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Ela Carte's great summer eateries

Posted by: Ela Carte | 24 December, 2012 - 1:25 PM
Boatbuilders Yard, South Wharf. (Photo: Rebecca Hallas)

As the weather warms up and we bask in the outdoors, Ela Carte picks the best spots to eat and bask in the summer sun in and around Melbourne.

Boatbuilders Yard, South Wharf – The owners of Fed Square’s Riverland Bar have gone one better here at South Wharf. A terrific bar right next to the river, there’s full kitchen service or organic sausages from the barbecue, Vietnamese pork rolls or pies from the bar. http://www.theboatbuildersyard.com

The deck at Orto, Hawthorn – A great central spot in Burwood Road, not only is the Italian fare authentic and enticing, but the huge deck is a top spot to catch some rays – check their website for events like Italian classic movie screenings, deck barbecues, and $10 pizza nights.  www.orto.com.au

Stake out a table at The Standard Hotel in Fitzroy – One of Melbourne’s remaining “real” pubs, The Standard Hotel is wonderfully difficult to access (damn those one way Fitzroy Roads) has a front bar full of regulars, but also one of the city’s best beer gardens. You may have to stake out a table but it’ll be worth it, and they’ve got great pub grub and a great vegan, vegetarian and gluten free selection.  www.thestandardhotel.com.au

Beer garden at Robert Burns Hotel – A bit of a contradiction is the Scottish named pub with fabulous Spanish fare. Head straight out to the beer garden to make the most of the Robbie Burns in Summer, and take advantage of the Express menu for lunch with dishes under $16, or Friday’s from 5-7 the “Cinco en Cinco” deals, fabulous drinks or pinxtos for just five bucks.  www.robertburnshotel.com.au

Ichi Ni Izakaya, St Kilda – St Kilda has to feature in a list of places to be and eat in St Kilda, and Ichi Ni is a worthy inclusion. Great, light Japanese food in an enviable location – just next to the Espy looking straight across to Port Phillip Bay. www.ichini.com.au

Wye Beach Hotel,  – one of the best views in Victoria, gorgeous deck, and solid, generous pub grub. www.wyebeachhotel.com.au

Country Racing – Far more fun and relaxed than the city versions, country racing is a great excuse for frocking up and having a day trip, if not a weekend a way. Usually plenty of activity for kids, admission starts from just $10 and you can decide what food you indulge in – BYO or book a package that might get you an umbrella, chairs and a hamper, right up to your own mini marquee with cheese and platters. www.countryracing.com.au

Picnic at Montalto Winery, Red Hill – Possibly the most romantic of my summer spots, you’ll need to order ahead, but enjoy a three course deluxe picnic at one of five unique sites throughout the winery – complete with table, chairs, glassware and cutlery. Pick a bottle of wine at the cellar door and see it delivered to you in a vintage car or tractor. Seriously beautiful experience.  www.montalto.com.au

Cherry Picking at Cherryhill Orchards, Wandin - Open all through January, it’s the ultimate DIY … and according to growers, this is the best season for cherries they’ve had in 20 years. Call 1300CHERRY.

The Junction Beer Hall and Wine Bar – An option our west, The Junction has a big spacious beer garden, is family friendly, does a mean woodfired pizza and has more beers than you could poke a stick at. www.junctionnewport.com.au


Blog comments Your Say

  • Leanne, this is brilliant - I'm sure I'll be back up there so I'll be sure to check out your recommendations.
    Many thanks!

    Ela Carte Sunday 17 March, 2013 - 1:47 PM
  • Hi Ella, I heard you talking about Bright this morning. We've been going to Porepunkah for 25 years. You must go to Ringer Reef winery near Boyntons, meet Annie (doesn't work Tuesdays) and learn a lot about the region, she's amazing, and so is the wine of course. For something fancy, villa gusto restaurant up the Buckland road. It's only open on a weekend and doesn't suit me coz I'm fussy, but they choose the menu and its around 8 courses. A cooking teacher from the school I work at, swears their lime dessert is the best she's had all over the world. There's a very popular cafe called The Rail Trail cafe in Porepunkah, it gets busy with bike riders, but their breakfast burrito is popular. There's an exclusive fish and chips shop in Bright called Rock Salt that hand cut their chips, divine food, although the eye candy is worth a walk in there... you'll see what I mean.
    There is a hedge maze in Wandiligong - 5 minutes out of Bright - their cafe serves beautiful cakes.... go just for the sponge cake, if you can finish it when you see the size.
    We love it up there and call it Gods country. The days may be bloody hot in summer, but the mountains bring the cool nights. Easter is VERY busy up there, but it's also the best time of year, we try and stay the week after Easter when the crowds die down. The nights get very cold but the trees changing colours and sunny days are the best.

    Don't tell too many people, they'll all want to come ;-)

    Leanne Friday 22 February, 2013 - 1:13 PM

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