Winding your way through this picturesque estate is one of the most bucolic, meandering ways to arrive at a Margaret River winery. Sheep graze between the vines and plain trees follow the winding road to Xanadu. It’s a mise en scene more European than Australian, but the timber and stone tasting and dining complex is as Aussie as the man from Snowy River, just like the modern, approachable food.

Chef Melissa Kokoti’s menu sings a seasonal tune with comfort food bass notes going down well with the punters in this kid-friendly, welcoming restaurant. Braised beef short-rib with guttural XO sauce packs a meaty punch. Kangaroo is spiced accented with native flavours, from wattleseed to macadamia nuts to warrigal greens. 

Kokoti also surprises, casting her net further afield. Think rendang lamb puffs soured with rhubarb and tamarind and given crunch and freshness with pickled green mango. Prawns gently poached in butter get an umami hit from furikake and crisp nori in a nod to Japan. 

While many are drawn to Xanadu for its more than 40 years of pedigreed winemaking, Kokoti’s willingness to cross many borders  makes it worth a stop on your next escape down south.

And in a region where winery restaurants are fine dining and posh, Xanadu remains a happy, hearty family-oriented venue.