Sometimes the food doesn’t matter that much. When the sky is a perfect cornflower blue and the sun is shining and you are sitting in a restaurant built in an old beach box on the edge of the water. At The Heads
in Barwon Heads has to be one of the most picture perfect locations to dine at. So perfect in fact that it was used as a location for the Australian TV series Seachange. The stunning views mean that At The Heads doesn’t have to try too hard with its food to keep the tables full. Everything tastes better when you are eating it watching the waves lap against the pier, sunbakers outside the caravan park and fisherman navigating the shallow waters in their tinnies.
Entrance to the restaurant
Mum took me to At The Heads for a lunch time treat. How old do you have to be before your Mum stops treating you? I guess it never stops. The restaurant itself is fairly simple, taking advantage of those show stopping views with timber tables and chairs and big picture windows lining the walls. In the summer time they open up the doors leading out onto the ocean so that a sea breeze blows through. Given the location, the menu focuses mainly on seafood but the chef has not left any bases uncovered and all the crowd pleasers are also there like pizza, chicken parma, lamb shank and steak.
Dips and bread to share
To begin, dips and bread ($20 for a sharing for two) arrive on a big wooden serving platter. The bread is a crunchy foccacia flecked with herbs and served oven hot. There is a little confusion as to what the dips are as the menu listed a carrot dip and none of these dips seem to be carrot, however it turns out we have beetroot, eggplant and a zucchini dip instead. The eggplant dip is the pick of the bunch with a lovely creamy texture. I was looking forward to that carrot dip.
King George Whiting
The chicken caesar salad ($18) comprises a big bowl of crisp cos lettuce leaves with grilled chicken, boiled egg, bacon, croutons and a creamy dressing. Anchovies aren’t included which is actually the historically correct way to make a caesar salad (even if the chicken addition is perhaps not quite so authentic). A plump, pearly fillet of King George Whiting ($20) is coated in a thick batter and served with chunky chips, salad and a pot of mayonnaise. The batter could be crisper but the fish is fresh and flavoursome.
There are no food fireworks here but when you walk away from At The Heads what you will remember is the stunning location and the pure enjoyment of wiling away an hour or so in the sunshine over a meal.
Details: Jetty Road, Barwon Heads, Australia (Ph +61 3 5254 1277)
If you liked reading this you might be interested in some other lovely lunches in nearby Melbourne at The Royal Saxon
and Mama’s Boy