Travel

Wining and dining in Western Australia is always an experience

Enjoy whole new dining experiences at these locations in Western Australia

In Western Australia, they take their food seriously.

Eating is always an experience, whether it is made complete with breathtaking scenery, or picking your own fresh produce, or learning exactly where your food originates from.

With a vast expanse of grassland for cows to graze and crops to grow, it is no wonder that most of the food we enjoyed in the state - where this writer was flown to on Singapore Airlines - was grown locally, making food as fresh as it can get.

If you love food as much as most Singaporeans do, visiting Western Australia - and wining and dining at these places - should be on your bucket list.

WILD SEAFOOD EXPERIENCE BY MANDURAH CRUISES

Mandurah is known as the seafood town of Western Australia. It is just an hour from the capital Perth, making it an easy option for those who prefer not to drive too far out.

Wining and dining in Western Australia is always an experience
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The vibrant town has sleek waterways and canals so clean that it is home to Western Australia's largest residential population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and birds like pelicans and ospreys.

The Wild Seafood Experience tour by Mandurah Cruises is a three-hour adventure of reeling up crates upon crates of western rock lobsters, more commonly known as crayfish.

The experienced crew act as guides, explaining and demonstrating the process of catching crayfish as well as sustainability efforts to protect the waterways and the teeming wildlife.

The crayfish we reeled up was barbecued for lunch by a chef on board the vessel, in addition to the other seafood offered in the buffet spread, such as oysters, salmon sashimi, octopus, crabs and prawns.

Each person is guaranteed at least half a crayfish but we were lucky to have reeled in abundantly that day, with some of us having more than one barbecued crayfish. Local wines and beers are also served free of charge.

Keep your eyes and cameras peeled as you eat because the bottlenose dolphins, which travel in pairs, are known to be sighted in these waters. We spotted several, and a pair of them even played and dived right next to our boats.

ORANJE TRACTOR WINE

Tucked away in the lesser-known south-western small town of Albany lies a hidden gem.

Oranje Tractor Wine takes pride in growing herbs and fruits organically, while also focusing on sustainability by working with nature instead of against it.

Unfortunately, we did not get to try the wines but we ate our way through the 'Fruit Salad' orchard, smelling, picking, tasting and finally, taking away the fresh produce as we learnt about the different types of fruits grown there.

We were also given a brown recyclable paper bag at the beginning of the tour, so that we could pick some fruits for an afternoon snack.

Wining and dining in Western Australia is always an experience
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The founder of the winery carried around a small knife and cutting board as he explained the different trees, and our taste buds went on a roller-coaster ride that day, as we took in the distinct sweet and sour notes of the different offerings.

The food trail will be a fun, refreshing and informative experience for city dwellers, who are probably more used to picking produce off supermarket shelves.

The orchard boasts 40 varieties of apples as well as the exotic white sapote, on top of the usual tangerines, incredibly sweet pears, apricots, plums and figs.

It also grows the more unconventional olive trees, macadamia trees, as well as the millennial favourite - irresistibly creamy and smooth avocados.

THE LAKE HOUSE DENMARK

The concept of family and communal sharing is emphasised at this restaurant, so the food is typically served on colourful platters.

The bread is made fresh daily and complemented the platters well.

Wining and dining in Western Australia is always an experience
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Alongside that, an assortment of dips, including hummus, beetroot and shiraz relish, and tomato and Riesling relish, are served.

We also had a cheese platter featuring Capel Club Cheddar and Dellendale Double Cream Brie.

What really stood out were the salami and the smoked chicken.

The Mt Barker smoked chicken, although lean, was soft and flavourful. Most salamis I have tried are overwhelmingly salty, but those at The Lake House managed a good balance of tastes.

The experience of eating with a splendid view was even better - do opt for the alfresco-style dining area that overlooks the idyllic and tranquil lake.

The Lake House Denmark also has a vineyard, winery and gourmet food store, which sells chutneys, relishes and jams. Wine tastings are available upon request.

BOSTON BREWERY

As a fan of craft beer, this visit to Boston Brewery in the town of Denmark got me really excited.

We explored the premises and learnt about two ingredients in craft beer - malt and hops.

Wining and dining in Western Australia is always an experience
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Malt generally imparts colour and flavours like toffee, nut and chocolate, while hops, the special ingredient that adds aroma and bitterness, balances the sweetness of malt.

Craft beer enthusiasts will tell you that every craft beer has a unique aroma and flavour, and can be experienced best when the beer is served cold on tap.

While I wasn't a big fan of their Pilsner (pale lager) or their stouts, their ales were great, bursting with flavours like passionfruit and citrus.

I particularly enjoyed the Poison Point (India Pale Ale, 4.8 per cent) on tap, which boasted a fruity aroma and a smooth finish.

I was not surprised when I later found out that it won the Silver Medal at the 2016 Perth Royal Beer Awards.

Others who did not particularly enjoy beer thought the Tingletop Ginger Beer, named after the Tingle trees native to Western Australia, was a good choice and paired well with their food.

From July 16 to 22, travellers can fly to Perth on Scoot from just $129 (one-way). For more information and to make bookings, go to www.flyscoot.com/en/promotions/perth

tnp@sph.com.sg

TOURISM & TRAVEL