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“Delightful Autumn Afternoon”

Rae's Restaurant - Balgownie Estate
Ranked #6 of 29 Restaurants in Yarra Glen
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$19 - US$46
Cuisines: Australian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Situated at Balgownie Estate in the Yarra Valley and within an hour of Melbourne, Rae's is an ideal venue for any occasion - a romantic getaway, that long awaited girlie weekend or just an excuse to escape. From casual coffee’s, to hearty breakfasts, chic lunches or intimate dinners, Rae's Restaurant will see you eat and drink in style. The views are breathtaking and the facilities invite you to extend your day. Enjoy a massage at our day spa, trek our walking tracks or simply indulge with a glass of bubbles by the fire. The warmer months make it impossible to resist the outdoor dining area overlooking our vines. For a bit of retail therapy, don’t forget to visit our Cellar Door.
Reviewed 21 June 2014

"Review for Rae's Restaurant, Balgownie Estate, Yarra Glen.
My Sister and I took the opportunity to travel from Frankston to Yarra Glen for a Thursday vineyard lunch. Traffic on East Link was heavy but I rang ahead to say we would be late. Not a problem, I was thanked for calling and when we arrived we were welcomed and shown in to a spectacular, modern, very hospitable and spacious dining room looking east, out over rolling hills of vineyards resplendent in Autumn colours with the Yarra and Warburton Ranges in the blue distance.
Being a cool afternoon, the open fire in the entry and enclosed decorative fire in the dining room itself added the concept of warmth while the high clerestory windows allowed the sun to stream in. Simple, understated, white table cloths, shining glasses and cutlery. Who could ask for more? We had booked the set price menu and were disappointed to be told that the set price menu was not available, however we decided that we would choose from the open menu but keep to our budget. My sister was happy with tap water, but I chose a glass of their Black Label Viognier, a lovely classic wine with a crisp nose and soft fruit on the palate. A good choice for a light lunch on a weekday.
We decided to have the Fish of the Day, crispy skinned blue eye with sultanas and green beans. We shared an entree Heritage Tomato Salad as a side which came as a stack of sliced tomatoes of various colours layered with a light creamy cheese from their dairy and fresh basil leaf filling, on a flat round waffle base The fish was a delightful texture and the spiced sultanas with a hint of chilli perfectly complimented by the al dente fresh green beans. However, we each felt that the tomato salad gave the fish something it would have otherwise lacked. We were pleased with our main course.
We couldn't resist the deserts and my Sister chose the baked goats cheese cake desert served with a compote of fresh seasonal fruit, which she said was delightful and I enjoyed the vanilla panna cotta, silky and delicate, served with three crunchy biscuits each the size of a 10 cent piece, matching blobs of some red berry jus, and a scattering of crunchy pine nut toffee brittle. Now, who could complain about that?
We finished our treat with a cappuccino and an Early Grey tea. The dining room was nearly empty by now and although the cappuccino looked great it was tepid, cheerfully replaced a few minutes later with a very hot cappuccino, equally as well presented. I am not a big tea drinker but increasingly I enjoy simple tea, no milk or sugar, after a good meal. It refreshes without making the last drink just about hot milk. We had booked the set price menu as RACV Members and at the till, we were surprised that our meal came to exactly the cost of the set price menu! Now, how about that! We were also given a 10% Off Cellar Door card and my Sister promptly bought me a bottle of the Viognier as a Drivers Present.
Would we go again? In a direct line, Raes Restaurant is 65 kms from my front door, via East Link its a breeze but it is still 130 kms for lunch. As a destination the restaurant was a good choice, being partial as I am to good food, good views, clever architecture and general good design and efficient management. The dining room staff were crisp and well groomed in their black aprons and white shirts, service was a little slow I might have had two glasses of wine if asked but very efficient and friendly, such as the prompt exchange of hot for cool cappuccino. If not for the tyranny of distance, I wouldn't hesitate to go again, so yes I would but perhaps not soon and for lunch, not for dinner, mores the pity. I am sure dinner would be lovely, but a good part of the attraction of going is the scenery and lunch certainly delivers plenty of that! "
Review Note: For our visit, I have rated Very Good and I haven't rated all facilities of Rae's as we did not experience all facilities.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank KrissyWoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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322 - 326 of 476 reviews

Reviewed 21 June 2014

with entertainment card in hand - we have returned for a second visit... not quite as good - the tasting platter had no olives... yep seriously.. no olives...but overall the meal, drinks and service were good and we would return again

Thank Pauline F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

Food was ok, but not great. Paid $70 per person and had to pay extra for sides. No vegetables on our plates, very disappointing. Very small portions for all 3 courses. What little food there was was tasty but we would not recommend this restaurant.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Jennifer Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Balgownie and the accommodation is lovely. Staff are great. Wine is nice. However the food is overpriced and pretentious. Very little on the menu that was appealing to us. $60 for entree & main and a side dish is required when the main dish steak arrives with little else on the plate. Also would expect for those prices that the waitress would pour our wine for us. But no. Gnocchi with burnt butter sauce was absolutely swimming in butter & oil - so much so it was inedible.
Breakfast next morning in the same restaurant runs until 10.30. We arrived just after 9.30 - most hot dishes (i.e donuts, croissants) had run out and was not being replaced. One toaster didn't work so 5 people were lining up with bread to toast! (At $400 a night this is not acceptable)
What a shame that the restaurant let's down such lovely accommodation in such a lovely setting.

Thank Suzemelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014 via mobile

Visited this restaurant for my brothers wedding rehearsal dinner with around 20 family and friends . Very big let down .. It took over 2 hours to receive our first course - and the restaurant was far from full.. They had run out of quite a few things on the menu ,,, the waiters were confused as to what was available and what wasn't.. The steak - asked for medium to well done -- came very rare with blood on the plate, as well as very chewy and tough - when paying $70 for a meal I would expect better quality - steak came with 3 chips - cold and hard - not cooked .. Quite a few peoples meals were forgotten and mixed up .. No compensation was given .. I was offered an extra bread roll when I complained about my steak .. Ridiculous .. The chocolate cake was hard and tasted like dirt... The manager could not of cared less about our complaints at the end of the night .. Would not recommend this to anyone and would never return .. Very disappointing .

2  Thank Kristy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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