Category Archives: cafe

Darriwill Farm

After spending most of my morning at the gym I decided to head down to Darriwill Farm for a bite to eat. It had been a while since I’d been to Darriwill Farm for a meal, but I occasionally head in to check out the grocery that’s attached.  They have some delicious looking biscuits and chocolates, as well as fresh La Madre bread and have recently started stocking Irrewarra Natural Icecream. They also stock a range of other gourmet food and ingredients, as well as a range of kitchen utensils and gadgets. If you’re ever stuck for a gift for someone who loves to cook (or eat) it’s a good store to check out.

The cafe has a big selection of drinks on offer. I’m keen to try out the home made lemonade next time I stop by.

Non-alcoholic options available

Alcoholic options on offer

I decided on a pear Flying Brick cider that’s brewed locally on the Bellarine. I personally prefer my cider a little sweeter than this one.

I was a little unsure of how the service would be, as when we ordered drinks we had to wait longer than usual for them to arrive. In the end I was very happy with the friendly service and staff that didn’t mind having a quick chat.

The menu is quite extensive and has marked vegetarian and gluten free options. The breakfast menu is available all day and the lunch menu is available from 11.30am. In addition to the menu there is a board on the wall displaying the day’s specials. Today there was a Thai pumpkin soup with coriander yoghurt ($10.90) and a tart with chorizo, artichoke, roast tomato, pumpkin, baby spinach and red onion ($16.90). Other specials included a tasting plate, a pasta dish and terrine. We saw a number of tasting plates leaving the kitchen during our visit.

Breakfast menu

Lunch menu

We ordered from the lunch menu and I decided on a Tuscan salad, with others choosing the tasting plate and open chicken burger.

Tuscan salad with vegetables, croutons and Meredith goat's cheese

Tasting plate

The tasting plate today came with Asian coleslaw, quesadillas, risotto cake, beetroot dip and sourdough bread. I’m not sure how often the tasting plate changes; it may be different on your visit.

Open chicken burger with Asian coleslaw and potato salad

The Tuscan salad had a balanced dressing that didn’t overpower the ingredients. I found the salad very tasty and would definitely recommend it. The tasting plate had a good selection of items that were all seasoned well. Definitely an item for those who are having trouble selecting just one item from the menu. The chicken burger was impressive with salad stacked on top of the bread and grilled chicken. Definitely no complaints about this one.

We were hoping to have enough room for cake after lunch, but it turns out we were so full from lunch that we decided to give it a miss. However, I liked the look of the caramel slice so much that I took a piece home with me for later. For macaron lovers, head into the grocery on your way out to have a look at the macarons.

Details:

Darriwill Farm

Shop 10-11, 65-71 Barrabool Rd, Highton

Open: Monday-Sundaybreakfast and lunch.

Darriwill Farm on Urbanspoon

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Beside the Point

Although there are a number of cafes to eat at in Geelong, many of them are not open on Sundays. After searching high and low, we stumbled across Beside the Point and decided to give it a go. There were actually quite a few places along the waterfront open and serving food, so if you’re ever stuck for somewhere to eat on a Sunday then head down in that direction, as there are a few things on offer.

The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, with a simple menu on offer. I have no problems with simple food, as long as it’s done well. In saying that, I think the menu could be expanded a little, to set it apart from so many other cafes that serve the same or similar options. There were some vegetarian and gluten free options available. Check out the lunch menu below.

The smoked salmon sandwich and roasted vegetable toasted panini were both tasty, with just the right amount of seasoning. I’m keen to try the caesar salad with smoked salmon next time, which is something I haven’t come across before.

Roasted vegetable panini

Staff were friendly and apologised for the short wait between ordering and receiving our meals. The mural on the wall and Singapore orchids in vases added a nice touch to the small space.

I can see this cafe becoming popular once word of mouth gets around.

