Food & Drink

One of the pleasures of food and drink is that they are often a shared experience – think about the times you’ve gotten together with friends and exchanged interesting ideas and opinions. In addition to having enjoyed a good meal, you left the table better informed with most senses more than likely fulfilled. Our Food and Drink section is all about the unique, best practice experiences on the Mornington Peninsula. In this section we like to inspire and inform readers with a mix of stories from around the Pen.

South Beach Project

If you’re searching for the archetypal, relaxed, Australian beach suburb café then the re-emergence of South Beach Project, opposite Mount Martha South Beach is a stand out.  With first-rate food, top-notch coffee and thoughtful service, it’s no wonder this café has made a big splash with many locals’ ecstatic that breakfast and lunch for this iconic spot is back on the radar. Going out for a brunch of avocado on toast and a perfectly brewed flat white is a weekend ritual for many down Mt Martha way but the eclectic menu also includes dishes such as Fried Noodle Omelette, Mexican Grain Salad, Cauliflower Cous Cous & Korean Fried Chicken Burgers. As a region, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to exceptional cafes and South Beach Project fits neatly into this bracket.

Peppers Moonah Links

Peppers Moonah Links Resort is a stylish contemporary holiday base located in the heart of the southern Peninsula. From here you can enjoy some of the best experiences the region offers including Peninsula Hot Springs, wineries, miles of coastal escapades, quaint townships or if you’re more inclined to ‘bunk in’ beautifully appointed rooms, two outstanding golf courses, landscaped gardens, an in-house spa, gymnasium and outdoor pool.

Alatonero

A long-term love affair with Santorini, and a passion for Greek food, has brought a new culinary vibe to the Mornington Peninsula. Across the road from the McCrae lighthouse (at what was The Pavilion), Alatonero is giving diners the opportunity to enjoy well known and much loved Greek delicacies. With an impressive resume in the food world, and with energy and drive to burn, Jacqui Poulier found the perfect location for her new venture, where she has brought to life her love of food, cooking, people and stories. The restaurant is light, bright, open and airy with a fresh sea breeze that drifts through the open plan dining area.

Rare Hare at Jackalope Hotel

There’s a buzz in the air on Mornington Peninsula, and it comes in the form of a contemporary cutting edge designer hotel, formal restaurant, smart bar, casual dining experience and cellar door. The name is Jackalope – and it’s the new home of Willow Creek Vineyard Wines. The vision of Louis Li's, a 29 year old Chinese national who has been living in Melbourne for ten years, Willow Creek Vineyard is now the site for the world’s first Jackalope Hotel.  Moving here as an 18 year old to study film making, Louis Li is well versed in luxury property development with his parents being involved in a number of luxury hotels and residential properties in Kunming in south western China.  So in a sense his first solo project is following in the tradition of his family business.   Being a film maker Lewis Lee is a great storyteller, and his first foray into hospitality shows his appetite for art and design and food culture, which shines through every element in this property.  His debut Jackalope Hotel in Merricks will be followed by a 40 room hotel in Flinders Lane which is scheduled to open in 2019.

Blue Range Estate Wines

“Wow!” The three letter word that Jo and Cosi Melone hear every time a guest steps out of their car and breathes in the view. It is indeed unexpected, a delightful surprise, and breathtaking. Set on a hidden hill that rises over the back of Rosebud and is sheltered by Waterfall Gully, the Blue Range Estate’s view is expansive. Stretching from Western Port Bay and Bass Strait across the Portsea Peninsula and into Port Phillip Bay, the view is unique, and extraordinary.

Finesse Catering Group

Brad and Roong Holtz of Finesse Catering Group are a formidable team. Passionate, creative and classically trained, their worlds collided when Brad attended one of Roong’s cooking classes in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, where Roong taught tourists and professional chefs the art of traditional Thai cooking. At the time Brad was working as a chef on small private yachts in Alaska and Mexico but they found a way to be together, moving to the Mornington Peninsula in 2007.

Adhoc

Adhoc offers a quality restaurant experience in a relaxed dining environment. The family friendly atmosphere is evident upon arrival. Carefully designed to allow privacy for intimate dinners and with communal tables for larger gatherings, couples sit alongside parents with children in a harmonious and relaxed space. It’s light, bright and welcoming, yet stylish and sophisticated, so you can enjoy a casual coffee and cake, or celebrate a special occasion. The staff are excellent, offering table service with an efficient but warm attention to detail.

Main Ridge Olive Oil Co

Tim Jupp is full of surprises, experienced and focused beyond his years. Young and talented, this fine dining chef has moved away from the 80 hour working weeks his chosen profession demands to chef at Commonfolk in Mornington, where the hours are much more conducive to family life. Given that he and his wife Michelle have four children under the age of 11, you can understand his life choices.