Renay and I have decided to explore more places in the Swan Valley this year, particularly since we’re so close by in Ellenbrook. The first place on our list was Madhatters on Milston (formerly Milston Gardens) on West Swan Road in Henley Brook, only 15 minutes from home. We tried to get in for lunch once before and couldn’t get a table, and from the number of bookings we heard coming in over the phone while we were there, it is clear that it is a very popular place.
According to the website, Madhatters is open on Tuesday to Friday from 10:30am to 3:00pm for morning tea & lunch, Saturday & Sunday from 9am to 4:00pm for breakfast, lunch & high tea and Friday & Saturday from 6:30pm for dinner (subject to bookings).
The settting is quite beautiful, and there’s plenty of seating outside if the weather suits. On this glorious first Saturday of 2014, all of the outside seating was taken very quickly.
The seating inside is very comfortable, and there was plenty of space between tables. I imagine that it would be very cosy in here during winter.
There is a surprisingly comprehensive wine and beer list available, although we both went for lemon, lime & bitters. It was a nice change to have this made fresh, way too many restaurants think it’s okay to pour the finished drink out of a bottle. You can see the full drinks list here.
You can also see the lunch and dinner menu here. There’s a wide and interesting selection, and it’s nice to see some imagination – for example, the sirloin steak comes with a warm potato salad and roasted corn of the cob ($32.90), rather than just boring old chips and salad. The menu includes entrees & share plates, main meals (mostly around the $28 mark), salads & sandwiches (around $18), a kids menu (all meals $9.95 with a lollipop!) and desserts.
For entree we couldn’t go past the “Madhatters Smash Plate”, with a whole oven baked wheel of brie, cheddar, homemade mustard, caramelised crispy shallots, Madhatter’s house smoked sea salt, crispy pancetta and hot, fresh bread rolls (an extremely reasonable $23). This was a delicious entree, with every mouthful being what you chose to make it. The firm cheddar would have been at home on a much more expensive cheese plate, and the mustard was beautifully sweet and strong. This platter is intended for two, although I’m not sure why they serve it with five bread rolls.
Mmm, gooey brie and crispy pancetta…
For main course I chose the “Asian inspired 5 spice caramelised pork belly squares accompanied by an Asian slaw dressed in a sesame oil, lime and rice wine dressing on a bed of crispy rice noodles with a chilli and garlic praline and a sticky soy glaze” ($28). The three generous pieces of pork were beautifully crisp and soft all the way through, if perhaps a little dry. The slaw & noodles could have used some more dressing, which would have helped with the pork, too. Still very tasty though.
Renay chose “quiche of the day”, served with chips and salad ($16). Today’s quiche was mushroom, spring onion and cheese which she found most enjoyable.
There are some interesting desserts on offer (and a Ben & Jerry’s fridge…) – I somehow managed to resist the trifecta of berries, meringue and cream ($12) – but if that doesn’t take your fancy then you can always wander next door to Oggie’s Ice Cream Cafe.
All of the ice cream at Oggie’s is made on the premises, like this “cookie” flavour – and this is a single serve!
But I digress. We really enjoyed our meal at Madhatters on Milston, and found the food to be very reasonably priced, and the service friendly and efficient. There’s enough variety on the menu to keep everyone happy (including the kids), and of course there’s always breakfast and high tea to try. I can see why Madhatters is so popular, and would recommend making a booking if you intend to give it a try. We will definitely be going back.