If I was rich I’d live in Wallington. The road from the Bellarine Highway to Ocean Grove that takes you through Wallington travels up and over rolling hills and is lined with stately gum trees. Obscenely large homes set on hobby farm sized blocks can be glimpsed through the trees. They have views back over Lake Connewarre and Bass Strait.
But it still feels like the country. Lazy horses with old blankets Moneygram locations slung over their backs graze in white fenced paddocks. There’s a strawberry farm and vineyards. It’s close to the surf beaches and in the other direction are the water slides of Adventure Park.
Nestled in this idyllic countryside is Elkhorn Roadhouse, a relaxed café which has been recommended to me by many but as tends to be the way with things close by it has taken me a while to get around to trying it out.
There are plenty of tables outside under the shade of trees and market umbrellas and this is where we took up residence for the afternoon. The whole place looked so antiquated and sweet that I was a little taken aback when I looked more closely and realised that the building was actually quite a new cream coloured tin shed. Somehow the ambience of something much more rustic has been created.
The wine list heavily features local wines and Elkhorn Roadhouse are also promoters of local produce. Their menu features Drysdale goat’s cheese, Zeally Bay breads and Istra bacon among others. If the product on the menu is local and comes from a small producer chances are that you can buy it in their small provedore.
I order the fig, pancetta, caramelised onion and gorgonzola pizza from the specials menu. While it’s a delicious meal I’m very envious of my dining companion’s dish, the lamb koftas with tabouli, hummus, tzatziki and house made flat bread. The waitress confesses as she delivers the plate that this dish is also her favourite.
Another friend also ordered from the specials menu and picked a pear, goat’s cheese and candied walnut salad. She said that it was nice but we all know you don’t make friends with salad.
So as I sip my Oakdene Jessica sauvignon, a local drop of course, I sit back and dream about the life of a lunching lady I could lead if I was rich in Wallington.
Elkhorn Roadhouse is in the current Geelong edition of the Entertainment Book.