The Great Ocean Road reveals so many spectacular views that after a while, you start to get a little de-sensitised to them. Having departed Melbourne in the morning to start our road trip, we were awestruck by postcard scenery every few minutes throughout our drive. Our accommodation at Seafarers Getaway only added to the impressiveness of the area, and I was starting to worry that our dinner venue might not live up to the expectations set by everything that preceded it.
Such concerns proved to be baseless once we laid eyes on the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Bass Strait. Set high in the Otways above the Great Ocean Road, the different floor levels within Chris’s Point Beacon Restaurant are a deliberate design feature to give every table a good view of its surroundings.
To say the oysters served at any restaurant in these areas is fresh is almost insulting – as if it was ever in doubt! Briny and succulent, they tasted great with a light squeeze of lemon. If you’re like me and are more accustomed to the lighter flavours of mignonettes, the red wine vinegar and shallot reduction might taste a little too strong for your liking.
Both Grace and I went for fillets of a different variety. Her main of fish was picture-perfect, which is more than what I can say for my beef. Southern European and Middle Eastern influences were evident here; featuring braised eggplant, peppers and zucchini with feta and broad beans, with an olive tapenade spooned onto the fish’s crispy skin, I recall (vaguely) the flavours gelled really nicely.
In contrast to the vivid colours of Grace’s main, my chargrilled eye fillet of beef looked like a gradation of yellow to brown. I felt the presentation (not helped by the warm orange ambient lighting) didn’t do justice to the quality of the food. The chicken liver pate on top of the fillet is a less-common accompaniment to a steak, but it provided a rich spread over the beef for an additional flavour dimension.
Table service that evening seemed a little slow, which got me concerned as night fell. Having heard stories about kangaroos jumping into the paths of oncoming cars at night, I’ve always tried to avoid driving when it’s dark. We had a nice chat with one of the staff while we settled the check, and were relieved to hear we’re unlikely to encounter those marsupials if we were driving along the coastal road. Our journey back to Seafarers Getaway proved that assurance to be true – for that night, anyway. If you really wish to avoid driving at night, you can stay at the adjacent Beacon Point Ocean View Villas, which is literally steps away from the restaurant.
Macabre digression aside, the unhurried service at Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant is unlikely to bother too many people. Why rush through a meal when there’s a beautiful view of the landscape for miles to be enjoyed with a dining companion? It may be pricier than the average restaurant, but you get a lot more than just food and drink in a menu; the location and setting can’t be had anywhere else, and when you consider all these factors together, you might even think it’s a steal.