Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cafe Nautigals - Apollo Bay

57-59 Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay
Vic 3233

While down in Apollo Bay for a long weekend we noticed Nautigals cafe had started serving dinner and decided to give it a try. Later we found out this was the first summer holiday season that they'd been open late, after previously doing this during in Easter 2011. The beachy café feel remains with tables on the pavement, a courtyard out the front as well as a couple of rooms inside, the café counter area with some computers and fishy wallpapered dining area with a mix of tables including the 'church area' where we literally found a pew. The menu was relatively short with around 4 entrées and 5 mains on offer. There few other tables occupied when we arrived, but it filled up,to start, and was pretty busy by the time we left.

We shared the trio of dips to start, I'm not sure the photo quite does justice to the size of the servings of the dips, they were big, larger than I'd seen as an entrée before and it was good that we were sharing! The beetroot and mint dip and eggplant and garlic were our favourites, the capsicum dip was a little on the creamy side, and with plenty of each of the others, we ran out of toast Turkish bread before we got really stuck into it.

I went for the oven cooked fish of the day with a herb crust, served on chips (I'd assumed this meant fries, but they were more like crisps) and a rocket, goats cheese, walnut and pear salad. The fish was moist and gently flavoured by the crust and the salad was fresh and interesting.

The prawn linguine with rocket and baby tomatoes featured prawns that had been completely shelled rather than left with their tales on which now seems to be the standard. Other than that the dish was up to scratch.

The staff were all fairly young, even those spotted when peaking into the kitchen behind the counter looked to be barely out of their teens. They provided friendly service and gradually got busier and maybe a bit slower during the Saturday evening. The bill came to just over $70 including an Otway beer and a couple of glasses of bubbles, served in a standard glass. Overall this was one our best dining experiences in Apollo Bay, and I reckon we'd give it another go if they are open when we are open again.
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