The Kitchen Door
Daily | 12.00pm - 3.00pm
$27 - $32 (mains)
$18 - $23
Bookings (08) 8557 0840
The Kitchen Door at Penny’s Hill has been an icon on the McLaren Vale restaurant scene for many years and rightly so.
Attached to the Penny’s Hill cellar door the wide open space of the restaurant may lack a little bit of charm or you may say it looks tired – but that quickly becomes secondary as you enjoy the uninterrupted views onto the sheep paddock (and yes, sheep are likely to walk past), with a beautiful backdrop of vines and old post rail fences.
But before you settle down for lunch, take a stroll across the beautiful grounds of the old ‘Ingleburne’ homestead, a historic Georgian two-storey farmhouse, with ironstone stables and out-buildings.
Heading into the cellar door the wines from the Black Chook, Thomas Goss and Penny’s Hill range (long-time favourites of ours, definitely make sure to give their Grenache a try) are available for tasting and you will find artwork throughout as part of the Red Dot Gallery’s curated and constantly changing works by local artists.
There are two options for seating in the restaurant, with the indoors section protected by large floor to ceiling glass windows – but if the weather is good for it, definitely go for the (covered) outdoor verandah option. Beautiful views and just such a relaxed atmosphere.
Food focus is on regional and seasonal produce, celebrated by chef Tom Boden and his team. There are usually 4-5 mains to choose from, plus a range of small plates. Either go a la carte or enjoy a 4 or 6 course tasting menu, obviously available with matching wines.
Stand-out dish for us was the Kingfish sashimi, with lime, ginger and wasabi dressing – simply divine and melting in your mouth. And the duck breast was a perfect match for the Penny’s Hill Grenache.
Friendly and very attentive service, the great food and wine – you would be forgiven for staying on for hours on the verandah, enjoying the afternoon sun and views across the paddock.
The latest addition to Penny’s Hill, open however on weekends only, is a Gin bar and tasting room in one of the old stone outbuildings, featuring Mad Men and Kangaroo Island Spirits gin. Good reason to stay on for just a little longer.
There is change on the horizon though, with Penny's Hill just having announced that Simon Burr (Olfactory Inn, Strathalbyn) will be taking over The Kitchen Door. Future plans will see fresh site-grown produce added to the mix. Long-time local food heroes, Rachel McMillan [Scoop] and Pip Forrester are behind the push to expand plantings on the Penny’s Hill fields to support The Kitchen Door seasonal, paddock-to-plate grazing menu.
Stay tuned for an updated review, once the new team is firmly in place.