In Short: Pebbles Restaurant located inside the Moonah Links Resort is a special part of this gorgeous estate. Whether your staying for a weekend, or driving up for the day, make sure you linger a little longer and let the team treat you to some of the Peninsula’s fantastic local food and wine.
Latest Visit | We’re back for the new menu!
Let’s be honest, after being in hibernation for a substantial chunk of the last 2 years, getting back out there to support all the amazing hospitality venues again gets us just a tad excited!
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In a world far, far away (aka 2019) we got to experience the wonderful Pebbles at Moonah Links Resort on the magical Mornington Peninsula. Now they (and we) are back, to try out the new menu under Chef Dipen Patel, who is bringing a little extra magic back to the golfers, holiday makers, and locals that frequent this much-loved slice of heaven.
Feeling a little out of practice as we walked through the doors, it quickly melted away as soon as we were greeted by the warm hospitality of Melanie and Helen. While we set up, bartender Sebastian was right on it, making our cocktails from a showcase of local distilleries, and it all started to flow from there…
I’m always partial to the odd rum cocktail, and The Bunyip was a fantastic mix bringing Dromana-based JimmyRum Oaked with its silver butterscotch notes, together with Australian amari, lime, Burlesque Bitters, and whites. Just like it promised, it was a mystical delight for the tastebuds. If vodka is your spirit of choice, then Sunburnt Country is your cocktail. Rye local distillery, Penni Ave Lemon Myrtle Vodka is blended with eucalyptus tea, Foxeys Sparkling from Red Hill, lemon & whites for what tastes like Australia in a martini glass.
As the afternoon sun danced across the table and the restaurant filled with guests, the bright red of the Nasturtium flowers caught our eye as the Hiramsa King Fish arrived, surrounded in radish carpaccio, and tigers’ milk (Leche del Tigre) a Peruvian citrus-based marinade, that made the whole dish delicate and aromatic.
It came with the beautifully plated Fromage De Chevre, with its deep red colours showcasing the textures and flavours of smooth goats’ mousse, earthy, asparagus, crunchy walnut crackers, and a tangy Granny Smith & raspberry beurre noisette.
Our tastebuds were then treated to the vegetarian adventure that was the Polos Maaluwa, with the delicious spiced crispy jackfruit, tomato kasundi (a spicy and savory tomato and mustard chutney), lotus root crisps and the amazing coconut labneh.
We took a short break to wander the beautiful grounds of the resort and soak in a not-to-be-missed peninsula sunset over the perfectly manicured golf course. And as the rays hit the horizon, so did the mains to the table.
Chicken and corn is that winning combination, going together like peas and carrots, but the Saltbush Crusted Chicken Supreme was another level with charred chilli corn salad, corn puree, caper berries, and truffle jus to ensure that we left nothing behind on the plate.
The Roaring Forties Lamb Loin tasted as rich and decadent as it looked as we devoured the harissa spiced lamb backstrap with goat’s cheese, fresh figs, blackberries, all drizzled in juniper berry sauce.
From land to sea, the Oraking Salmon was sublimely aromatic with a green pea, fennel, & feta salad, Thai fragrant coconut broth, and Nasturtium Oil.
With just enough room for dessert (always!) we end the night with the Kensington Mango Parfait, with caramelised white chocolate, pistachio puree, raspberry soil, and sorrel and the surprising Moonah Ice Cream Sandwich, sesame parfait squeezed between crispy brioche French toast, raspberry gelee, and a swirl of vanilla milk puree. Paired with the sparkling and exquisite 2015 Quealy Moscato Rose “Eden” from Balnarring-based Quealy Winemakers, and we couldn’t have planned a better way to round off our first ‘out-of-lockdown’ adventure.
We may not have been able to travel anywhere these past 2 years, but we were taken on a global tour of the world’s flavours in Chef Patel’s menu, while still maintaining a quintessential Australian flair. It was made all the extra special knowing that so many of the ingredients, spirits, and wine were all sourced from local Peninsula businesses.
We’ll be back…might also include a round of golf next time around!
Previous Visit | Pebbles Restaurant
The Mornington Peninsula is just one of those magical, must-visit places whenever you head to Victoria. We’re lucky enough to have family that live here, so this place is our regular country ‘retreat’ and we’ve spent many days exploring all the corners of this incredible part of Australia. So, how delighted were we when our good friends at Australian Good Food Guide extended an invitation to share in the special experience that is Pebbles Restaurant at the Peninsula’s premier golf destination Moonah Links Resort. Winding down the road to the beautiful estate was spectacular. The sun was setting over the grounds, with the breathtaking colours of the winter sun in hues of gold and pink, against the backdrop of native Australian bushland.
We were spoilt with an amazing welcome by the team at Pebbles, and had our incredible host, Martin, who expertly guided us through an evening of all things food and wine. Not missing a beat, Martin had a glass of the King Valley Prosecco at our table faster than we could say ‘yes, please’! What a beautiful drop from Victoria that kicked off an incredible evening…
As we sat toasty and warm in front of the fire, and a flush in our cheeks from the wine, we began the food adventure with seared scallops served on a bed of cauliflower purée, and dusted with prosciutto crumbs, dill oil and micro herbs. The scallops had the taste of the ocean, cooked to be succulent and soft, complemented with the delicate flavours of cauliflower and salty texture of prosciutto, it made this a wonderful starter for the evening.
Not to be outdone, the pumpkin & feta ravioli with sage butter and pine nuts was definitely one of my favourite dishes of the evening. Delicate parcels of beautifully encased sweet pumpkin and warm feta, accented with the delicious flavours of the sage butter and the crunch of the pine nuts.
With starters like that, we knew our mains were going to be equally delectable, so when the wild pepper lamb backstrip arrived, it was fellow Coco & Viner’s Steve’s moment to put down the camera (just for a second!) to take in the aromas and lovely presentation. Its always a testament to the kitchen, when any meat is cooked with simplicity but melts in your mouth with all it’s complex flavours. Partner the lamb with peninsula honey-glazed carrots, parsnip purée, and rosemary jus, and well, that’s just a little slice of heaven right there.
For the seafood lovers out there, you couldn’t go past the quintessential Australian fish?! Pebbles, saltwater barramundi fillet with crushed potatoes, sautéed asparagus, and lemon caper sauce, paid homage in all the right ways to this versatile and mild-flavoured underwater gem. The freshness was impeccable and the perfectly crusted skin gave it that layer of texture. Absolutely divine!
When there’s dessert on offer, we never say no! We found the perfect pair, that spoke to each of our sweet tastes in the spiced coconut custard served with pistachio praline and the chocolate caramel tart served with vanilla bean mascarpone. Steve and I didn’t even have to have the battle of the spoons – we were both in our happy place with this heavenly end to a delightful evening.
Whether it be winter or summer, or any other season in between, the Mornington Peninsula is a treasure trove just hungry to be explored. Whenever you head down, make sure you add a stop-over at Moonah Links and make time for a lazy couple of hours to enjoy the culinary delights at Pebbles Restaurant overlooking that magical Australian backdrop.
*Coco and Vine dined as guests of AGFG and Pebbles Restaurant. However, all opinions and photos are our own.