Framed by large windows with sweeping views of the winery, Ten Minutes by Tractor was the perfect place to spend a birthday lunch. The restaurant is small and the large table of wines situated in the middle of the restaurant only lends room to a dozen or so tables. I must add, it was a joy catching glimpses of the sommeliers pour wines into beautifully designed decanters (likely from Rieldel) throughout the afternoon.
Advance bookings are recommended and it’s not a surprise that Ten Minutes by Tractor is so popular. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s situated amongst some of Mornington Peninsula’s most popular destinations (T’Gallant and Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm are just down the road), Ten Minutes by Tractor prides itself in well-trained, knowledgeable sommeliers, chefs and staff who have a passion for their craft and simply excellent food with a nod to regional Victorian produce, most of which is sourced locally on the Mornington Peninsula.
The 5 course degustation experience
The restaurant serves two menus – a 2/3 course A La Carte and a 5/8 course degustation menu ranging between $69 to $139.
If you have time to spare before your reservation, complimentary wine tasting at the cellar is a must. Otherwise, it’s $5 a person which is waived upon any wine purchase.
Left, Olive bread; Right, seeded
The olive bread was my favourite of the two and lovely on its own.
Cape grim mineral water, olive oil, burnt butter – notice the Petri dishes?
House made butter
The burnt butter was soft, creamy and delicate with a slight salted caramel aftertaste.
Two appetisers were served and this second one was a buttery biscuit topped with trout and roe. Very tasty.
Beetroot: herb panna cotta, freekah, Main Ridge Cashmere, apple & walnut vinaigrette
All the textures and flavours in this dish worked incredibly well – crunchy walnuts, julienned apple, creamy goats cheese and tangy vinaigrette.
Snapper: crispy skinned, squid, compressed cucumber, tomatoes
There is a high level of attention to detail in every aspect of the dishes served, from the presentation, crockery and even cutlery which is replaced after every dish.
Overall this was a good dish, the calamari was slightly saltier than expected but otherwise balanced out by the cucumbers and sundried tomatoes.
Quail: glazed breast, onion tapioca, fig, cashew praline, onion shells, served with Brioche
We were advised to mop up any remaining sauces with the warm and buttery brioche. At the end of it, I don’t know what I wanted more of – the brioche or the sauce. Every element of this dish was delicious and it is without doubt one of the best quails I have ever tasted.
Lamb: crusted rump, baby fennel, confit tomato, olives
The herb crust and olive sauce made this dish.
The nectarine sorbet with yoghurt was slightly tangy and very refreshing.
Chocolate: Michel Cluizel chocolate, rosemary infused cherry compote, sesame tuile, brioche ice cream
There were two desserts to choose from and we got one each to share. The photo does not do justice to the chocolate tart, which, garnished with a sprinkle of popping candy, was a rich, velvety smooth and melt-in-your-mouth delight. The brioche ice cream echoed a frozen bread and butter pudding and stood out on its own.
Tea and coffee
Two Petit fours were served with our tea and coffee, the one on the left being a strawberry profiterole with Sunny Ridge strawberries and on the right pineapple nut cake. The profiterole tastes as good as it looks and a fitting way to end the three hour visual and culinary adventure.
Ten Minutes by Tractor
1333 Mornington-Flinders Rd
Main Ridge VIC 3928