Saturday, April 15, 2006

Healesville Harvest, Healesville

I think I just discovered the best bacon Victoria has to offer. World class bacon. Just a short, one hour drive from Melbourne, at Healesville Harvest, the produce-store-slash-cafe attached to the Healesville Hotel, 256 Maroondah Highway, Healesville, Tel +61 3 5962 4002. No wonder Bracksy chose these guys to feature in his taxpayer-funded ad explaining that Victorian produce is "world class". They do world class bacon. And Bracksy does world class pork.

healesville benedict

The eggs benedict wasn't far off world class either. Top quality Jonathan's ham (the pork theme continues). Nice fresh free range eggs. Good sourdough toast. And excellent hollandaise. Actually, the menu said they used BĂ©arnaise, not hollandaise, which is an acceptable substitution IMHO. About the only difference is the butter (clarified for hollandaise) and the vinegar (hollandaise contains lemon juice). Without the tell-tale tarragon or herbs, I struggle to tell them apart.

The food really is the star of breakfast at Harvest. Mum reckoned the corn fritters with smoked salmon were the best she's had. Not as corny as Replete or Mart 130, but a softer, more complex mix of flavours, with flecks of coriander and red capsicum.

Service, on the other hand, is not a strong point. You have to scavenge around for a table, with only 2 not-so-large communal tables protected from the weather, and the rest stuck out in the lane-way (with a roof and some heaters, but no walls). Then you queue up to order, and carry your own cutlery, water, etc, back to your seat. After that, service kicks in. They deliver the food to your table. And coffee, too. Genovese, of course.

With all this talk of pork, I leave you with these words from Senator Amanda Vanstone, proud owner of about 1,700 pigs:
I don't know much about pigs, but I like a ham at Christmas and I think there is nothing wrong with eggs and bacon
15/20 "oink oink"

score