There's nothing quite like going on a road trip and discovering a fabulous eatery out in regional Victoria.
On this day, Trentham, was our destination. We had no real reason for picking Trentham except that it wasn't too far to get to. Also, rather unusually, we didn't have a set place in mind to try.
Arriving around lunch time, it was grey, drizzling and with an icy wind. Initially we weren't too impressed with what we could see in terms of restaurants/cafes/pubs on the main road.
However, I spotted a sign that had a flaming red beard pointing to a side street - Red Beard Historic Bakery and Cafe. My foodie instinct told me that lunch would be good.... REAL good.
Inside, it was a spacious open dining area with lots of baked goodies and homemade treats on display.
You definitely get a sense that RBHBC is a hit with the lucky locals and also the day trippers. My greedy eyes were darting everywhere - I just wanted to try everything.
To warm up our bones, we got some pots of tea.
For Bubba Chuck, she picked the baked potato. We all thought that this would come out to be just a plain spud with some topping. What we got was this massive spud that was so creamy and fluffy (apparently slow cooked for hours in RBHBC's ancient oven) and it was smothered in this melt-in-your-mouth braised lamb w creme fraiche. The photo here doesn't do the dish justice. It was a very generous serve - amazing value at $14. The lamb was deep flavoured with red wine and the creme fraiche added a very luxurious yumminess to the dish. Bubba Chuck did her best with it. But Beaker and I were secretly glad that she couldn't finish it because it meant that we could just dig right in. Carnivores, you must order this.
On a similar note, Beaker ordered the warm chicken salad. She was expecting an average quality salad, but she got a lot more than that! Four generous thigh pieces that's been rolled and stuff w coriander and lots of freshly grated ginger for $14. It was served on a very fresh bed of mixed greens w sweet chilli dressing. The chicken was pan fried on the outside so it had a lovely crust but remained deliciously juicy on the inside and wasn't greasy at all. Beaker was very pleased with her dish.
I got the chicken and leek pie w chutney and salad ($15)....omg this is one of the best pies that I've ever eaten. Lovely, buttery and flaky pastry. Inside, lots of tender chunks of chicken with a morish cream sauce that was piping hot. The chutney was made from apricots. It was so delicious that I wanted to buy a jar to take home. Unfortunately, they had all sold out. The salad was fresh and I liked that it used lots of different greens.
Despite being very full and content, Beaker and I thought it'd be a sacrilege not to try some of the baked goods.
I got a nice wedge of the ginger and treacle cake. One of the best I have ever had! Deep ginger and caramelly flavours, and not sickly sweet. Despite being a dense cake, it was quite moist. It was so tasty that I bought two whole cakes to take home with me. So simple, so perfect.
Bubba Chuck went for a chewy meringue. Personally, I don't see the point of eating a meringue just as it is. It's not much until you slather it with whipped cream and fruits.
And Beaker got a nice tea bun. Almost everyone at RBHBC was eating this, so we thought we had to check it out. A deliciously yeasty and light fruit bun. Beaker especially liked the fact that it had currants (and not raisins/sultanas) in the bun and that it was served warm. It was so very good. Going by the newspaper and magazine clippings on display, the nice tea bun is recommended by a lot of foodie experts - and I couldn't agree more.
Food – 10
Ambience – 7.5
Service – 7.5
Price – 9
The quality is second to none. Incredibly great value for the serving size and quality on offer. They could easily (and justifiably) charge a lot more. It's everything what you'd expect country food to be.
RBHBC is definitely on my foodie map and I will definitely be back for more of it's great food!
Friendly staff, great vibe and lots of delicious food. If you're in the area, you must stop at RBHBC - if not to dine in, then definitely get something to take home with you... And that's an order!
Red Beard Historic Bakery and Cafe
38A High Street
Trentham VIC 3458
Telephone: 03 5424 1002