This could quite possibly be my new favourite place in Bendigo. To be honest, they had me at "open fireplace/dessert platter" and everything else has just been icing on the cake so to speak. I'm not a huge steak eater, that's Luke's department. In fact, I think the last time I ordered steak from a menu was The Ball & Chain in Hobart (definitely worth a visit) about 7 years ago, so I don't take the decision to choose steak above everything else lightly. The Woodhouse however won me over, and I'm going to have a hard time not ordering steak next time I visit. Char-grilled. Mouth watering. They obviously take their steak seriously and it shows. Have it with a side of vegetables and Paris Mash. Loving their wood fired pizzas too. Mental note: figure out how to get Luke to build a wood fired pizza oven in the backyard. I've sampled the slow cooked lamb and the wagyu meatball pizzas, the meatball is winning so far.
We chose the dessert tasting platter so we'd know which full versions to choose next time, and we made the mistake of sharing. You can be together for ten years & have mostly mastered the art of compromise in a relationship, but all bets are off when a dessert platter hits the table with two spoons. Don't be too distracted by the gorgeous miniature presentation, or you might be involved in a chocolate shard hijacking. I can't say who the guilty party was, but I will say we're going with individual desserts next time. Which one for me? I honestly don't know yet, that will take some serious thought as any dessert choice should. Below is what we have tried so far. Click here for a link to their full dinner menu.
Wood fired asparagus with roma tomato, lemon ricotta, basil, toasted pinenuts and Buloke Park olive oil
Slow cooked wood fired lamb, caramelized onion, Mozzarella, labna and herbs
Cohuna Wagyu meat balls, redgum smoked wagyu, caramelized onion Bocconcini, wild oregano and tomato chili relish (pizza)
Grain fed for 400 days: Wagyu Rump, 300 grams, Marble score #7 Sher Wagyu, Ballan, Victoriaw/ Bernaise sauce & Roasted heirloom carrots, Root vegetables, Shallots, Thyme and Paris Mash
The Woodhouse Wagyu Burger: 200 gram F1 wagyu mince woodgrilled with bacon and melted gruyere set in a crusty bun with butter lettuce,tomatoes, sweet beetroot, zucchini pickles, tomato chilli relish and hand cut chips
Dessert Tasting Plate
Hot Fudge Sundae "The Woodhouse Style" : Rich Belgium chocolate & pecan Brownie topped with house churned vanilla bean ice cream, hot fudge sauce and house made crunchy honeycomb.
Danielle's baked lemon & ricotta cheesecake w/ almond ice cream and Belgium wafer sugared nuts
Vanilla Vanilla Vanilla: Crème brulee, Bavarian timbale, ice cream sandwich.
Bittersweet Chocolate Cake: Caramel popcorn, caramel ice cream and caramel sauce.
Side note: Luke is big on good service, and there's a careful balance between being too attentive and not attentive enough. He would like to add to this post that The Woodhouse rated "very good to awesome" in this department. Also on our second visit we sat in their side room (with another fireplace: score!) which I think is available for functions etc. Small note though...it was a bit louder out there than in the main restaurant area (wooden floors possibly) so if you're after a quiet dinner for two, I would suggest keeping that in mind when booking. It could just be that we were out there with a large group on the next table. I think that area can also open up to the outdoors which would be great for private functions & good weather. Lastly, book in advance because it appears everyone is loving The Woodhouse as much as we are so at the moment chances of walking in without booking are probably minimal during peak times!
You can find The Woodhouse at 101 Williamson Street, Bendigo. Browse their website including other menus here.