Chris’ Beacon Point Restaurant & Villas are perched high in the Otways in Beacon Point just off the Great Ocean Road. The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows offering diners a stunning view of the Bass Strait and at nightfall, with trees surrounding the premises, you might just spot some wildlife flying about. And then there is the food – Southern European and Middle Eastern influenced. Naturally Dylan and I were keen to stop here on our journey across the Great Ocean Road to see it for ourselves.
Whole baby squid. Stuffed with pine nuts, sultanas and spinach, on a fresh tomato and basil salad ($18.00).
The squid was gorgeous and fresh, with the stuffing of pine nuts, sultanas and spinach a nice blend of flavours. The tomato and basil salad left a little to be desired for, but allowed the hero of the dish to speak for itself.
Local mussels. Steamed open in ouzo, with cream, shallots, spring onions, fennel and herbs ($18.00).
Seeing a pairing of Ouzo (a Greek national drink, anise in flavour) with fennel, Dylan was hesitant to order the mussels as he is not a great lover of aniseed but the thought of a fusion with cream and spring onions won him over. Visually quite stunning with the two tones of orange, rich vibrant mussels and paler creamy sauce, contrasting nicely with the black mussel shells, it was a nice start to the meal.
Sauté of local scallops, sesame and herbs. On tomato and leek salad, sauce vierge, hummus ($37.00).
I don’t think I have ever seen such a generous portion size! Chris shows his great skills of combining beautiful Australian produce with a lovely Middle Eastern influence in this dish. The scallops were extremely fresh and were paired well with the delicious creamy hummus, which I felt had the perfect amount of lemon and garlic.
Chicken fillet stuffed with fetta and herbs. Rocket, caper and preserved lemon salad, balsamic reduction ($37.00).
Dylan’s chicken was very moist and tender, the salad bursting with the crisp taste of lemon and rocket and a smattering of capers, the acidic balsamic adding yet another layer to the course which was mellowed out by the fetta and herb stuffing.
Lemon and cardamom crème brulee with blood orange sorbet ($16.00).
Although a French dessert, Chris and the team did not let me down with the crème brulee. The cardamom (often used in Middle Eastern sweet dishes) adds a nice point of difference from most restaurants bland custard crème brulees.
Chocolate Jaffa mousse ($16.00).
Like I am a magnet to chocolate, Dylan is a magnet to Jaffa… the confectionery jaffas, jaffa ice cream, jaffa sauce, and now jaffa mousse. While I thought the desserts were the least Middle Eastern influenced of the menu I didn’t realise at the time that the Jaffa orange (a sweet almost seedless variety) was actually first grown in Palestine. As far as taste goes, this one was rich and chocolaty, smooth and bubbles aplenty with just the right amount of orange not to unbalance the chocolate.
Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant & Villas
280 Skenes Creek Road
Apollo Bay VIC 3233
(03) 5237 6411
Chris’s Restaurant & Villas Website