It’s been an endless summer in Melbourne this year. On one of those perfect blue sky days we celebrated my Mum’s birthday at a winery on the Bellarine peninsula, Jack Rabbit. Down the end of a dirt track Jack Rabbit clings to a grassy hill which rolls down to the ocean. The vines stretch out behind and there’s a modern tasting room, cafe and more formal restaurant.
|Jack Rabbit Winery|
The restaurant was booked out even two weeks ahead (this place is popular on a nice day) so we had to book the cafe instead which Mum diplomatically said was her preference anyway.
|Dips at Jack Rabbit Winery|
There’s nothing that will startle on the menu just cafe classics which you queue to order at the counter. We started with the trio of dips which came with Turkish bread ($18). The bread was addictively soft and the dips offered tried and tested options of a garlicky tzaiki, rustic hommus and tangy salmon.
|Rosé at Jack Rabbit, fish and chips and the view from the cafe|
There’s a fee to taste the wines ($5) and many seemed on the young side but the rosé ($30 a bottle) was light and not too sweet for such a summery day.
|Noodles at Jack Rabbit|
The simplest cafe fare at Jack Rabbit was the best. The Thai beef noodles ($20) was a generous serve but didn’t really impress as the beef was overcooked and the flavour was overly sweet and didn’t live up to the hot and sour Thai promise. The fish and chips were a better option with a thick batter and well cooked fish although the chips could have been crisper. The house made pie ($20) impressed with its thick, buttery pastry and filling of chunks of beef and mushroom.
|Beef and mushroom pie|
The menu at Jack Rabbit is less about setting pulses racing than providing something that won’t scare anyone to go along with their wine tasting. But when you’ve got a view like this and a glass of wine in your hand the food tends to take a bit of a back seat. It made for a gorgeous setting and afternoon to celebrate Mum’s birthday even if the food was fairly plain. Go now to make the most of the setting before the never ending Summer finally finishes.
Details: Jack Rabbit Winery, 85 McAdams Lane, Bellarine Victoria 3221 (Ph 03 5251 2223) Open: Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon: 10am – 6pm.