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Magazines : Breakaway Summer 2010
GEELONG Breakfast: Cafe Go, Geelong Is there such a thing as Geelong bohemian? If so Cafe Go probably defines it - with a kind of barefoot irreverence, plush toys to identify customer orders, naive 1960s Tiki art on the walls. Everything is done with a bit more panache (the cheddar, ale and mustard toastie a fine example or the sardines with parsley, lemon and aioli on seedy toast another). While it is not in the very centre of the CBD, a sign of the top coffee is the legion of office workers who go the extra block to get there (the fact the Italian cycling team were regulars during October's world road cycling event is another indication of the quality). Cafe Go's Felicia and Stephen Bell with Lucia Clarke at their eclectic cafe. Dinner: Spresso, Geelong Owner Peter Avraam runs one of the best hidden secrets of Geelong dining. The six-course Cypriot banquet on Thursday to Saturday nights is one of the most original dining experiences in the city. If stars in the Cheap Eats Guide are any indication, Spresso's fine work rated 14 of them for the second year running -- matching George Calombaris' Greek taverna, Melbourne's popular Hellenic Republic in Brunswick. Lunch: Mr Hyde, Geelong Cheap Eats Guide has slotted in Mr Hyde as a country cheap eats champion. Mark Stawicki's vision of a funky bar in an old bank has become one of the best dining venues in the city. The Turkish pizzas are the star but the tapas-sized portions for the other food makes it a great grazing venue. Ouzo prawns with lemnos salad. Turkish pizzas OTWAYS Breakfast: Aire Valley Restaurant, Aire Valley While most venues talk about food miles the good folk at Aire Valley Restaurant talk in metres. The focus at Aire Valley is determinedly fresh. So much so the ingredients are picked after you order. That is what makes the food so different. The restaurant is open for breakfast, serving traditional fare such as eggs benedict, pancakes and organic coffee, with all meals between $10 to $20. There is a spectacular view across the region from the old house, which dates back to the 1890s. George Biron in his Birregurra kitchen at iconic Sunnybrae. Dinner: Wye River General Store, Wye River The Wye River store has become a sensation in the Otways. Situated on a beautiful inlet facing the ocean, it seems to serve every possible purpose in the local community - store, brekkie place, lunch hang out. But dinner is something else. Everything from edamame (Japanese soy beans), to Goan pumpkin curry and fragrant rice and char grilled chicken leg fatoush salad and pomegranate and yoghurt sauce are served. Lunch: Sunnybrae, Birregurra George Biron is the Samson who held western region cooking aloft during the dark years. He championed the region's cuisine through his restaurant in Birregurra. The re-opened Sunnybrae is open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday 12.30pm to 2.30pm. It is a place of pilgrimage for many foodies from across the state. George draws on his Hungarian heritage but also his extensive understanding of the French classics and the produce in his backyard as well as a bit further afield in the region. GEELONG ADVERTISER I 21
Breakaway Autumn 2011