Friday, 6 November 2009

Seachange Requested - Time and Tide Gallery Cafe

We spent a recent long weekend dodging rain squalls along the southern Australian coastline halfway to Adelaide and back. Once again indisputable evidence that the surest way to break a prolonged drought in any region, would be to get us to plan a getaway there. Not that I’m complaining really. It made for dramatic scenery and it was a terrific time! Grateful to be breathing in lungfuls of bitingly crisp but fabulously clean Australian air after past months of jaunter in, out, and around the soupy atmosphere of SE Asia. Mostly for work, a little of it play and boundless opportunities for exotic degustation!

Enjoying flat whites with a view

Anyway more on those later, for now KB and I were breaking fast at the Time and Tide Gallery Cafe just outside the little seaside township of Port Fairy. This quaint fishing village on Victoria's southwestern coast may be small but its scenic natural attributes have attracted a congregation of trendy cafes and notable restaurants for fortunate locals and passing tourists like ourselves. Because of the plentiful choices on offer right on Port Fairy's main street, getting to Time and Tide Cafe requires a bit of mission mindedness. Head southwest out of town on the Princes Hwy for 5-10 minutes looking out for the signs that indicate the location of the turn-off. After that it's a couple of km of dirt road leading up to the beachhouse in which the cafe is located. In the bad weather it was potholed and rough enough to put a 'look at me' gleam in the eyes of those steering their line of Toorak Tractors along the track, not missing the opportunity to spray bragworthy mud over their virgin wheel arches. Sure, our little city hatch had a good time too!

The designer weatherboard entrance had more of an art gallery feel than cafe but the inside was pretty much divided equally between the two sections. We browsed through the displays of beach themed trinkets before settling into a table next to the large windows that allowed unhindered views out to a small crystal clear covelet and the Southern Ocean beyond. The place was right on a very pretty beach with views enough to incite jealous dreams for ones own seachange, and almost enough to make one not notice that a standard cup of coffee was at the upper end at $4.

Baked egg, mushroom, vege, ham and cheese pie with tomato relish

Time and Tide offers lightish meals for breakfast and lunch, including a variety of gourmet sandwiches and griddled panini as well as ready baked pies, frittata, quiches, pastries and cakes. Most of the menu is scribbled on a blackboard and freshly on display within the glass counter. A mill of visitors checking out the board and food display indicated that orders were taken and paid for immediately at the counter. Drinks and food were cheerfully delivered to tables though. We had a roast vegie and ham/bacon pie and a potato and corn frittata (both around $15) which were served remarkably well reheated from what appeared to be a small galley kitchen, and well accompanied by a dressed spinach salad and piquant tomato relish. Overall pretty tasty with good sized serves. Jars of the relish plus other gourmet preserves are also sold by the cafe's small condiments section.

Time and Tide was certainly a bright and delightful place to spend an hour or so in for some rejuvenating nourishment, either after, or prior to exploring the beach and rockpools that run right up to it. In better weather, one might be enticed to linger even longer at outside tables on the wooden deck. As it was during our visit, as intermittent gusts of rain beating against the windows reminded us how cosy it was inside, I almost thought $4 was a small price to pay for a second cup of coffee, almost.

Food: 15/20 - light meals, nothing elaborate.
Service: 16/20 - Order at counter but otherwise cheery.
Value: 15/20 - Top half of average cafe prices.
R-Factor: 16/20 - It's a great spot!
Spot Score: 16/20 - Worth a visit if staying at Port Fairy or passing through for lunch.

Time and Tide Gallery Cafe and Gallery
21, Thistle Place, Port Fairy VIC.

7 comments:

Agnes said...

Looks like a nice place to stop for a bite to eat and a coffee, even if the coffee is a bit pricey. ;)

Rilsta said...

Wow, that egg pie looks like something unusual! The "pastry" outside was actually egg right? Looks yum!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Gosh! There must heaps of little cafes like that hidden away. So pretty!

Towz said...

Hi all - It's definitely a great place to stop for a coffee break on a road trip south, and to grab a bite to eat while soaking in the sea air and unspoilt coastal views.

Kath Lockett said...

G'day F
Great photos and makes me want to turn into a hobbit and have a second breakfast....

Towz said...

Welcome to Spot4Nosh Kath! And yes, Port Fairy makes a great weekend foodie getaway!

Spencer said...

I have eaten here! They do a nice line in chocolate cakes if I remember rightly too!