Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Caramelised Onion and Spiced Apple Woodfired Pizza – where? what? who? I MUST try that! Yes this is pretty much what ran through my mind as soon as I heard about such an interesting sounding pizza concoction!
The Laughin Barrel is a bit further up the Valley in Baskerville however it’s worth the drive, even if you get a little lost like I did (I blame the GPS for that!). I met with a friend for lunch on a weekday which suited me down to a tee as it was virtually empty and they have fantastic lunch specials ranging from $14 for a meal. That’s darn good in my books!
The setting is very pretty, the restaurant is level with the vineyard, you can literally sit about 2 metres away from the vines. Sitting outside has very much a laid back cafe feel to it, however the inside seating is simply stunning with high-back chairs and plenty of natural light coming in from the full windows across the front of the restaurant. So perhaps you take your date inside to dine and dine outside with the mates!
There is also a playground and plenty of area for the kids to play in, so it ticks that box of being a child friendly Swan Valley spot in case any of you with wee ones were wondering.
The wine list covers all the bases with a sparkling (read my tasting note of The Laughin’ Barrel Sparkling wine here), to a variety of whites, a rose and a variety of reds. What I also thought was a great idea, if you just want a snack and some wine is that they offer white and red tasting plates. Each plate comes with 3 tastings and a variety of olives, olive oil, dukkah, crackers, cheese or turkish bread, The white tasting plate is $6 and the red $8 – bargain in the Swan Valley!
On this particular day I decided to order off the lunch menu and I really couldn’t go past the Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Caramelised Onion and Spiced Apple Woodfired Pizza for $26!! The flavours were delicious, however near the end it did get a bit full on and rich for my liking. I would definitely suggest to share it with someone and have another dish on the side just to break it up a bit. I also wasn’t that impressed with the base. In my books the pizza base is sooo important and I am very picky. This one just seemed too supermarket like for me, I like homemade pizza base imperfections, the wonky shape and bubbles in the dough… mmmm!!
My friend had one of the super reasonably priced lunch specials which was a Kangaroo Pie with fries and salad for $14. On the menu it actually was supposed to come with mushy peas however my friend preferred fries and they happily made the switch at no extra cost. She LOVED it! I am definitely going back to try this!
Next up and possibly my favourite part of the visit was dessert. My friend went for the Lemon & Lime Brulee for $9 and I went for the Chocolate Brownie Served with Ice-cream… OMG it was insanely good, it was so gooey and chocolatey on the inside that I couldn’t even string a sentence together, I was in brownie heaven! And do you know what? It was only $5.50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still can’t believe it, best deal in the Swan Valley!
All up it was a lovely first visit to The Laughin’ Barrel Winery & Restaurant, I am looking forward to visiting again to try more of their wine range and I’ll definitely be having another brownie!