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REVIEW: Captain Moonlite at the Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Club

Captain Moonlite at the Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Club

100 Great Ocean Road, Anglesea – http://captainmoonlite.com.au/

We’ve all got Denis Walter to thank for this one, the boy from Geelong has been raving to me about this place for months now. I figured I better actually get down there, and who needs an excuse for a day trip to the Great Ocean Road!?

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The first thing you’ll notice? What a view! As soon as you pull into the car park you’ll get a glimpse of Anglesea surf beach, it only gets better inside. I love that this is clearly still a surf club, there are paddles hanging from the ceiling, and honour boards on the wall.

But someone has put a deft design touch to things. D?cor is coastal chic, lovely greys and whites, somehow negotiating the line between community clubroom and modern restaurant.

We got a great table, if you can, ask for one near the window.

It’s a great, simple menu, half a dozen or so snacks and starters, a handful of mains and sides, and of course desserts. The menu changes regularly, which I love. I’d checked the ot online a few times before we arrived, and loved that there were plenty of surprises on the paper version.

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I could have stopped at the snacks, just because they were so good. First, corn fritters with aioli. Oh, the corn fritters. Little balls of fluffy batter, crispy on the outside, dipped in a rich aioli with a light dusting of lemon powder on top. Glorious.

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All I need to say to Ross is grilled cheese. That should be enough. But there’s more to this grilled cheese, it was topped with super thin slices of pickled beetroot. This is one of those menu items that chef Matt changes regularly, it could be topped with quince, tamarillo, fig, even chestnuts. The beetroot certainly sufficed.

A tender octopus tentacle had the smoke treatment. Matt’s got a green egg smoker hidden away in the kitchen, and it’s used for anything from octopus to steak, or even butter and yoghurt.

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For main, I went with the kingfish. Two generous fillets with delectably crispy skin sat in a clear broth of wakame, dashi and white soy, subtle but with that unmistakable umami. On the side, a huge whack of grilled broccoli, finished with fermented chilli.

It was all just top quality, flavoursome food ? with hints of flair and creativity, but at the end of the day just honest treatment of beautiful produce. Matt says you can create all the gels, crumbs and foams that you want, but at the end of the day nothing beats the simplicity of good food.

Terrific relaxed service, a big open room, with non-obtrusive music. There are lots of Victorian wines, beers and ciders on the menu. This place is going to go off in summer, make sure you book ahead.

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