A good choice by Anne (Anne12) for the Saturday night Dinner meet for Vters. You will have already read in my intro about Anne maybe revealing too much of herself at dinner, but I don't mean that literally, only metaphorically speaking. I'll add a travelogue with photos & just a little text, but you'll have to ask Anne for more specific details & she may well be not very forthcoming! lol!
But what about the restaurant you ask & I have to say, "Patience dear reader I'm coming to that right now."
Fascinating ambience, really made me wonder what this building had been in its first & subsequent lives before becoming the Red Star Cafe. I loved the lounges in the front sort of large alcove where one could sit, lounge around reading & have coffee with whatever.
Now speaking of reading I also loved the wall of bookshelves on one side of the cafe &, being the bibliophile I am, kept getting distracted by various tomes I discovered & browsing through them then writing the details down to buy a copy later.
From these couple of things you can see the ambience is somewhat multi-faceted & I must say I did like the feel of the place. The service was also good & the menu had enough choice to cater to all of us Vters.
Favorite Dish: Yes, the menu you ask. I can't speak for everyone, but I really enjoyed what I ordered. But before then we were brought out antipasto dishes which were not only delicious, but had something for everyone one them. With that & the bread rolls I was worried I was going to be full before my main course arrived.
For mains I had the "Chicken crumbed with herbs & parmesan on mashed potato & roqutte salad". Quite enjoyed it & good to have some healthy greens with it in the roqutte salad. I was worried again about being too full & not having room for dessert, but if you've read any of my restaurant tips before you know that I'm not only a bit of a chocoholic, but I usually like my desserts in general. There was a choice of two & I settle on the "Vanilla pannocotta wih Rose Water Jelly. It was really delicious - buonissimo! - & you must have a look at the second photo I've attached here of it.
This was where Anne decided we would have dinner on the Fri night. There were just the four of us, Mark & Sarah, Anne & me.
We were all quite hungry & ordered a different dish each with the intention of sharing with each other. There was an excellent selection of dishes on the menu & also a range of possibilites from the daily specials on the chalkboard.
Mark & I had already had a coulple of James Boag Premium beers over at Peppers so we didn't drink any more with dinner apart from water.
Favorite Dish: I ordered a dish from the daily chalkboard specials. It was the, "Steamed Fish & Ginger & Vegetables Sauce". I can't remember what Sarah & Anne ordered, but I remember that Mark ordered the Pad Thai. Despite my memory loss here I do remember that all the food we received was tasty & good quality Thai.
I think this might be one of Ann'e two for three favourite places to eat in Hepburn Springs & I can understand why. I'll definitely be having a feed here when I'm in Hepburn Springs again.
I had noticed this place when walking back & forward to Lauristina so when I finished my Spa treatment at acqua viva day spa & checked in the Red Star a couple of times to find no sign of Anne, Andrea & Cassie who I thought were meeting me there around midday, I decided to wander back up the hill a bit to check this place out with a coffee & a bite to eat.
The Red Star Cafe might well be Anne's favourite in Hepburn Springs, but I think the Chowder House might compete for that title with me if I lived in Hepburn Springs.
Favorite Dish: Having had Chowder in San Fransisco, Seattle & Boston I thought I'd try it here in Hepburn Springs, especially when I had read that one of the guys who owns & runs this place was either from Massuchussetts or worked there that sealed it for me.
Well the Clam Chowder was the real thing, no doubt about it, complete with whole clams, shells & all. Had to dig them out of the shells. Had to admit that it sort of put me off a bit at first, but I have to say that it was really good chowder & I really enjoyed it.
If you have read any of my Melbourne tips (restaurant ones) then you know which is my favourite coffee. You can imagine my delight when I discovered that here in Hepburn Springs the Chowder House uses Genovese Caffee. Mmmmmmmm! So, of course if you've read any of my restaurant tips before then you won't be surprised to find that I finished my meal with a Mocha on Soy Milk. Very nice too!
This is where you can sit for a few hours and enjoy the wonderful cuisine and great wines.
The dining room is set in a friendly, open space with unique decor.
The staff are attentive and professional.
If you just feel like a beer, the bar is old world and fun to be in. Along side the bar you can relax in cmfortable lounges and armchairs.
Play a game of scrabble in front of the open fire.
Favorite Dish: They are all wonderful. I do lean towards anything that has duck....
The individual Pavs are my favourite dessert.
The Hepburn Pub is one of the last real pubs in this area. You can meet the locals at the bar.
Someone could be playing their guitar and singing in the back ground.
Friendly atmosphere. It can be too friendly at times, make sure you don't get locked in and stagger home at sunrise...
The food is great, from the Chicken Keiv to the Lamb Greek Salad. There are a variety of steaks and Vegie dishes...
Favorite Dish: Roast Beef with Vegetables
This Cafe' is set on the shores of Lake Daylesford. During the warmer days you can sit outside on the balcony.
You are surrounded by water and while dining you can watch the ducks and swans play, some of the water hens will visit the tables to finish of that left coffee and cake.
During winter you can sit inside beside the open fire. Looking out the window at the lake covered in mist.
Breakfast and lunch daily.
Dinner at weekends
Great Wedding reception area
You can hire a boat or canoe for a leisurely row around the lake.
There is a warning, weekends are very busy, please book....or you could be waiting until the following Sunday....
Favorite Dish: I love the big breakfast.
The lunch menu is extensive and all yummy.
Jim Frangos has created an amazing Cafe'?Restaurant on the corner of Vincent Street in Daylesford.
Jim's eye for detail is shown in the unique decor. Many handmade pieces of iron work adorn the doors, signs and throughout the eating area.
