Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekend in Apollo Bay, Lorne and Geelong

Andrew's Chicken Joint
Location: 134 Mount Joy Pde, Lorne
Phone: 03 5289 1255
Cuisine: Chicken, Fast Food, Pizza
Overall Impression: 5/10
Our first stop was Andrew's Chicken Joint (a favourite among locals and the yearly schoolies and toolies crowd). The food was average. It was a mere notch above what you would expect from a food court but the prices were not dissimilar to one so it was certainly fair.
Andrew's Chicken Joint on Urbanspoon
River Tea House
Location: 4B Mountjoy Pde, Lorne
Phone: 03 5289 2099
Cuisine: Coffee/Tea, Latin American, Breakfast/Brunch 
Overall Impression: 8/10
River Tea House is a precious Lorne establishment. It is the home of the famous Lorne polenta cake. Beautifully tucked away but thankfully not too hidden, the cafe is cosy and the staff are delightful. We were impressed at the selection of teas on offer and incredibly appreciative for the good coffee.
Lemon Polenta Cake

At first instance, the main thing you notice is the peculiar textural element of the cake. The polenta certainly gives it a gritty texture. The flavours are beautiful. The tangyness from the lemon is perfectly balanced by the ample sweetness of the dense and moist cake. All in all it was a delectable cake. Although we found the texture peculiar at first, we quickly enjoyed it and craved it the next day (which is why as you will see, we stopped by again on the way home).
Good coffee
We finally arrived in Apollo Bay.
Chill @ the Bay
Location: 14 Pascoe St, Apollo Bay
Phone: 03 5237 1006
Cuisine: Tapas, Spanish, Wine Bar
Overall Impression: 5/10
We walked around for quite a bit trying to figure out where we should have dinner. Chill @ the Bay caught our eye. Although it was completely empty, against our reservations, we decided to pop in. J and I hadn't had Spanish food for a while so we thought it might be a good idea.
Spanish music fills the air when we arrive. And that exact same Spanish song we heard when we entered was repeated throughout our time at Chill @ the Bay.
Lamb Cochifrito - Slow cooked lamb neck in Rich Spanich flavours $16
Pork Ribs slow roasted in spicy sauce $17

This was the most disappointing dish of the night. For $17, this little bowl of ribs was far from what we expected. Being ribs, there were hardly and real meat we could eat which is fair but due to that fact, we certainly expected a bigger portion. The dish was also disappointing as the sauce was far too sweet and lacked any spice despite being described as being roasted in a spicy sauce.
Paella with chorizo, flathead fish, squid, mussel, king prawns, and butterfllied school prawns $45

The lamb and the paella were underwhelming and lacked flavour and punch synonymous with Spanish cuisine.
Churros (Spanish donuts) with chocolate dipping sauce (four) $8

While still very pleasant, the churros were unfortunately undercooked and doughy in the centre.

All in all, we were disappointed with the food we received and found the items we ordered overpriced for what they were. On the upside, the service is good and attentive and we certainly didn't have any trouble getting a table.   
Chill @ the Bay on Urbanspoon

Having a hike in Otway Park

Apollo Bay Seafood Cafe
Location: 119 Great Ocean Rd, Apollo Bay
Phone: 03 5237 6008
Cuisine: Fish & Chips
Overall Impression: 2/10
After what turned out to be a 4 hour walk in Otway Park, we decided we to reward ourselves with Fish & Chips. We drove past Apollo Bay Seafood Cafe's incredible large blue and white sign and decided to satiate our hunger there.
And there it was. The most overpiced fish and chips I have ever had in my life. This was quite a bit over $30 and they were the two thinnest slices of fish I have ever seen. To make matters worst, everything else we ordered appeared to arrive in a downsized version from what is the norm. Perhaps this is something cafes are tempted to do when they trade on visits by tourists rather than regular customers. Certainly no goodwill here. We left still very hungry but so annoyed that we could not bear to order any more. This is certainly a fish and chip joint I would advise avoiding. So back to River Tea House we ventured. 

Apollo Bay Seafood Cafe on Urbanspoon
River Tea House

Thai red curry soup

 We had a big bowl of soup each and had more lemon polenta cake. YUM!
River Tea House on Urbanspoon

Khan Curry Hut Indian Restaurant
Location: 101-103 Ryrie St, Geelong
Phone: 03 5222 4471
Link: khancurryhut.com.au
Cuisine: Indian
Overall Impression: 5.5/10
We couldn't decide on what to eat so we settled for the "Royal Treat" banquet that was a mere $26.50 per person.
Entree: Samosa, Tikka, Onion Bhaji and Lamb Cutlet
Mains: Butter Chicken, Lamb Madras, Daal, Vegetable Korma, Rice, Naan and Raita

While the mains were very enjoyable to eat. They tasted like they had been dramatically altered to suit the Western palate. The curries were incredibly mild and the butter chicken was very sweet as was the raita. I enjoyed the Vegetable Korma as it tasted the most authentic and there was some heat.
Desserts: Mango Kulfi and Pista Kulfi

Overall, we found the service slow. We had to wait quite a while for our food to arrive and the staff seemed extremely confused - it was as if no one had ever ordered the Royal Treat banquet before and they were not quite sure what to do. To be fair, the food is of a reasonably good standard although not quite authentic and to the restaurant's credit the menu is extremely well priced. At $26.50 for a banquet it is certainly bang for your buck.
Khan Curry Hut Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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