first winery restaurant in the area, and recently won Best Tourism Restaurant in the 2010 Qantas National Tourism Awards.

Aaron seats us at the most food blogger friendly spot in the house; natural light galore!!!

Max’s freshly baked bread with olive oil and dukkah.

{Oysters} With seaweed salad and soy sauce

I didn’t touch the oysters. I have issues with raw oysters and them not wanting to go down my throat. I don’t blame them! But the verdict from everyone else: seaweed one was a winner, soy sauce one, was just pure soy sauce and possibly a bit overpowering.

Entree Tasting Platter:

{Soup} Zuppa Del Giorno – Soup of the day was cauliflower, drizzled with truffle oil
{Calamari} Fresh baby calamari stuffed with a pork, fennel and chilli farce on a lemon myrtle dressed salad
{Trout} Max’s house cured trout, finger lime caviar, quince paste and Max’s Aged Morello Cherry Balsamic
{Roo} Red wine and garlic marinated kangaroo fillet on roasted red hill cherry tomatoes with wilted spinach and a wattle seed jus
{Carpaccio} Zucchini carpaccio brushed with vanilla scented olive oil, julienne of red hill apples, fennel and celeriac, sliced avocado and shaved Australian truffle
Everything was divine. My absolute favourite was the trout. It had a lovely sweetness to it, not what I was expecting. Mum fell in love with the cauliflower soup with truffle oil, and I’m pretty sure has recreated it at home by now. The roo was cooked perfectly, the calamari with pork and fennel was very flavoursome, and the carpaccio actually made me enjoy zucchini!

{Duck} Roasted duck breast, spring roll of confit leg with green beans and a szechwan pepper jus

Mumma got the duck, and it was just gorgeous. Even the spring roll was oozing with flavour.

{Beef} Grilled eye fillet of gippsland beef served medium rare, creamy sweet potato gratin, red hill mushroom jus

I got the beef and it was cooked TO PERFECTION. Amazing. The mushroom sauce was divine, and the sweet potato gratin was the perfect match. I would have quite happily not shared this!

{Pork} Succulent baked tuscan porchetta, rolled with garlic and rosemary atop roasted kipfler potatoes with crispy prosciutto

Thanh generously shared his pork belly, although I think he would have quite happily not shared too, and I think he was in love with it. It totally sold Mumma, and she was immediately planning on when to come back for more.

{Mushroom} sauteed local pine and field mushrooms with thyme, topped with a sheet of house made pasta and shaved Australian truffle

Thanh’s lucky friend who joined him on this amazing trip got the mushrooms. Whilst I’m no vegetarian, and neither was she; these babies were delicious!

Dessert wasn’t really going to be an option I thought since we were all pressed for time to get to the next stops on our itinerary, but Thanh announced we should have it, and before too long, there was not one, but TWO dessert platters in front of us. How on EARTH were we going to put more deliciousness in our bellies?!

Dessert Tempting Platter:

{Semifreddo} House made honey, pistachio and nougat semifreddo with rosewater syrup
{Dolce Bianco} A traditional italian dessert of firm vanilla infused yoghurt served with macerated red hill berries
{Chocolate} Soft centered chocolate pudding with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate shards
{Ginger} Steamed stem ginger pudding with poached quince, main ridge dairy ice cream and poaching liquor
{Cheese} Local cheeses served with Max’s muscat poached fruits
The chocolate fondant did not disappoint; it oozed, and oozed and ooozed deliciousness. This was clearly a winner with Thanh and I. The Dolce Bianco was also lovely, and had the right amount of tartness to it, thanks to the yoghurt.

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING was fantastic. It’s not hard to see why Max’s Restaurant won such an award. The food is top notch, and there is a large selection of wines to choose to match your meal; so what are you waiting for?

I just have to wait a few more months until it’s my granny’s birthday before I can go again! Yippee!!!

Bookings are essential; and they are open 365 days of the year (that’s right, including Good Friday and Christmas Day).

Red Hill Estate also does weddings, so if you are interested get in touch with the team. They do about 40 weddings a year. Considering there are 52 weeks in a year, that’s quite a lot. Just check out the view and you’ll see why it’s such a popular spot to get hitched.

Iron Chef Shellie visited Red Hill Estate & Max’s Restaurant thanks to Q Strategies, Mornington Peninsula Tourism, Red Hill Estate and Max’s Restaurant.


17 comments on “Red Hill Estate & Max’s Restaurant
  1. Blair James

    I am in awe! Everything looks serene and beautiful. This is such a great place not only to dine but also to spend quality time with family. It gives you that sense of calmness when you are around these great spots.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    May 27, 2011 at 5:24 am
  2. Esz

    That food looks so delicious! And they look like really generous serves. I want that pork belly in mah BELLEH! ;-P And the steak. And the desserts. Actually, all of it plz.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:48 am
  3. Michelle

    Good food but too far away. 🙁

    May 27, 2011 at 8:30 am
  4. hollypop

    looooove the peninsula!!!!!!

    it’s actually not even that far away from melbs. (i used to drive to uni and back every week day in less than an hour. so take that.)


    May 27, 2011 at 10:29 am
  5. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    wow….amazing. I’ve never eaten at Max’s! For shame. The food looks incredible! & how lucky that you got such a beautiful day 🙂
    Heidi xo

    May 27, 2011 at 10:33 am
  6. Susan

    That porchetta looks insanely good! I would have a hard time sharing that.

    May 27, 2011 at 11:16 am
  7. Lorraine Not Quite Nigella

    We really enjoyed our stop there and Max is a lovely host too! Hehe I don’t imagine it would be too hard to convince friends to stay with you 😉

    May 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm
  8. Mez

    The steak looks deeelicious!!

    So do the mushrooms, love, love, love mushrooms like that.

    This place really does look perfect for a mini weekend getaway, I’m going to keep it in mind for when I want to ROMANCE HAMISH bahaahahahahaa

    May 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm
  9. Cherrie

    Great Photos as always, Shellie.

    May 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm
  10. Thanh

    How could we possibly have left without trying dessert. That fondant was amazing. Loving the photos as usual and I think the last photos still look perfect, not affected by alcohol at all.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm
  11. Hannah

    I long for weather nice enough to sit outside at a place like this! Oh, and dessert platters would be muchly welcome too 🙂

    May 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm
  12. msihua

    Now I want to get married there! Hahahhaa… gosh.. so pretty.. I’M SO JEALOUS!

    May 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm
  13. R&H

    Everything looks (and sounds) so good! I usually head to T Gallant and Mont Alto when I’m in Mornington so it’s good to know about another option.

    And those vineyards would be perfect for a wedding!

    May 29, 2011 at 8:28 am
  14. Sarah

    Good friends of ours got married there in April and it was a great venue – and FANTASTIC food.

    May 31, 2011 at 11:11 am
  15. penny aka jeroxie

    Fantastic meal! And i took a photo of that rosemary in vase too!

    May 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm
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Shellie Froidevaux

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