In Short: Green Olive At Red Hill combines the tranquil beauty of the Mornington Peninsula countryside with home grown and locally sourced premium ingredients served tapas style. Innovative flavours and great coffee make Green Olive a must visit for any foodie touring the Mornington Peninsula.
Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is one of those hidden foodie paradises that once you know it exists you kick yourself for not knowing sooner and can’t seem to shut up about it to anyone that will listen. The deep green, forest-flanked country roads reveal culinary gems that rival the best to be found in regions with names of Tuscany, Hunter, Loire, and Bordeaux, but offer that quality with a far more accessible and relaxed Australian flare. Green Olive at Red Hill is one of the brightest gems in a treasure trove of tastes.
Green Olive at Red Hill sits serenely in a quintessential Peninsula landscape, nestled amongst the vines of the estate’s vineyard. The space is a mixture of fresh, open, and al fresco seating, complimented with industrial chic interiors that make it welcoming throughout the year. It’s a comfortably crisp mid-morning, so we settle on a lavender and wildflower surrounded table and begin our tour through Green Olive’s eclectic menu.
Of course, it’s coffee and tea all around, but not before our most important foodie gets her rush order for a single origin babycino to the barista, pronto! The babycino is smooth, creamy, and perfectly frothed…oh no, you don’t seriously think I’m going to review a babycino?!
On to more pressing issues. The cappuccino is every bit the standard of a hip, funky Melbourne café with a smooth creaminess that finishes with caramel and chocolate notes that never ventures into sugary sweetness.
The poshest member of our group opts for the delicate, loose leaf English breakfast tea, and given the setting that could easily be mistaken for the green tea gardens of the old country, it seems all too fitting.
With babycinos and bonny teas going down a treat, it’s on to the main event. Beetroot bruschetta bursts with colour and flavour to the beat of roast garden beetroot, farm-made ricotta, and extra virgin olive oil.
Served in a rustic board style, the accompanying crusty bread and trio of spreads make for a deliciously innovative take on an old favourite. The sweetness of the roasted beetroot plays perfectly off the creamy ricotta. Accentuate the main ingredients with the combination of honey, jam, and real butter spreads, and the table was eerily quiet with enjoyment.
The braised lamb open sandwich punctuates our posh picnic with succulent shredded lamb atop a mound of colourful, crunchy garden coleslaw, and bright wood-fired dukkah, for good measure. The lamb is refined in flavour and not overpowering. The creaminess of the coleslaw works superbly to bring it all together in a satisfying, yet light and lively mouthful.
Riding shotgun with the Green Olive lamb, the egg frittata sits buoyantly on its own side of this board-of-plenty. Stuffed with garden vegetables and accompanied by a divine farm-made capsicum relish, the frittata is a little jewel of sophisticated simplicity. The earthy, comforting flavours make their point and remind me how lucky we are to have premium ingredients like these on our doorstep.
It’s a running joke with friends and family that I could easily live on chick peas alone, if the need arose. Take those chick peas and mix them with the makings of an outstanding homemade hummus and I’m in heaven. Spiced with wood-fired dukkah, and bathed in premium extra virgin olive oil, the only thing that could top it all off is fresh ciabatta.
We spend an awful lot of time in some of Australia’s best restaurants and cafes. To have that same quality of food while bathed in the tranquillity of the precious Peninsula countryside only makes places like Green Olive at Red Hill all the more of a gem for foodies to discover.