Mandoon is a mega-million-dollar restaurant, pub, wine tasting and events venue that defies preconceptions about such large-scale tourist enterprises and the mediocrity that usually comes with them.
There’s a fine dining restaurant (Wild Swan); an impressive beer-based pub food venue (homestead brewery; a wine tasting and purchasing facility and, perhaps best of all, a massive outdoor eating and drinking venue under the trees (The Llawn). Just why the Llawn is spelt with two L’s is unknown.
Together these different offers – pitched at different demographic groups – push out thousands of covers on a busy weekend. It’s an impressive operation, run by energetic and enthusiastic owners and their hundreds of staff.
All that and the food is good too. Wild Swan plates up confit Wagin duck breast with cabbage and morcilla and lamb rump with hassleback potatoes – all good classic gastro-pub fare. Then there’s the intriguing “kingfish, buttermilk, cucumber, mountain pepper, shiso,” which is as smart as it reads.
The massive Brewery restaurant is as pubby as it gets, with everything from a laksa to a Mexican salad and from Korean wings to beer-battered fish and chips.
There is quite literally, something for everyone.
Mandoon is a polished performance and as much a day out, destination venue as it is a quick and cheerful breakfast haunt for Swan Valley locals.