Monday, May 14, 2012

The Barn Bistro @ McLaren Vale

This post has been a long time coming, perhaps because I wanted to do a really good job of it and it was going to be a longer post than usual that I had kept putting it aside in the past couple of busy weeks. Today, being rather immobile and sitting at home I decided to tackle this. It was a birthday celebration that brought us to this wonderful place The Barn Bistro situated on Main Road in McLaren Vale. The Barn Bistro had a casual feel to it with rustic country charm but the food is no where near old-fashioned. Entering this 1816 building, we were greeted by bright colours and lounges in the sitting room where you could mingle with a few drinks. On this night the fireplace wasn't in use but I can just imagine it being all warm and cosy.

You could sit inside or "outside" under the verandah which was rather magical with vines and fairy lights all around. We had a bigger party so we sat outside. I was really looking forward to the meal as I've heard good things.

The Barn Bistro has a Tapas and Main Menu so you could just go there for afternoon nibbles if you fancy or the full three course. We decided to try a bit from each menu as there were many of us. This was taken prior to me getting my new camera so the picture doesn't do it great justice. 

OMG Thai Beef Clusters - Tender marinated beef on a roasted cashew and crispy shallot salad. I really enjoyed this dish, the balance of flavours was perfect for me and the beef had a good tasty chew to it. The shallots and Chinese cabbage gave it a nice fresh crunch.

The Barn's Famous Chicken Liver Pate - This was indeed a nice pate. Very nice. Served with crispy toasted bread, it's a decent serving of pate we actually ran out of bread! 

Thai beef cluster $14, Chicken liver pate $12

This dinner was by no means calorie friendly but we did go for lean meat to start? Surely that counts for something. 

BBQ Moroccan Mutton Back Strap - rested on a roasted vegetable filo tartlet accompanied with a minted salsa verde, The mutton was cooked to perfection, tender, juicy and pink in the middle and you could taste the quality of the meat. The vegetable filo tartlet was divine and would probably make any child want to eat vegetables. My only niggle with the dish was that the moroccan spices didn't really show through.    

BBQ Moroccan Mutton Back Strap $29

400gm Grain Fed Fed Rib Eye on the bone with grilled potato cake and topped with BBQ’d Queensland banana prawns. The price was a little steep at $45 but a decent steak. Though slightly overcooked for our liking, the meat was still tender.

Grain Fed Rib Eye $45

We had Deep Fried Duck Fat Chat Potatoes as a side and it was very crispy and deliciously well seasoned. Why does tasty food always have to be unhealthy. 

Deep Fried Duck Fat Chats $8

It was a long night so we had a bit of a break in between for a couple of drinks before deciding on dessert. Thank goodness for that because we were getting quite full but the dessert menu was very tantalizing with the likes of Chocolate mousse, cheesecake and lemon tart. I had a Cham Wow cocktail in the meantime with Chambord and mint. It was rather refreshing.

Cham Wow cocktail

The time had come to order dessert and being full but curious, we decided to share one dessert. Eton Mess - fresh strawberries folded through crushed meringue nests, strawberry coulis and chantilly cream. Not what I would normally order because I'm not a huge fan of cream nor meringue but I thought I'd stray from my norm and give it a go. I actually rather enjoyed it, the cream balanced the sweetness and the strawberry coulis had a nice tang to it.

All in all we had a really good night with great food and great company. I would definitely come back here again in the future for the Thai Beef Clusters and more.

As the night falls, the fairy lights work their magic

Spot me in red?
252 Main Road
McLaren Vale SA
08 8323 8618

The Barn Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks heaps for the kind words
    Glad you enjoyed the venue
    We are a small family run operation so we appreciate any feedback we get , especially with this much detail. Thanks again

    Ben Vandeleur
    The Barn Bistro

    1. The pleasure is mine. Look forward to coming back. It was thoroughly enjoyable.


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