Details:

Beside the Point

5 Cunningham St, Geelong
(This street is opposite Cunningham Pier and is one way only)

Open: Monday-Sunday breakfast and lunch

Beside the Point on Urbanspoon

Winter’s Cafe

As some of you are aware, my last lunch on Pakington St didn’t have a happy ending. Last week I found myself on Pako St again doing some more shopping and facing yet another lunchtime. The lone worker at Burger Inc told us there’d be a 30 minute wait, so we trudged on. We ended up heading into a very busy Winter’s Cafe to have a look at the menu. Oops, no spare tables and we had no reservation… but not to worry, apparently there is room upstairs. We were the first table up there and had the huge room to ourselves. Some people might feel a bit weird about that, but there was lots of light coming in, colourful paintings hanging on the wall, tables set with fresh flowers, cutlery and menus. Plus there was noise coming from downstairs, so it didn’t seem like we were all alone. A few more tables joined us upstairs after about 10 minutes or so.

There were quite a number of breakfast dishes on the menu, which I assume are available all day. There’s also a salad section and lunch section and a variety of drinks on offer. The flavoured iced tea was refreshing and not packed with sugar, as can sometimes be the case.

We ordered the wagyu burger with beer battered chips and aioli and the Szechuan calamari salad.

Wagyu burger

Szechuan calamari salad

The food was presented really well and I loved how the burger came out. The burger got the thumbs up and the chips were amazing. The calamari salad had a black bean dressing and strong Asian flavours. The calamari tasted good and was tender, but I wasn’t picking up Szechuan flavours.

Winter’s Cafe was definitely the most popular lunch spot on the river end of Pakington St that day. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a relaxed place to have lunch. I’m sure the tables at the front of the cafe are highly sought after, so if you are after one of those then definitely make a booking. But if you head into Winter’s at the last minute and you do get placed upstairs – don’t panic. Our waitress was attentive and we certainly didn’t get shoved upstairs and forgotten about. I might check out the breakfast menu in a little more detail next time.

Details:

Winter’s Cafe

330 Pakington St, Newtown

Open: Monday-Sunday breakfast and lunch

Winter's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sticks and Grace

I had a couple of things to do on Pakington St today, so decided to have lunch while I was there. I wish I’d chosen somewhere else to eat.

I wasn’t too impressed with the waitress, who was talking to us while coming in from outside, asking us if we wanted menus, then half yelling the same question from near the counter when we hadn’t understood her.

We were told by the same waitress that the menu was new, and everything was available, except the risotto. There were lots of breakfast dishes on the menu, such as pancakes and eggs. There were also some more lunch type dishes like soup, pizza, calamari and flatbread with lamb.  I went with the calamari with asian salad and the person I was dining with ordered the flatbread with lamb.

There weren’t any complaints about the lamb dish, however, the calamari dish is a completely different story. The actual calamari itself was quite tender and tasty, and the aioli that it came with was acceptable, except for the fact that it was starting to form a skin on top. I’d say it had been sitting around too long. The ‘asian salad’ was inedible. I don’t think I’ve ever said that about food from a restaurant before. I had two mouthfuls and couldn’t eat anymore. The carrot was floppy, the purple cabbage was limp, the cucumber had began to rot (you know when it’s been in the fridge too long and goes translucent?) and the salad had that “off” taste about it.

I told the waitress about the salad when we went up to pay. I said I couldn’t eat the salad and was told that “the menu is new”. I wasn’t sure what the menu being new had to do with the rotting food that was on my plate, so I asked her when the salad had been made. I was told it’s all fresh and fine and just been made. I told her to tell the chef to eat some of the salad that I had been served and she said she would pass my message on. I think if someone is making a complaint about the food that is being served at the cafe you work at, you need to show you care, and try not to be too defensive. It’s not easy making a complaint, and most people don’t like doing it – myself included. Keep serving food like that and you probably won’t be around much longer. The complaints are there to help you and the cafe you work at.

I rarely complain about my meal, but this was pretty bad. We weren’t offered any discount on the meal, apologised to or assured that our next experience would be a lot better. I won’t be going back.

