Disclosure: Food and accommodation on this trip was courtesy of Mornington Peninsula Tourism and Q Strategies.
Continuing on from Part 1 of our Mornington Peninsula getaway, where I talked about some of the producers we visited, this part is about the meals – yay.
(ALSO – see the end of this post for another cherry voucher giveaway.)
Our weekend started with lunch at Yabby Lake Vineyard, a winery founded by the Kirbys (the family behind Village Roadshow). Yabby Lake Vineyard’s main focus is pinot noir, with chardonnay and pinot gris following behind. In fact, their Block 1 Pinot Noir won the Jimmy Watson prize this year.
There’s an adjoining cellar door and cafe, which is open every day for lunch except for Easter and Christmas.
The cafe is in a lovely setting, overlooking the vines, and inside it’s light and relaxed.
The food menu is a one pager of simple dishes focusing on seasonal produce and clean flavours. There are smaller grazing options like a game terrine made with duck, pork and rabbit ($22) through to a larger grazing plate holding jamon, chorizo, roasted peppers, spice almonds, olives, anchovies, cheese, potato tortilla and bread ($32) – perfect if you’re just after a wine and a snack.
Our favourite was the bowl of local mussels in a tomato based sauce. You could taste how fresh they were and we would’ve loved another bowl.
More substantial food options on the menu range from Cottage Pie ($28), Spanish rice ($30) flavoured with saffron, prawns, and chorizo, through to a Thai red curry ($30) and grilled marinated chicken ($26). I particularly enjoyed the Cottage Pie, which was made with a rich ground lamb and beef ragu and topped with a thick layer of smooth mashed potato.
Yabby Lake Vineyard have paired with Chin Chin who have designed a couple of dishes for them, including one on the dessert menu – a palm sugar and coconut ice cream with lime syrup, honeycomb and sponge fingers ($12).
If baked goods are more your thing for sweets, we also had a great muffin and shared a slice of orange cake.
And who can resist a choc top ($4) – a subtle nod to Village Roadshow, perhaps?
The dessert that surprised us all was the Greek rice pudding ($12) served with sugar and spiced raisins and clotted cream. We only ordered it to try one of each dessert but it was definitely my favourite of all the desserts – fragrant and comforting.
Yabby Lake Vineyard
112 Tuerong Road
Moorooduc VIC 3933
Phone: (03) 5974 3729
After a good night’s sleep at Max’s Retreat, we headed to Somer’s General Store for breakfast. This store and cafe/restaurant sits opposite Somers Beach, and was originally built in 1927. It was refurbished after 2008 and has since become a popular spot for visitors.
The breakfast menu is brief and predominantly egg based – there is a big breakfast or baked beans with poached eggs for example.
One of the most interesting items is the Ham and Eggs – which comes with a BIG slab of smoked hock terrine, poached eggs and herbs and sauce bearnaise.
For those looking for a lighter (and non egg) option, there is also granola, which the lovely Shellie enjoyed.
My choice for breakfast was a croque madame, two big slices of bread sandwiching Istra ham, Emmental cheese and bechamel, topped with a fried egg. It was probably my dairy allocation for the entire week considering the amount of cheese!
It was super filling, but I would’ve liked the bread to be toasted more to provide more of a textural contrast to all the cheese.
Somers General Store is a homely place, in a fantastic location. I can just imagine how wonderful it would be to have a drink on the terrace in summer. Food servings are large and substantial, and once you’ve eaten you can explore the attached shop for pretty homewares and kitchen goods.
Somers General Store
2 The Boulevard
Somers VIC 3927
Phone: 03 5983 2070
If the Hawks hadn’t won the AFL Grand Final in 2008, Mornington Peninsula Brewery might never have happened.
It was after that win (and possibly after some celebratory beverages) that founder Matt decided to open the brewery.
Now while I’m not into AFL and therefore not a Hawks supporter, I’m pretty glad they won, because Mornington Peninsula Brewery is pretty cool.
Located away from the town of Mornington in a kind of industrial estate type area, the brewery is casual and relaxed, with an outside beer garden and an interior drinking area with high tables and stools.
After a quick tour of the brewery and admiring all the shiny equipment, we settled on an outside table and started with a tasting paddle of four of their beers.
We thought a tasting paddle would be the usual small glasses of beer, but several of these big boys were brought out to us, containing half glasses of their Pale Ale, Witbier, IPA, and Brown Ale.
Before we could even make a dent in those glasses, we were given more beer to try – a couple of specialty ones, which included a Sorachi Kolsch, which uses Japanese hops in a German style beer.
In the end, we had so much beer on the table that we were judged by other customers. Seriously!
One needs some food to get through all that beer, right? Food wise, MP Brewery serve a range of wood fired pizzas. That’s the extent of the menu and it’s quite brilliant if you think about it.
Pizza is something that’s fairly simple, easy to make, goes well with beer (and their dough contains some of their brews – normally the Wittiber or the IPA) and it means they don’t need to hire people specifically to cook.
And the pizzas are pretty tasty, ranging in toppings from four cheese (my fave), to Margherita, to Hawaiian, to more hearty options like spicy chorizo or Moroccan spiced lamb.
I’m sure you’ll agree that a pizza and a beer is quite a nice way to spend an afternoon.
Mornington Peninsula Brewery
72 Watt Road
Mornington VIC 3931
Phone: 03 5976 3663
I have another cherry picking voucher to give away.
The voucher allows a family (2 adults and 2 children) to pick (and eat!) cherries at Red Hill Cherry Farm, as well as receive a kg of free cherries to take home. It expires January 2015 so if you miss this year’s season, there is always next year.
To enter, leave me a comment on this post. Make sure you include a valid email address when you comment – it won’t be published, but I’ll use it to contact you if you win.
This competition is open to Australian residents only and entries will close in a week at midnight Monday 23 December. I will draw the winner randomly.
Congratulations to Catrina for winning the voucher. Enjoy!
For more on our Wine Food Farmgate adventures see: