Sault, Daylesford

Even though Sault is a renowned restaurant in the Daylesford area, it is technically located in Sailors Falls. Interesting, huh? This is partly why I love road trips, when I get to learn or hear about suburbs I've never known of. 

When we were organising our trip, the plan was to fine-dine just for one meal (which we all know didn't end up happening). I spent a fair amount of time tossing between Lake House, Sault and Mercato, and after a brief look at the menu, I decided on Sault. 

As we entered, we were warmly greeted by a staff member, who showed us to our table and kept our jackets away from the dining area. My friend and I pored over the menu, and unanimously agreed that the tapas and starters looked much more appealing than the mains. We decided to share a variety of starters and skip the mains, which would leave room for dessert!

First of all, I do apologise for the grainy and poorly lit photos. The lighting in the restaurant was quite dim, and I wasn't too optimistic about taking the photos. I did contemplate not taking any altogether, but I had a feeling the food would be too good not to share!

Our first starter was the wagyu beef croquettes dressed with aioli. The crunchy exterior paired with the soft and tender goodness of wagyu on the inside was a win for me. I hope no one saw me desperately trying to mop up all the aioli with each small mouthful of the croquette!

Next, we had some Spanish sardines on sourdough toast, adorned with some herbs and mayo. I've never had anything similar before, but although it was pleasant, I found it a little dull in terms of flavour. 

Third on the list was the citrus and vodka-cured salmon, served with little garnishes consisting of salmon roe, horseradish cream, gherkin, watercress and half a quail egg each. The dish as a whole was refreshing and light on the palate, but I thought it needed a little more zing, especially the salmon slices. 

We are both fans of seafood, so there was no doubt that the grilled octopus was going to be on the list. My interest in the dish spiked even more when it arrived at our table. Thick, succulent pieces of octopus were served alongside towers of confit potato and black garlic aioli. The pungent flavour of the aioli and the creaminess of the potatoes contrasted yet complemented the octopus so well. It was a dish I could not fault.

Last on our list was the grilled scallops alongside chicken wings and artichoke crisps. Needless to say, the scallops were fresh and cooked just nice. On the other hand, the chicken wings added a whole new level. It provided a little bit of crunch and made the dish just that bit more spontaneous. The artichoke crisps were fabulous. They were lightly salted and really crunchy. Did I mention they were fabulous?

At this point, our Charcuterie plate had yet to come, but we were so, so full. We thought we'd try our luck and see if we could cancel it, and a helpful waitress came bearing good news from the kitchen. She said the chef had jokingly said that he would only cancel if we ordered dessert, but in fact, that was the exact reason we were cancelling it for!

I knew I was taking a risk when I ordered the chocolate fondant, because chocolate desserts are normally too heavy and overwhelming for me. I am so glad I took that risk. The chocolate fondant was warm with just the right amount of richness and had a soft, oozy centre. And the banana ice cream? It was creamy and heavenly.

My friend's dessert was the pear and almond tart, which was also one of the ones I was deciding between!

I'll have to say that this is one of my favourite dining experiences so far. The food was imaginative and delectable, and the service warm and inviting. Should I be headed this way again, I will definitely be stopping by Sault for another amazing meal.

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