Last weekend we went to Healesville in the Yarra Valley with a group of friends. We had rented a house and attended the picnic races on Saturday which was great fun. For dinner my friend SJ had organised a table at the Innocent Bystander for us, great thinking SJ!
|San Daniele prosciutto, San Marzano tomato, cravero parmesan + rocket|
At the Innocent Bystander you have a choice of going down the tapas path or pizza. Two in our group got one of the 'A bit bigger' tapas dishes each.
The rest of us got pizza, which were all amazing! The stand-out was probably SJ's pizza; she got the pizza with prosciutto, tomato, parmesan and rocket. Just a few great quality ingredients were enough to make it a delicious pizza.
|Cotechino sausage, San Marzano tomato, olive, sage, smoked scamorza cheese + pickled eggplant|
The cotechino sausage pizza was also delicious, I love scamorza and sage so a winning combination for me. It was the first time I've tried pickled eggplant, not sure I'm a fan but it works well.
|Roast mushroom, fontina, black truffle oil, garlic + parsley|
I'd recommend you don't have this one if you're on a first date, it's laden with garlic (which I loved). Great taste of mushrooms and truffle, definitely a winner for me!
|Spicy pork sausage, buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomato + chilli|
I gave this one a miss as I'm not very good with spicy food. My friends however like it hot and enjoyed it, it was spicy alright!
My friend The Hoot said it was a delicious dish. The vegetables, the fish was sitting on, were full of flavour and pulled this otherwise simple dish together.
|Pan-fried market fish (snapper) w. spiced pumpkin, sweet potato, tomato + coriander|
|Roast lamb rump w. baby carrots, onions, raisins + pine nuts|
According to my friend the lamb was cooked to perfection and super tasty!
For dessert we had a few different dishes on the table and also a cheese platter with three different cheeses and a delicious apple jelly.
|Cheese platter with three cheeses and apple jelly|
I had spotted the Goat's Curd Cheesecake on the menu and really wanted to try it, I love when cheesecakes are made with 'specialty ingredients'. The texture was super soft and creamy and very delicious!
|goats curd cheese cake w. strawberry + pistachio |
Shame on me, I have never tried a Bread and Butter Pudding before, but I loved what they were serving at the Innocent Bystander. It has definitely made my "I have to make this at home"-list.
|bread + butter pudding with housemade french pastry + marsala soaked sultanas|
SJ who had trouble choosing from the wide variety of things on offer ended up choosing a small chocolate tart from the bakery section which is on display.
It was very chocolatey and rich but also very good!
I think it was when we were looking at the things on display at the bakery section that we decided we had to come back for breakfast.
The next day we popped in to grab a coffee, plan our day in the Yarra Valley and to maybe get some of those delicious pastries on offer.
|Fresh bread to take home|
The chocolate croissant was amazing, flaky and buttery with a strip of rich, dark chocolate in the middle. Seriously good!
There are a number of different muffins available at the Innocent Bystander, this one was the raspberry and white chocolate one. I especially loved the slight sugar crust on top!
|white chocolate + raspberry muffin|
Please don't judge, cake for breakfast is ok, right? This tarte tatin was made with pear and pears are healthy so basically it's just fruit for breakfast. And maybe a little pastry. It was great!
|tarte tatin served with cream|
The inside of the Innocent Bystander is a big hall with and open kitchen. On one side of the hall is a glass wall so you can see the wine production (in autumn).
|The dining hall at the Innocent Bystander|
|The open kitchen including pizza oven where they also bake all their bread|
|This is where the magic happens to the wine, not much happening right now though|
|The outdoor area|
All in all I really enjoyed our various meals at the Innocent Bystander. I have been here a few times and always enjoyed the pizzas and wine. Last weekend also made us realise how close the Yarra Valley is to Melbourne and that we should drive out there more often on a weekend.
Innocent Bystander Winery
336 Maroondah Hwy
Healesville VIC 3777