Lot 100 has come of age and is filling into its ample shoes, providing the near perfect location to enjoy some of the best produce the hills has to offer.
When I first visited Lot 100 however, it was the day after it had opened and I have to say – it left me a little puzzled and unconvinced. It seemed like it just wasn’t sure what it wanted to be. To be fair though, the menu was not fully finished, the taps weren’t installed, the exterior was a bit sparse and it just felt like a big, cold shed.
I didn’t write it off, but I also wasn’t planning on rushing immediately back.
However, attending a second time on a warm late summers day, crowd steadily building and buzzing, sitting in the shade of the trees on the lawn areas (on provided rugs), sipping my way through a couple of tasting paddles of Mismatch Brewing beers, munching on some brilliant wood oven pizzas, with some excellent Triple J-esque music playing in the background – suddenly this all made sense. I could now see some of the vision they were going for, and it is working very nicely indeed.
The first impression was banished entirely. I was converted.
Yes, there are some points I would like to make, in that if you are expecting a ‘cellar door’ experience, this isn’t really the place to go. You cannot readily see any of the equipment, there isn’t a brewer or winemaker in site to talk through the products, and it seats a great number of people so Lot 100 is truly cranking out the drinks and food. Make no mistake, this is a large and busy establishment. The food menu isn’t extensive which MAY bother some people – and at the time of writing, physically finding the place isn’t as easy as it might be due to an almost complete absence of signage (and we live about 3km’s from there!).
But amongst all this, once you do find the correct road to go down, you can find your own little plot of land. Our kids were off happily playing (and making friends, as they do) amongst the ‘dried creek bed’ of pebbles etc. The paddles were quite generous in serve, and very reasonable in price ($10). The pizzas were truly top shelf and the other things on the menu – while still minimal in number – were all particularly appetising. This is not at all surprising when you learn that they have Tom Bubner (Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, Chicken & Pig) and Shannon Fleming (Orana) steering the kitchen and embracing a paddock to plate ethos. The views from the various vantage points are really nice (or will be when everything isn’t painted from a palate consisting entirely of browns – thanks Adelaide summer!) and the general ambiance just makes you want to while away the hours on a sunny afternoon. And at this point I haven’t even touched on the range of wines from Vinterloper, nor the ciders (Hills Cider Company), spirits from Adelaide Hills Distillery and juices from Ashton Valley Fresh.
The team behind Lot 100 acknowledge themselves that their plans are evolving and in a constant state of flux, as they work out their place in the Adelaide Hills community and how to best utilise this amazing resource they have at their disposal. There is the promise of festivals, live music, guest chefs and star bartenders to highlight the amazing produce they have at their disposal. This, you feel, is just the start.
I don’t think it unfair to put it this way – its like they have been given this brand new amazing machine. It
does lots and lots of things, but the instructions were a bit vague. A such, they are somewhat writing them as they go.
Fear not though – what they have come up with so far works brilliantly, and it is genuinely exciting to see what the future of Lot 100 holds. For now, I will just find myself some grass in the shade, order some more great food, sip on some beverages of choice and wait for it all to unfold.
Lot 100 is located at 68 Chambers Rd, Hay Valley (just outside of Nairne).
It is open Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
More information from https://www.lot100.com.au/