A beautiful spring weekend. An open schedule. Is there anything better than going for a drive and discovering new places? If you’re in Australia, then going for a drive is practically a national pastime and you shouldn’t miss out on all the wonderful things Melbourne has to offer outside its immediate suburbs.
Situated on the shores of the lovely Westernport bay on the Mornington Peninsula, Hastings on a sunny Saturday afternoon is quiet and clean, wide streets (with names like Salmon, Mullet and Herring Street) and neat suburban houses with a country town feel that, with the advent of Eastlink, is a much shorter drive from Melbourne than it used to be.
We drove around to get a feel for the town, walked the main shopping area and had a drink at the Westernport Hotel. We had some discussion and browsed a few window menus for places around town but my husband had seen an ad in the Hastings News for the Marina Bar & Bistro so we decided to go look for it. We found it, not surprisingly, at the marina on the water side of Mullet and Skinner Street.
We arrived early and asked for a table – it was apparent from the Reserved signs they were fairly well booked, so if you go, call and book. (Phone: 5979 3699)
It’s a pleasant restaurant area, high beamed, cathedral ceilings to absorb the sound. We were seated in the balcony area in front of the bar, with a view out full-length windows to a view of the marina and the bay.
Even when the place filled up a bit later on it was no effort to have quiet conversation, even when the kitchen got busy with pans and flames. Yes, that’s right. You can watch the chefs at work as they cook up delicious meals. I loved watching them, especially as they really hit their stride when the restaurant filled up.
Their menu is as impressive enough that their wonderful selection of starters, entrees, salads, pastas, meat and seafood mains, kids and seniors menus, and delicious desserts will have you wanting more time to sit and make up your mind about what to try. The prices are very good for food of this quality making it feasible to feed the family without melting the plastic.
My husband liked the wine list – an ex-wine steward, he appreciated the selection, the prices and that nearly all their wines are available by the glass. They also serve a good variety of beers and premixes and there’s a full bar.
We indulged ourselves with sweet chilli bread, crumbed (deep fried) camembert, avocado seafood with cheese sauce, succulent and thick chicken breast covered with juicy, perfectly cooked seafood and a fresh, local whole flounder that peeled easily off the bones.
Upon seeing the menu, my husband commented, “We can come back again…” And we will – there’s a 500gm steak my fella has his eye on.
Hastings (Right hand side of Marina)
Phone: 5979 3699