Sunday, 26 May 2013


1333 Mornington-Flinders Rd Main Ridge
5989 6080

We go to the Peninsula probably every couple of months.  It's a playground for foodie and winies and the choices are seemingly endless.  At the very top of a very tall tree stands Ten Minutes by Tractor, which I have had the pleasure of going to a couple of times.  Amongst rarified companie such as Monalto and Port Phillip Estate, it still stands out due to it's boutique feel and obsession with the provenance of their produce.

Of the famous wineries on the Peninsula, Ten Minutes by Tractor is one of the smallest.  It has a relatively modest cellar door which adjoins the small capacity restaurant.  The strange name actually has an interesting provenance.  The vineyards were formerly separate owned by a few families.  These vineyards were 'ten minutes apart by tractor', and you can actually see one of the old tractors as you peruse the wine bible (Only the Rockpool wine list is more comprehensive) and decide if you want to go with the epic degustation or a la carte.  As an aside the wine list was awarded best regional wine list by The Age, in addition to the two chef's hats that the restaurant holds. 
It's a tough life...

Small capacity means you must book to secure a table

A La Carte Menu
A La Carte Menu
 I always find it refreshing to meet someone who should have an agenda to push but doesn't.  We asked if we should take a bottle of the Ten Minutes by Tractor Pinot Noir (which is very good) or a similarly priced (amazingly) 1998 Chateau Leroy.  To our surpise, the somellier without hesitation said 'The Leroy, no contest).  In hindsight, a great choice.

Amuse Bouche - Smoked salmon, corn, sage
Confit Rabbit with Iberico Ham, quinoa, quince, truffle emulsion
I love rabbit, and this has deepened that love.  Perfect confit rabbit was moist and tender, while the ham, quince and truffle provided a complexity that lifted the rabbit to another level.  Fragrance was a given, but texture was given an unusual twist with the quinoa. 

Roasted pork loan, confit pork jowl, thyme fondue, golden raising and apple
Is there anything better than pork? Yes, pork 2 ways!  Wonderful confit contrasted with a tender piece of roast, lifted by amazingly thin and crispy crackle, paired with the classic apply/raising combination.  Amazing

Look, it's not cheap at $69 for 2 courses plus wine, but when compared with similar level restaurants in town it is actually good value.  If you have a special occasion and can make the trip to the peninsula, do yourself a favour and make a booking.

Ten Minutes by Tractor on Urbanspoon

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