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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Cape Tavern

Corner Surf Beach Road and Market Place,
Cape Paterson


OK, I shouldn't do this.  Any time I want to do anything to promote the Cape, people say "shut up, do you want people coming here or something?"

And the answer, invariably, is "not really, no..."

But last Friday's dinner convinced me to write a review of the Cape Tavern anyway.

Cape Paterson is a seaside town on the Bass Coast in Victoria; what I like to think of as the Brighton of Wonthaggi... the posh part of town for coal miners.  It's got surf around one point, and a bay beach where the miners blasted a swimming pool in the rocks on a picnic lunch one weekend back in the forties (try getting away with that today!).

It's not fancy, and the majority of houses down there are built out of Hardie Plank (asbestos).

It's not fashionable.  If you want cool, go to Inverloch or Phillip Island.  But the people who know it love it, and it has been food for Dave O'Neil's comedy for years – he holidayed there as a kid and branded it "Cape Boring".

So too the Cape Tavern - which is neither much to look at, nor that fashionable.  It's a little pub built in the nineties that never quite got finished (they never built the second story on the plans), and the atmosphere? Meh, welcome to bright light bistro central.

But I really DO have to congratulate the publican Michael (Mick) Turton for turning around the one pub in town and transforming it from a gastronomic dump into one of the best venues for miles around.

First stop, they've got good beers on tap; Carlton - sure, but White Rabbit Dark Ale (you beauty!!) and James Squire.

And the food I had there last weekend has just earned them a gold star and a review from me!

We went out for tea (dinner) on Friday night with Cele and Storti to the Cape Tavern.  It was simple but tasty; traditional pub food, but well done.

Brent, formerly of the Tsunami Restaurant in Inverloch, has taken over the kitchen there; and we variously had fish and chips, risotto, “twice cooked” duck leg (read confit), and a steak with a slab of Café de Paris butter.  All received ticks of approval from the diners and the prices were (if not cheap) reasonable – which you would think was nothing extraordinary, but when in regional Victoria, it’s hard to get a good standard of food on a consistent basis.

The Cape Tavern isn't always open, and if you'd like to go on a Friday or Saturday might, you'd better book, because it is popular with the locals and has two sittings a night since it only seats seventy people.

If only they'd built that extra floor, so you could look out at the sea!!


Anonymous said...

And what an enjoyable evening we had :)