For our wedding anniversary a good friend gifted us a voucher for Ferment Asian restaurant in Tanunda (in the Barossa Valley).
Being city slickers (and not being huge fans of the country) meant that the prospect of driving for 2 hours each way for a 2 hour lunch was never going to be high on our ‘to do list’. But with both a long weekend and the gift voucher expiry date looming, we headed out to Tanunda for a long degustation style lunch.
Some drives out to the country are enjoyable just for the scenery. The drive to Tanunda is not one of them. The fastest way to get out there from Adelaide city is via Main North Rd then the Port Wakefield highway. The roads are encased on either side by market gardens and the occasional truck stop. For donut lovers there is an enormous drive thru Krispy Kreme if you start to feel peckish but as we were on our way for a gourmet lunch we kept going. In fairness, once we broke through the drudgery of freeways and got closer to Tanunda we did pass some vineyards which, although not in fruit, did look nice and the entrance to the town to Tanunda is pretty.
Lunch was a long and mixed affair once we arrived at the restaurant. The chef’s tasting menu consists of 6 courses, 3 small and 3 large. When we say small we mean tiny. One of the small courses consisted of one prawn with toppings (although it was delicious). The larger dishes were in good portions. The vegetarian options were a bit hit and miss. Most of the dishes were quite tasty. There was one that I found not to my liking and returned to the kitchen. The staff there showed their professionalism and commitment to customer service by offering me a complimentary dessert. The experience set us back $70pp and about 2 hours.
We intended to look around the town but, apart from the surrounding wineries, there wasn’t a lot on in the actual town itself.
This was a true shame as arguably some of the best wineries in Adelaide are out in Tanunda – Peter Lehmann wines, Chateau Tanunda, Rockford and Grant Burge to name a few. If you head out of Tanunda a little to the next town, Nuriootpa, you will be rewarded with a visit to Penfolds cellar and a stone throw back towards Adelaide is the Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop at any of these places and had to cart our full stomachs back to Adelaide. The weather being lovely as it was kept the sun shining for our drive home and an hour or so later we were back in the city. Overall it was a lovely little outing but I’d highly recommend making a day (or even a weekend of it) in the Barossa to take advantage of the wine tasting. If none of you want to be the designated driver, you can always go on a tour and pay for a designated driver like these guys did!