Episode 17: Regional dining
This week, Victoria's regional restaurants are up there with the best city dining and this week, Giaan and the team show you why. Foodies gather aroundfor the gourmet delights of the Long Table, Terminus at the Flinders Hotel, Oakdene and Shantelle vineyards, Oscar W's , the Dispensary Enoteca and the Bank.
Terminus and The Long Table
Flinders Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula, is a 90-minute drive from Melbourne. A major renovation has preserved its history and reinvented it as a modern country hotel. The hotel's centrepiece is the new Terminus restaurant, which opened on Boxing Day 2011. Executive chef Pierre Khodja's food is rich with fascinating flavours and interesting spices, which he personally sources.
Another restaurant attracting attention on the Mornington Peninsula is The Long Table in nearby Red Hill South, which has recently received its first chef's hat in The Age Good Food Guide. Inside, the timber furniture and open fire suggests the food will be simple and rustic, but chef and owner, Andrew Doughton is creating an inventive sensory treat of seasonal creations.
Terminus at Flinders Hotel
Corner Cook and Wood streets, Flinders
Ph 03 5989 0201
The Long Table
159 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
Ph 03 5989 2326
Echuca and Oscar W's
On the Murray River, Echuca is definitely worth the drive with so many history and dining options. You can simply wander around or join a guide for one of the daily tours around the Port of Echuca, such as the wharf walk that goes through a museum that's full of photos and memorabilia.
After a day of site seeing, book a table at of the region's most popular restaurants Oscar W's wharfside grill and deck bar. Its stunning waterfront location and celebrated food has been the key to their 15 years of success. Head chef Daniel Crossman sources unique, local ingredients that showcase the region and the season. As such you'll savour dishes like yabby tortellini with tomato, zucchini and brandy bisque or kangaroo with bacon, beetroot, feta and garlic toast.
101 Murray Esplanade, Echuca
Ph 03 5482 5133
Billabong Ranch Echuca
Ph 03 5483 5122
Port of Echuca
52 Murray Esplanade, Echuca
Ph 03 5482 4248
The Dispensary Enoteca and Wine Bank
If you love wine, you'll fall in love with the Wine Bank on View, a Bendigo institution that, it's fair to say, has it all. With the most extensive selection of regional Victorian wines in Australia, you won't be disappointed whether you settle in with a glass or take a bottle home. Their open porterhouse steak sandwich is a hit and the sesame encrusted seared tuna or house made gnocchi with braised goat ragout is also worth a try.
Another place helping earn Bendigo a reputation as a foodie paradise is The Dispensary Enoteca. Hidden down a beautiful laneway, locally sourced unpretentious fare is on offer for breakfast on weekends, plus lunch and dinner almost every other day.
Wine Bank On View
45 View Street, Bendigo
Ph 03 5444 4655
The Dispensary Enoteca
9 Chancery Lane, Bendigo
Ph 03 5444 5885
Oakridge and Shantell wineries
The Yarra Valley offers some stellar choices when it comes to regional dining. Two favourite restaurants are the Shantell Vineyard and Winery Restaurant and Oakridge Wines. In a picturesque hillside setting in Dixons Creek, the Shantell vineyard has been family owned for over 30 years. Here you can admire the Aboriginal art that adorns the walls of the cellar door and restaurant, while enjoying a glass of wonderful wine and a delicious hearty meal.
Oakridge has been making distinctive wines since 1978 and offers a truly memorable food experience. Surround by the mountains of the Great Dividing Range, this is just the place to enjoy an authentic regional dining experience.
864 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream
Ph 03 9738 9900
1974 Melba Highway, Dixons Creek
Ph 03 5965 2155
Snow season opening weekend
If snow is your thing, then it's time to head up to at any of Victoria's alpine resorts.
Where: Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Mt Buller
When: 9–11 June
Brown Brothers Winter Festival
If you're visiting the King Valley, don't miss a delicious feast at Brown Brothers.
Where: King Valley
When: 9–10 June
Vue Events, truffles
And for something different, Vue Events is hosting a truffle event that combines a great day out at Chestnut Hill winery with an exquisite dinner at Level 55 Rialto.
Where: Vue De Monde
When: 30 June