1507 Melton Hwy, Plumpton. Phone: 9747 1433
Galli Winery was noted down and placed high on the hit list during the course of a pleasant/pheasant visit to its next door neighbour, Gamekeepers Secret Country Inn.
Never ever, though, did I expect to visiting the winery so soon, let alone with the fabulous company of my oldest and dearest friend, Penny, who is in town for a week from Wellington.
We are so busy doing the catch-up thing that we fly along the Calder Highway and many kilometres past the turn-off to the Melton Highway before we realise we are effectively lost.
My stubborn opposition to ever retracing my steps comes into full play as we negotiate a series of country roads, some of them bumpy, some of them gravel and one of them a dead end, taking in an incredible view of the distant Melbourne CBD along the way..
Nevertheless we have a hoot of a time before eventually getting there, thanks to a reliable sense of direction and lot of finger jabbing at the Melway.
A 1.30pm lunch it is!
The winery dining room is fabulous. Though nothing much more than a glorified barn, it presents as a very pleasing, tranquil and sophisticated space.
Galli Winery has a variety of menus that can be checked out here.
Garlic and chilli fried olives with fetta and bread ($13.50) – frankly this is pretty ordinary, although after our adventures we’re hungry to go.
The olives are warm and good, though too oily and too garlicky; we can see the chillis, but they don’t seem to be embraced by the dish as a whole.
Penny uses the term “supermarket” to describe the fetta cheese – and she’s right.
The herbed cubes are edible and dull.
The best thing about the platter is the crunchy and moreish pitta bread, on which we are still nibbling when we are presented with our main fare.
Penny describes her caesar salad with “cajun spiced chicken” ($13.90) in terms barely approaching lukewarm. She’s certainly had better – she finds it all a bit tired.
The main protagonist of my meatloaf special ($13.90) is fine – tasty, tender, well-seasoned, all with a dark, rich onion gravy.
They’re badly let down by the supporting cast, though.
The potato wedges are sad and the “sour cream dipping sauce” sitting atop them seems nothing more than plain old sour cream. Dreadful is a word that comes to mind.
The breadcrumb-topped tomato is like something from a childhood nightmare and the sprig of broccoli is so close to raw it’s not worth quibbling over.
Our cafe lattes are just a touch north of good.
Galli Winery is a fabulous venue we’ll surely visit again, so pleasurable is it to pursue a western suburbs version of “get out of town” with such ease.
The largely indifferent nature of our food did absolutely nothing to spoil our afternoon, but I wonder if we may have fared better by taking “a horses for courses” approach and ordering a $30+ steak each.
However, reading between the lines of the various menus it seems likely even those would have come with the same vegetables and wedges, so that’s a worry right there.
No arguments, though, with the linen napkins, ice water and $53 price tag.
This warmly recommended destination comes with an “order with care” proviso from us.