Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Wild Cafe Restaurant, Penguin May 2013

Seared prawn dumplings in lemongrass broth

Lobster and prawn vietnamese rice paper rolls

Thai calamari with soba noodle salad

Chargrilled haloumi and vegie stack

Dukka crusted fried camembert

Chocolate brulee

Banana tempura
I have had many people over the years telling me how wonderful Wild Café in Penguin is, and how I absolutely must go there and eat. Well, it’s obviously not like a quick drive over the bridge to the eastern shore! It’s a 4 hour drive to the NW of the state. Given that we were returning to Hobart from Stanley last week, we decided to break the journey and lunch at this mythical restaurant I’d heard so much about. It could have turned out to be crap. Luckily for us, we were rewarded with one of the best lunches in a long time.

The service was impeccable, timely and all-encompassing. Our waitress addressed each table in the manner appropriate to that particular table. For example, I overheard the conversation between the customers at the table behind us and the waitress discussing one of the customer’s allergies and food preferences. The waitress dealt with all requests and explanations politely and sympathetically, and ensured that when the food came out of the kitchen, it was to the customer’s satisfaction.

The café itself is a pleasant, tranquil, clean environment, with a beautiful outlook over the water (Bass Strait), with the train tracks in between the café and the water. As luck had it, an extremely long train happened to roll past as we sat quietly eating. It seemed like it passed right through the kitchen, it was so close! I’m sure I could have touched it had I had the inclination to poke my arm out the window!

Bec and I decided to share a handful of entrees, so we could sample a good cross section of the food. We found a lot of the menu items to have an Asian bias, which worked well for us, loving Asian food as we do.

So, we had:
*lobster and prawn Vietnamese rice paper rolls with green papaya lime dressing ($22)
*chips and garlic aioli ($6)
*seared prawn dumplings in a fragrant lemongrass broth with shitake mushroom and green onion ($18)
*dukka coated deep fried camembert with pecan pear salad, quince jam and balsamic onion ($17.80)
*char grilled haloumi, eggplant, sweet potato and zucchini stack with pomegranate dressing ($17.80)
*Thai inspired grilled calamari with soba noodle salad and coriander vinaigrette ($18)

and for dessert:
*chocolate brulee with French teacake and orange cardamom ice cream ($14.50)
*banana tempura with vanilla ice cream and honey caramel sauce ($11.50)

It was all gorgeous, but the standouts for me were the lemongrass broth dish, and the honey caramel sauce that accompanied the tempura banana.

I am SO glad we stopped there and lunched, and wholeheartedly endorse everyone else’s recommendations – this is certainly the place to go if you are heading up that way to the NW of the state.

Wild Café Restaurant
87 Main Road
Ph 03 6437 2000
(It’s just along from the giant penguin on the waterfront)
Posted on by Rita
1 comment


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you Rita. We had a meal there last year and loved it. Highly Recommended.