Nestled between the hills and coastline in Second Valley, is Leonards Mill; and boy is it a cracker!
As the name suggests, Leonards Mill is a historic flour mill which has been lovingly and thoughtfully restored into many things.
Aside from the multi award-winning restaurant, the property is home to cottage style accommodation, a bar, function centre, and art studio.
They have also recently established a cellar door, which plays host to KI and Fleurieu Peninsular wine makers, providing a space for tastings and promotion.
As if that wasn’t enough; the chefs at Leonards Mill now also make and sell their own range of lavosh, crackers, and preserves. (Delicious)
This week I made the much needed return to the restaurant for a long and lazy lunch, hubby in-tow.
With much excitement, we indulged in the 6 course degustation menu.
Appropriately titled “A Fleurieu Tasting”; the menu is designed for the Chef to take the reins and lead you on a culinary journey, focusing on the ‘Eat Local’ philosophy.
As regular readers may well know; I love bread. Like, a lot.
We started with some different breads, house-made butter (using Fleurieu Milk of course), Leonard’s Mill crackers, more crisps, and parmesan cheese churros. Our 6 courses hadn’t even started yet, and I was very impressed!
The first course was Beetroot heaven. Served in about 5 different ways, with buffalo curd, rye and hibiscus, I love, love, loved this dish. It was extremely fresh, crisp, and a good way to fire up the taste buds!
The second course was one of Leonards Mill’s signature dishes.
Smoked Kingfish sashimi, chargrilled octopus, dashi pearls, daikon and yuzu.
This dish was served with a theatrical Heston Blumenthal style. As the lovely waitress presented the dish, it was at first completely hidden by the smoke-filled glass, then as she lifted the lid the fish was revealed, and it was as pretty as a picture.
If I’m being honest, reading the ingredients listed on the menu; I would have only recognised the kingfish and octopus…. Maybe the dashi pearls. But that’s half the fun with this kind of menu! It’s sitting back, relaxing, and just embracing what’s on the plate in front of you.
Next was my favourite of the savoury dishes; New to the menu, we were served crispy skin black bream, with bites of prawn, lime, prosciutto, crunchy quinoa, and the most amaaaazing jalapeno sauce. The flavours and textures were insanely good.
The last savoury dish was Kangaroo Island lamb neck, served with charred shallots, apple, and sheep labneh. Sooooo tender and juicy; and the apple really complimented the lamb meat. Another winner!
One of my all-time favourite desserts is lemon meringue pie. So when I was presented with a deconstructed version, with caramalised white chocolate and ginger boterkoek (biscuit), I was in heaven. It was just so good.
Last, but not least, was a soft mousse-like chocolate ganache, served with coffe gelato and blackcurrant sauce and gels. This was an excellent flavour combo’, and like the lemon dessert, I could have eaten ten more serves!
Aside from the amazing food experience, Leonards Mill only stock high quality, SA produced (mostly Fleurieu) wine. I enjoyed a Little Brampton 2015 Clare Valley Riesling, and Brocksview Estate 2010 Carrickalinga Shiraz, and Hubby enjoyed the Goodieson beer range from Mclaren Vale.
The staff really do deserve a special mention. They are so professional, friendly and enthusiastic; the service was the delightful cherry, on top of a wonderful and fulfilling pie.
The setting is another bonus at Leonards Mill. We enjoyed the sunny spring weather, eating and drinking on the sun deck, with mellow tunes playing in the background.
Inside the restaurant is just as nice, and is especially warm and inviting in the colder months.
On certain days you can visit the stable art studio, where artwork, pottery and sculptures by local artists are on display.
There are regular events at Leonards Mill, including a “Lock in Lunch” happening on Friday October 16th.
The Classic Adelaide Rally cars will be driving past, and you can enjoy an outdoor lunch, with live music and local artisan and producer stalls.
For more details, check out the Leonards Mill website. If you can’t attend the events, you MUST go and enjoy a meal some time. Worth every penny, and you won’t regret it.
Cnr Roper Lane & Main South Road
Second Valley, South Australia
PH 8598 4184