In other news… I went to Haruka Japanese Restaurant again last week. The food was fresh and fantastic again and I highly recommend it. You can find my last review on Haruka here.

Details:

Sticks and Grace

4/337 Pakington St, Newtown

Open: Monday-Sunday 8.00am to 4.00pm

Sticks and Grace on Urbanspoon

Rolling Pin Pies and Cakes

My partner and I headed out to Ocean Grove last weekend, as I had a store I needed to visit in the area. We ended up at a few garage sales on the way, and at one point ended up at Coles, as I needed to pick a couple of things up. We found Rolling Pin while we were walking back to the car. I had already been trying to scope out places for lunch, and after seeing all the awards in the shop window I couldn’t resist.

Rolling Pin Shop Window

The shop uses a ticketing system similar to the one you see at the deli counter of most major supermarkets. You need to take a ticket and wait for your number to be called. The shop was really busy when we walked in, so it made sense for something like this to be in place.

Obviously, being vegetarian or even part vegetarian doesn’t usually leave much choice when it comes to pies and pasties. So, I was quite excited to see a curried scallop pie on the list… and then I was disappointed because the customer before me was told there were none left… and then excited again because the lady serving me said they did in fact have them, after I asked if there were any other seafood pies available. Phew! When I asked what was inside the pie, the lady serving me got a laminated sign from behind the desk and pointed to it. I’m not sure if it was a lack of product knowledge or just bad customer service. It may be a bit of both. Perhaps they operate on a “treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen approach”. Either way, if you’re working in a specialty pie and cake shop I would say that knowing your product is a large part of the job.

The curried scallop pie had a fairly thick texture in the middle, containing vegetables of some sort and small scallops. It had quite a mild flavour, and wasn’t spicy at all. I was quite happy with the way it tasted. My partner had the lamb pie, which he said was quite good, but not out of this world.

Lamb Pie

The store also has a selection of delicious looking cakes. I had some freshly baked cakes at home, so I decided to give the Rolling Pin cakes a miss this time.

Details:

Rolling Pin Pies and Cakes

12 Park Lane, Ocean Grove
(In the Coles carpark)

Open: Monday-Friday 8.30am to 5.15pm
Saturday 8am-1.30pm
Sunday 9am-2pm

The Dock Cafe

I’d been wanting to try out the new dining options at The Pier Geelong for quite some time. After browsing the options and menus here (click on the dining  options down the bottom) I thought The Dock Cafe sounded like a good option for lunch. I hope to try out the other options soon – Baveras, which is an upmarket restaurant with a fantastic looking menu, and City Quarter which is a bar with pizza and tapas.

The cafe is quite small, and doesn’t make use of it’s location very well. The only view to outside is through the glass windows at the entrance, facing towards the start of Cunningham Pier. There’s not much to look at in there, otherwise. If you don’t have a view looking out the window, it gets a bit boring staring at the wall.

The menu for the cafe seemed like any other you would expect to find at a cafe. If you are browsing the menu online,it currently displays the summer menu, which at the cafe has now changed to an autumn menu, although I think only a couple of the options are different, if any. Go up to the counter to order.

I had the roast vegetable foccacia, which was like any other foccacia. My dining companion had the chicken and avocado foccacia, which was packed full of mayonnaise. Perhaps if you aren’t a fan of piling on your mayo, then go for another option. It was absolutely drenched in it.

Don’t really have much to say about this place. I didn’t like that a table that had left before we had arrived still hadn’t had their plates/table cleared for some 20-30minutes after we had arrived. The drinks are like any others you’d expect to find at a cafe. Nothing really exciting about this place. The Dock Cafe is like most other cafes. Hopefully Baveras and CQ live up to their reputation.

Details:

The Dock Cafe

Cunningham Pier
10 Western Beach Road, Geelong.

Open: Monday – Sunday. 8am-4pm.

The Dock Cafe on Urbanspoon

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