Not because it’s inconspicuous by any means, but you might just walk past Woodland House if you didn’t realise it was situated in a Victorian mansion – there certainly aren’t many restaurants operating in this kind of space. The restaurant itself consists of several dining rooms (suitable for private events), all of which are well maintained with its own distinct decor.
Whilst many would associate the restaurant with its predecessor, Jacques Reymond, Woodland House has managed to create a name for itself through its refreshing approach to fine dining. Headed by chefs Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarlane, Woodland House boasts an innovative menu with a strong emphasis on seasonal produce and the use of ingredients typically not seen on dining tables in Melbourne. This includes sweetbreads, monkfish and venison – just to name a few.
At $115 for a 5 course tasting menu or $140 for 8 courses, Woodland House is one of the best degustation experiences in Melbourne which I would highly recommend for a special occasion or romantic evening.
The 8 course tasting menu experience & highlights
I dined at Woodland House two months ago to celebrate my partner’s birthday and was given a cosy corner table in the main dining room, a perfect choice for such an occasion. The tasting menu has since changed however a few items still remain on the menu (such as the poached and roasted veal), though with slight variations.
Overall, it was a fantastic and memorable experience topped off by excellent service from knowledgeable staff.
Savoury danish – We had the option of a savoury danish or house baked bread. Of course you can get both, too. The danish was flaky, buttery and well seasoned.
Monkfish, pickled salsify and lobster emulsion | Brioche (to mop up the sauce)
Poached and roasted veal, Jerusalem artichoke and saltbush – The luxurious, creamy sweetbreads were reminiscent of foie gras.
Venison, red currant, beetroot and bronze fennel – I don’t often eat venison however I found this incredibly tender and moist, not gamey at all.
Western Plains sucking pig, watercress and elderberry – One of my favourites of the night, what stood out from this dish was the sweet crunch beneath the crackling.
Cheese Supplement ($15) – Ginger cake served with quince paste & lashings of Tête de Moine. Tête de Moine is a semi-hard swiss cheese with a sharp, nutty flavour and gets its beautiful rosette appearance through the use of a cheese curler, creating a delicate texture. This was the first time I tried this cheese and after this dish, Tête de Moine has now become one of my favourite cheeses.
Roasted lemon, vanilla and pink peppercorn, milk chocolate – The lemon complemented the chocolate flavours perfectly and overall, a delicious combination of flavours.
Bombe Alasha with coffee ice cream, whipped goats cheese and sea salt caramel – This was my favourite dish of the night and a fitting way to end the evening. Whilst there was only a few drops of caramel on the plate, this was intensely flavoured and was just the right amount to complement the creamy goats cheese and light meringue flavours.
78 Williams Road
Prahran VIC 3181