For years, Voyager Estate was the restaurant of choice for older folk who loved ooh-ing and aah-ing over the spectacular rose gardens. Even the dining room looked like the common room at a posh retirement village. It was good and a little formal, but not cutting edge. Its turnaround has been remarkable. The new CEO and chef Santiago Fernandez have together created something extraordinary.
Fernandez’ plating and style are driven by razor-sharp, classic technique and Michelin-worthy aesthetics. Its service and, yes, even its plush dining room speak to a style of dining one sees often in Europe, but increasingly rarely here. It is degustation only and for once we don’t mind. The seven-course lunch at $110 is incredible value.
Voyager Estate is properly Australian and a restaurant with a commitment to the modern mores of buying local and direct from farmers and producers. For entrée, imagine a tiny hibachi barbecue fully fired up with glowing coals and brought to the table embedded in a forest of native herbs and aromatic leaves, atop which sit two tiny slices of kangaroo loin, slowly grilling.
The meat had been softly sous-vide for three hours to energise the cure and then glazed with a beef stock reduction, enhanced with soy, ginger and ground coriander. We could go on, but you get the idea. Duck liver with wattle seed was similarly beautiful to look at and a rekindling of our love affair with the gentlest, smoothest and glossiest duck-liver parfait we’ve encountered. Cured venison tartare chopped with just-steamed oyster and oyster cream was again, restrained but memorable. Beef rib with treacle and celeriac is the best dish in WA.
Desserts are killer. No afterthoughts here. A dish called apple ginger mascarpone marigold honey was beautifully plated on a turquoise bowl. A stunning pud.
Voyager’s service is next level. Want a small stool for your handbag to keep it off the floor? It is offered before you ask. Like the feeling of thick linen on your lips? Look no further. Perhaps you enjoy exquisite unique crockery, plump cushions and informed wine service? You won’t be disappointed. Voyager Estate is a destination restaurant worth traveling across continents for.