2018 Golden Plate Awards Judge’s report
The Golden Plate Awards are the most objective and reliable consumer guide to eateries in Regional Victoria. The Awards Program has also been acknowledging by Tourism Victoria as a Tool of Excellence in Industry improvement.
We are so happy to announce that we are participating this year. Here are some great comments from the judges when they finished the second round at Tuki.
Comments from Golden Plate Awards Judges
Value For Money
This venue represents excellent value for fresh, flavoursome quality ingredients all locally produced. I’ve paid comparable prices in hotels restaurants for meals that quite obviously are prepared using frozen ingredients.
The long unmade road across farmland sets the mood for arrival at the timber and stone construction that houses the restaurant, sitting comfortably below the crest of the hill. The interior is dark after the outside glare, and kind of confident, mid-20th Century country club. An open fireplace reassures intending diners. The greeting upon arrival is spontaneous and welcoming, quietly professional and confident. Options are explained: guests are invited to take a fishing rod and net, but there is no pressure to do so.
I am drawn through to glazed verandas with spectacular 180degree views across the countryside below and as far as the distant Pyrenees. The many trout ponds in the grounds are animated by enthusiastic visitors, intent on catching their very own trout for preparation in the restaurant kitchen. A visit to this venue leaves one feeling well fed and cared for, reassured by a sense of having been immersed in the Australian landscape.
Brilliant, committed service at all times. I was delighted to witness de-boning of fish, something I haven’t experienced since living in Europe. The proprietors take very much a hands-on approach to customer service. Their passionate commitment to best practice in growing produce and livestock is evident. Everything seems to happen effortlessly and with dedication and the food is of the freshest and most satisfying. Attention to detail and a cordial, relaxed welcome are consistent characteristics at this well-managed venue.
Food quality & presentation
All food and ingredients are startlingly fresh, produced on the property with passionate commitment. Dishes are presented attractively and without unnecessary sophistication of more refined menus. Food offered at Tuki is in line with my understanding of what is best in traditional Aussie food, yet in no way at all like it was back in the benighted 1960’s…! Creativity in the kitchen includes truly excellent lamb sausage that is served on the tasting platter of hors d’oeuvre s. The platters also include a startlingly tasty terrine of trout, fresh from the local ponds. My beef rib eye on the bone experience was mouthwateringly excellent: succulent and pink inside, yet after cooking had been placed just long enough in the coals of the wood fire to achieve the most extraordinary flavour infusion. Desserts are a must here. Unapologetic indulgence!
Wines, beers, ciders and spirits
An excellent and straight forward wine list, with most of the perfectly adequate selection available by the glass. Bottles are reasonably priced, with good local wines available in the $35 to $65 range. The extensive beer selection is moderately priced, as are the ciders, local juices and soft drinks.