Corner Cafe' Kookla is where you can hang out for a coffee or wine with a wood oven Pizza and other snacks from the menu.
Open for breakfast and lunch. On warmer days the doors open to face the main street. You can watch the locals go about there day.
There is also a fine dining Retaurant just up from Kookla. This is open for evening dining.
There is also a boutique giftware outlet, inbetween these eating areas.
Favorite Dish: I will have to admit that I haven't eaten here for a long time. I do here opinions and most are very positive. The only complaint is the meals are rather small.
The Pizza I have had was great.
They make a wonderful strong Latte'
This is a great cafe' with casual feel.
Ed and Lynn have had fun with the decorating of the interior , they have created a warm friendly atmosphere.
During winter the big Pot Belly will keep you warm. This wood heater is a piece of art in it's self, a local artist created this piece of art work.
You will meet locals and tourists a like, all enjoying breakfast, lunch or just a coffee with cake.
Favorite Dish: You will find me most mornings having my strong latte with either poached eggs and bacon or ricotta pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.
Red Star is open for dinner on Friday ans Saturday night.
The Red Star Cafe was the site of our VT Meet in Hepburn Springs. It proved to be the perfect choice! The ambience was great - I loved all the built-in shelves along the walls that were stocked with great books. I assume they let you read them while you are there! :) They also had some comfy couches in the front where you could sit and lounge if you were just having a coffee break. The menu had a good variety. We tried a sampler appetizer plate and one with dips. I really liked the sampler plate of appetizers. It had yummy fresh and tasty veggies and cheese and even something that was yummy and breaded (although I don't know what it was)! It was quite a variety just on that one appetizer plate! Everyone seemed to enjoy their mains, as well!
The ones that stayed overnight even decided to go back and try breakfast at the Red Star. It was good once again! I had the menu item called 'A Little Brekky' that was just right for me. It included toast, eggs, and your choice of another side. I got the grilled tomato.
Favorite Dish: For my main, I tried the gnocchi. I really like gnocchi, so have tried it at a lot of different places. This gnocchi stood out and was different from other gnocchi I have had because the sauce had a red base, but wasn't really a traditional Italian sauce. I thought it was very tasty. I really like gnocchi with cheese sauce, but those can become a bit overpowering due to the rich flavour of the cheese, but this red sauce was lovely and I ate every bite! :)
For our Friday evening dinner, Anne12 booked us in to this lovely little Thai restaurant right in the center of Hepburn Springs. They have quite a variety on their menu (click their website to see the menu) and we decided to get a couple entrees and 4 mains to share between the four of us. We each picked one and it turned out really well. I always enjoy getting to taste a little of everything. They also have the set banquet meals to choose from at a set price (~$32) and minimum of two people. Ours turned out to be about $40 per person, including drinks, 2 entrees & 4 mains. It seemed a little more expensive that several Thai places we have been to, but the food was very good.
I also enjoyed the ambiance of the place. The outside was my 2nd favourite color (purple) and the inside walls were painted a soft yellow, my favourite color. :) There were a few nice Thai pieces around decorating the place.
Favorite Dish: I chose the Gang Mus-sa-mun as my main and really enjoyed it. It was a coconut milk curry with Indian herbs & spices with potatoes, peanuts, & onion. It was mild, but very flavourful. It tasted wonderful on a bed of steamed rice.
This is the only Thai restaurant in my area.
The decor is the typical Thai, a few pictures of the King and Queen on the walls and pretty stark.
There is a great open fire place for the winter chills.
The staff are friendly and will help with any questions on the menu side of things.
I have takeaway from here on a regular basis, so regular that I get a discount:)
Don't judge the cafe by it's outside appearance....the food is certainly better than the colour of the building!
They are open from 6.00pm except for Tuesdays.
Ring to make a booking it can get very busy.
Favorite Dish: My favourite dish at the moment is Crispy Prawns and vegetables.
Yummy food on the menu - prices were quite reasonable
Service was wonderful - with the waiters constantly filling our drinks, clearing the table and serving our meals promptly and with a smile.
Favorite Dish: Chicken Crumbed - with salad
During our first night in Hepburn, AussieDoug, Anne12, Sarah and I were the only ones in town, so we headed out to "Thai one on" downtown in Hepburn. Jasmine Thai is a restaurant that stands out, not only for its delicious food, but also for its wonderfully bold purple exterior colour. It was hard to miss!
I went with my old school favorite pad thai, although Doug's fish was giving me the eye the whole time! Sarah shared some of her coconut curry that was super good, and we all shared some chili prawns to start out. Mix that with a little roti, some white rice, and you have a great meal.
I personally did not like it as much as some of the Thai places in Melbourne, but would not miss an opportunity to go back and try another round!
You can find the restaurant Misto in the Main St of Hepburn.
Misto has an extensive menu. It is Modern Mediterranean cuisine. There is a good selection of wine and mixed drinks.
The restaurant has a lovely open feeling with timber and bagged brick walls.
During summer you can sit outside and enjoy the views.
There is a huge open fire to amke you feel cosy when cold.
During our wonderful afternoon out at the Lavender Farm, we got the opportunity to enjoy some wonderful Lavender Scones from La Trattoria, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The scones were pretty good, and the extra hint of lavender added to them. They also have a full compliment of coffees and teas for you to enjoy. I had a cappuccino, which was nice.
Sarah had a large hot chocolate which also was very delicious. Our faithful Scottish snake protector also joined us as we lazily relaxed in the bed. Even if the food had been horrible, the location was wonderful... luckily both were very good!
There were also plenty of jellies, jams, and other Italian delicacies.
Favorite Dish: Lavender Scones.