Monday, January 12, 2015

Birregurra Farm Foods, Birregurra by Bureaucrat

Birregurra is a little town that's located between Geelong and Colac.  I've never heard of the place until Beaker suggested it as a day trip destination.  Apparently, Birre (as it is known to locals) is a little hub of foodieness and is part of the Otway gourmet harvest trail.

Forest foods pizza

We made a booking for lunch at the Birregurra Farm Foods, which is a providore and cafe (also known as The Meating Place Cafe).  From the inner-east 'burbs, it would take a bit over two hours to get to Birre. The fact that we got lost (thanks to the unreliable GPS that took us on a detour down a road that was ultimately a dead end; and throw in a few road works along the way) meant that it almost took three hours for us to arrive.  Starving, whinging (not just Bubba Chuck) and with numb bums, we fell out the car ready to eat everything on sight.

It's a small cafe, decorated in a sort of provincial French style with them long wooden church pews, antique mirrors, copper pots and gorgeous oak furniture.

First things first, a couple of hot drinks to warm up and to stave off impending hunger.  A hot chocolate for Bubba Chuck, latte for the Lawyer...

...and a couple of pots of tea for Beaker and me.

The friendly owner told us that their pizzas were small in size but use the best ingredients.  For three adults and one child, we ordered three pizzas and another main.  On any other day this would probably be enough but since we were all starving from the long trip, I think we all could have done with ordering another main dish (or got some entrees to share).

Service was a tad slow, owing to the fact that they were short staffed on that day.  But it's a good thing that the pizzas were cooked in the wood-fired oven - it only took minutes for them to cook once the pizza was prepared.  When the arrived at the table... oh boy!  Nom, nom, nom, nom!

This was "The Pork".  Free range pork (minced), napoli and provolone, slow roasted caps, brie, smoky BBQ sauce ($20.50).  A beautiful thin crust pizza loaded with flavour.  I'm usually not a fan of BBQ sauce on pizzas but this sauce wasn't them in-your-face BBQ sauce that you buy from the shops, it was mellow, smoky and didn't drown out the sweetness from the pork and roasted capsicums.

This was my favourite pizza - the Istra salami pizza with wood fire roasted cherry tomatoes and red pepper, Birregurra Olives, sweet basil, slow roasted garlic, napoli sauce and buffalo mozzarella ($20.50).  Simple but fabulous ingredients.  Utter yum!

I also quite liked the Forest foods pizza - log grown shiitake w L'artisan Fermier and provolone cheese, served with Pink Lake sea kelp salt ($18.50) (see first pic).  The moreish umami flavours from the fresh shiitake and provolone cheese was wonderful; and I loved the squidgy fatness of the mushrooms.

So that we tried other things on the menu, we also got the steak sanger - an Angus rump steak char-grilled served on sourdough with caramelised onions, chutney and salad ($18.50).  The bread was a tad over burnished but it didn't detract from the flavour of the dish.  The steak was tender but could do with a bit more seasoning.  I really liked the chutney and smeared over my bread.

Verdict: we loved it.

The food is a tad pricey but it's so well worth it for the flavour.  We all loved the pizzas and could easily have wolfed down a few more.  Be sure to make a booking before you turn up - the place has a limited number of tables and is quite popular among the locals.

Birregurra Farm Foods on Urbanspoon

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