Note: Sunnybrae is now closed and has been replaced by Brae.
You know the perfect summer day? The type of day where the sky is blue and it’s sunny but it’s not too hot? It was that sort of day when ten of us headed to Sunnybrae in Birregurra for lunch for my friend George’s birthday.

Sunnybrae is run by chef George Biron and Diane Garrett and if you want to work up an appetite for your meal reading George’s blog is the ideal way to do so.  On the blog you can discover George’s philosophy of using seasonal, local produce that George and Diane grow themselves in Sunnybrae’s garden, something they have been doing for long before it became fashionable.

Lightly smoked skate

The restaurant is set in an old restored homestead with lots of windows looking out to the extensive gardens.  The menu is a set five courses and designed to be shared although there is flexibility for dietary requirements and you get a choice of mains and desserts.  To start there is excellent home made spelt bread made from the spelt grown in the fields around Sunnybrae.  A starter of lightly smoked skate was served almost like a ceviche, cured in a lime and chilli Thai flavoured dressing with julienned vegetables.  It had a great zing to it while the delicate smoky fish still shone.

Mustard greens and parsnip strudel 

Next up were shared plates of crisp cased mustard greens and parsnip strudel served with a pesto like anchoïade, a salad of summery ripe tomatoes with creamy cottage cheese and zucchini and broad beans spiced up with cumin and a slick of yoghurt.

Pork with caponata

The main course had been slow cooked in Sunnybrae’s woodfire oven given it a smoky taste and bags of flavour.  It was a lightly cured Scotch fillet of pork served tender and blush pink with a jumble of caponata and a potato salad.

Sunnybrae’s vegie garden

In between courses at Sunnybrae you are encouraged to take a wander through the garden so we explored the extensive vegie patch to try and develop an appetite for dessert.  Once I had seen dessert though I was instantly hungry again.  All of the seven options on offer were brilliant but the best was the teetering souffle stained red with marionberries and served with some diced watermelon and mint and a scoop of fast melting cassis sorbet.

Marionberry souffle
A long lunch at Sunnybrae made what was a perfect Summer day even more perfect.  Eating there feels like eating at a friend’s house, assuming you have a friend who is an amazing cook.  The local and seasonal nature of the produce used is top quality and George’s cooking is simple and assured.  We walked out the door at about 5pm in the afternoon following what was an epic and idyllic long lunch.   I’m already planning my next trip back to Sunnybrae although sadly George and Diane have announced they are looking to sell up so make sure you book in there shortly before they leave.  
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Details:  Sunnybrae, 4285 Cape Otway Road, Birregurra, Vic 3242.  (Ph 03 5236 2276).  Sunnybrae is only open on Weekends.  George hosts cooking classes during the week. 
Damage: Pricey.  The set menu at Sunnybrae is $76 a head.  Our bill came to just over $100 a head including drinks.  

Sunnybrae on Urbanspoon


  1. The food looks sensational and I love the idea of a leisurely lunch!

  2. What a lovely looking lunch! Mmmmm

  3. Anon – It was great

    MsIHua – There is something very luxurious about having the time on holidays or a weekend to have a long lunch.

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