We were in Melbourne for a family wedding, and stayed in the hills (i.e. Dandenong Ranges) for a few nights, giving us time to check out the marvellous shops and cafes in the area. I was determined to get to Burnham Beeches so we went for an early lunch on the day of the wedding which was in the late afternoon. It is such a beautiful spot, with huge trees, lovely lawns, a veggie garden and a piggery - now the Piggery Cafe. We got there before 12, but it was filling up quickly. We sat at a long bench with a couple of keen foodies who had big cameras, and were discussing "subtle tastes", etc. They were actually very sweet to us, and asked us what we were doing in Melbourne and wished us a happy wedding.
We started off with a drink each - orange juice for me, and ginger beer for Mr Pickings.
|freshly squeezed organic orange juice $7|
|ginger beer $4|
I decided on a lobster roll, while hubby went for the wagyu beef burger. He seems to be trying out every burger he can find lately:) Oh, and don't forget the chips! Or should I say house-made fries as per the menu?
|lobster roll - $19|
|wagyu beef burger $12|
|house-made fries $8|
We didn't have time for anything else sadly, except a quick wander around and a few photos. They have a char grill BBQ which sends delicious smoky smells down through the cafe. Perhaps not so good for the lungs of the chef?:) There is a cheese plate, a charcuterie plate, a couple of different pies and various burgers including fish and vegetarian. Prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is delightful. I will have to be honest here and say that the food was somewhat disappointing. My lobster roll was overwhelmed by the pink sauce, and the fries were limp and not very warm. Mr Pickings was not terribly impressed by his burger, but I guess you can't expect much for $12. He said the bun was tiny, and there was no visible relish or sauce. What is it with restaurants and the lack of condiments lately? I know, I know, I keep beefing about it. All in all, a pleasant place to while away some time, but not followed through with great food.
|a cute pggy at the Piggery|
|love the rustic interior and those pendant lamps|
|Mr Pickings looking pensive in front of the tower - Rapunzel here he comes!|
|the front drive into the property - can't wait till the hotel opens in a few years!|
Now to Cafe Vue, Mr Bennett's eatery at Heide Museum on the outskirts of Melbourne in Bulleen. I really love this museum, the former property of John and Sunday Reed, well-known figures in the Melbourne art world from the 1930s on, who established a gallery of modern art here in the 1950s. We have eaten here before when we came down for my niece's engagement party (the same one whose wedding we came down for this time). Dare I say that the food was rather lacking? In the case of my meal, literally! The menu is very similar to the Piggery cafe, so we chose different dishes here. I had house-smoked ocean trout, while Mr Pickings had the veggie burger; we shared the fries which were once again limp and luke-warm. I have to say that the waitress did warn me that the meal I had chosen was particularly small, but I really didn't think it would be so very very small.
|house-smoked ocean trout $18 - I think most of it had swum away already|
|veggie burger $10 - that is some lonely little burger|
|house fries - sorry to say limp and luke-warm again; at least there was sauce|
It was a very busy place, with constant comings and goings, so obviously Melburnians are happy enough with the food (though the reviews make you wonder). The most fun part of lunch was listening to the German (?) waitress getting stuck into the other staff, who seemed to need a good bollocking. So to conclude, maybe one day I will get to Vue de Monde (misspelt so maybe that says something about the chef's attention to detail) and see if he really can produce good food, but on the evidence we have here, I would have to say a la Miss Clavel from the children's book Madeline- "something is not right".
|beautiful pomegranates in the Heide Heart Garden|