Cullen has remained one of Margaret River’s top wineries for both its award-winning wines, its internationally renowned annual chardonnay tasting and a kitchen in tune with its environment. Head winemaker Vanya Cullen and her family have fastidiously created a stunning portfolio of biodynamic-certified wines over the past 50 years.
To complement the increasing portfolio of wines, chef Iain Robertson carefully designs dishes from the fruit and veg picked on the day from Cullen’s biodynamic kitchen garden. So much so, the venue won last year’s Banksia Food for Sustainable Thought Award for its sustainable food practices.
Robertson’s skill, precision and love of cooking shine in every dish. Earthy Jerusalem artichoke is paired with faro, green raisins and crème fraiche but it’s the dehydrated artichoke crisps that take it to heady heights. Plump Shark Bay scallops sit perkily on a bed of sticky pork, celery and apple salad. Kohlrabi gives the dish extra crunch and flavour.
Wagin duck is done two ways, breast – a blushing pink – and confit Maryland. Flavours of cinnamon and calamondin (citrus) are good companions to duck meat, while an almond cream and pickled mustard deliver the final punch.
Wagyu beef is one to choose if you don’t like meat too rare. Its intense marbling means it is cooked medium. Robertson’s version is stylish and restrained and garnished with wild onions, dehydrated kale, nettle and black garlic.
Desserts are thoughtful and complex, delicate and inspiring and staff are professional and well informed. Put Cullen on your culinary map when down south. It is one of the Good Food Guide’s perennial favourites and one of the most serene and established dining experiences in the region.