We headed there on foot from home and when we arrived we ready to relax and cool down!
I had made a reservation for 13:30 but when we arrived it was very quiet with only two or three other tables around. We chose to sit outside and soon were comfortably ensconced in their outdoor courtyard and iced water was poured and our drinks order taken. Service was friendly and easy going but given that there were so very few people around, I guess it makes it simpler to be attentive.
It was a generous plate of three different salamis, pork and apple terrine, crispy pigs ear, a beef croquette, a pork croqette, some garlic toast and a few cornichons and radishes.
We enjoyed the differences in the salamis and concluded that we liked all of them. The terrine was meaty and tasty as were the croquettes. The crispy pigs ear was an extra textural treat. I enjoyed the cornichons more than the radishes but that's a personal preference and the mustard dip that came with it was actually more pleasant than I thought it would be and it cut through some of the fattiness of the meat and fried stuff. I was surprised because I don't like mustard.
I opted for the Wayside Royal seafood platter. It was a veritable smorgasboard of mussels, scallops, oysters, smoked salmon, prawns, calamari, spanner crab, abalone with mixed mushrooms and half a Moreton Bay bug. It came with a shallot vinaigrette for the oysters, Marie Rose sauce for the prawns and a grebiche (like tartare sauce) mayonnaise.
The seafood was beautiful; fresh and everything tasted like it should. The only downside was the ice melted too quickly in the heat so things began to swim in water so I had to rescue them. Also the sheer volume was overwhelming for the quite reasonable price of $48. I would have expected this to be a lot more really.
The beetroot salad was a delight. Nutty farro with creamy goat's cheese and sweet beetroot. It also cut through the heavy protein aspects of our meals.
By this point we were very full. The bottle of wine obviously contributed to this too. We were happy just sitting in the sunshine with full bellies enjoying the rest of the wine. Our water glasses were kept topped up and after a little breather, Steve encouraged us to think about dessert and to share the vanilla panna cotta with fresh raspberries.
Sometimes we come across a panna cotta and think, the one I make is just as good. But in this case, we were both in agreement that this dessert was made by a professional and we could never compete.
The soft, creamy, vanilla scented cream melted in the mouth silkily and the fresh raspberries were a beautiful sharp and fruity contrast to the milky creaminess.
We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here although we were consumed with guilt by the volume we had munched our way through so we continued our walk and headed into Port Melbourne. The walk was much needed but boy it was worth it!