I started my birthday weekend with a trip to ‘Flint in the Vines’ at the Shaw Vineyard in Murrumbateman with my father, brother and brother-in-not-quite-law.
I’d always wanted to try Flint, having heard really good things from various sources, and I thought a special occasion such as this warranted the trip out. We met Dad out there about 12pm on a sunny Saturday, and wandered in to the tasting area come shop, to have a little wander around. The shop is full of ceramics and nick knacks which are a bit too country in design for my taste, sadly.
We wandered in to the dining area to find we were the first people there for the lunch time sitting, and that we pretty much had our choice of tables… which seemed odd to me, being the weekend before Christmas. I had expected groups of families and friends catching up for Christmas, but it turns out we were the only people in the whole restaurant for a whole hour, when only two more groups showed up. How odd. My Dad reckons everyone was doing their Christmas shopping.
Despite the emptiness, the area for dining is large and consists of both and indoor and outdoor sections. The restaurant is modern and unpretentious, with plastic seating and the occasion beautiful wooden table – it’s definitely the perfect setting for a laid back lunch.
We ordered some wine to start, made on the premises by Shaw Vineyard. My Riesling was crisp and refreshing, but also very smooth.
For entrée we ordered the Chilli Squid with chilli seasoning, pickled cucumber and blue cheese aioli.
Holy moly, this was awesome. I much prefer my squid/calamari with seasoning, rather than batter, but find it hard to get in Australia – now I know Flint has it I’m sure I’ll return! The squid was well cooked, not a hint of rubbery-ness, and the seasoning gave it an interesting flavour. The pickled cucumber was sweet and refreshing, and the blue cheese aioli went really well with the squid. Yum, yum!
For our other entrée, I took the advice of fellow foodie Tara from In the Taratory, and got the Wood Fired Camembert (with rosemary and garlic, red wine glaze, apple compote and warm ciabatta).
I don’t think there are actual words to describe how good this was. The cheese oozes and combines with the red wine glaze, and when smooshed on the ciabatta with the apple compote added, it truly is a party in your mouth. Amazing. I could eat this every day.
One thing that struck me was how large the entrees were, which we hadn’t realised when ordering. We would probably have only ordered one if we had known – but they were both so good!
For our mains we decided on some of Flint’s wood fired pizzas – the ‘Derek’ (mascarpone, salami, pear, roast capsicum & fresh jalapeno) and the ‘Pulled pork’ (BBQ sauce, hickory smoked pulled pork, spanish onion, roasted capsicum, tomato & parsley salsa, toasted walnut).
The pizzas, although not huge in size, were really well made and tasty. Both had a thin and crispy base, which is my favourite type of base, and they both mixed their flavours well together. I liked them both equally – the ‘Pulled pork’ had interesting texture and a sweetness to it, while the ‘Derek’ was cheesy and smooth.
Aaaand because we’re idiots, with eyes bigger than our stomachs, we also ordered two sides of ‘Flint fries’ and a roasted beetroot, feta and spinach salad. We ate half of one of the fries and Dad had a spoonful of the salad – we were just too full! The chips were delicious though, they were crunchy and had a salty spice mix sprinkled on top.
We declined dessert, even though I have heard good things about Flint’s dessert…we just couldn’t fit another thing in.
The service at Flint was polite and friendly, attentive without being in your face – pretty spot on. I was a little worried that they would be over-attentive when we were the only ones in the restaurant, but they stayed back and left us to our catch up.
Flint in the Vines seems to be very family friendly, laid back and relaxing. I can see many a summer afternoon catch ups happening out here now that I’ve discovered it. The food is fantastic, it’s elegant and inspired without being over the top.