A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for recipeyum.com.au which is on HubGarden
Published May 2nd 2017
Want a Fantastic Meal at a Fantastic Price?
My GPS said "you have reached your destination on the right". Given that I was on a busy highway, I wondered how I would do a u-turn, but to my delight, there was a u-turn sign not far from where I was! I must mention here that I panic easily when I do not know the way, despite having a built-in GPS in my car.
Thinking to myself, "how could my friend book a restaurant in the middle of a Highway", I drove on, and eventually was pleased that there was actually parking, and plenty of it, next to where I wanted to go.
Now, the moral is, don't judge a book by its cover or don't go by first impressions, as by then I expected something very ordinary and in keeping with my thinking, the entrance looked like a very drab entrance to a hotel reception area.
What a surprise when I got inside to reveal the unusual layout of this restaurant! I was quite amazed at the enormity of this restaurant and the beautiful natural surrounds that it overlooked. The apartment complex is on the River and you therefore have water glimpses from several areas of the restaurant.
I was very impressed with the seating arrangements which gave the customer a choice of three separate areas. The first one was inside, nearest the bar/kitchen/counter and this is the one we sat at. Despite it being inside, there are huge doors making it a delightful setting on a spring day, like on the day we were there! We were undercover, however we were right next to this huge expanse of open doorway.
This area is the largest and had a feature of Mother in Law tongues running down part of it with some unusual "light bulbs" light fittings.
Impressive light bulk light fittings
There is also a deck that runs along the side, where there are tables and chairs and this overlooks native trees and lush undergrowth. This is the smallest area of the restaurant.
The side area where you overlook the pristine bush land
Down some steps and you come to the third area, where you can eat and this is in the open with a large sailcloth roof shielding you slightly from the direct sun.
The outside garden area
Both these areas have comfortable couches as well as some high bar stools and ordinary chairs, so you can have your pick even on what type of chairs you sit on!
This area was the closest to the river and was also delightful on a warm spring day like the day we were there. To access this area you have to go out the side entrance, and down some steps (which I do not envy the waitresses doing!) However, all in all, this is a delightfully set out restaurant with soft music which did not interfere with conversations.
The Mediterrani has had several owners and is in a large complex of apartments situated in Ascot. They describe themselves as "contemporary eatery, with a plush interior and an outdoor terrace, serving Modern Australian food". Now to the reason for being there - the food! The menu was not huge, however it was ample and there were large meals as well as entrees which probably would have sufficed.
However, being a Thursday when we went there, they have a pizza special at just $12 per pizza and the pizza was really big enough to share. My friend and I however, being voracious eaters, ate one each as they were so delicious! They are wood roasted pizzas and they are very large.
I ordered the Mediterrani, which had tomato, fior di latte, mussels, calamari, fish, prawns and chilli. It was served with hot chillis at no extra cost! I cannot fault my seafood pizza, it came with a pizza cutter which is a great idea as you can cut to the size you want and then either eat with fingers or the knife and fork supplied. This one had to be eaten with knife and fork as it was too messy to pick up with fingers. Normal cost of this one is $26 so for $12 it was a REAL bargain!
Pizza served on large wooden boards
My friend ordered the mushroom one with Bianco, mushroom, goats cheese, fior di latte, rocket, sun-dried tomato and this was also a great combination with a bit of ordinary cheese as well. The crust on both pizzas was lovely and thin (enabling me to eat more!).
Cutting the mushroom pizza - normally costs $24
Their full lunch time menu can be seen here although the daily specials are not advertised on their menu.
Amy and several other staff members were serving and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. The desserts looked fabulous however after eating a whole pizza, there was no way I could eat one despite Amy trying to tempt me with the carrot cake!
Amy tempting us with the carrot cakes
The kitchen was in plain sight and at the front was the giant pizza oven which was empty by the time we had eaten and I took the photo with the two bashful chefs who said they were not photogenic!
One of the two chefs in front of the pizza oven
All in all, this was one of the better restaurants I have been to in a long time with a full bar, plenty of staff and unusual surroundings.
The food arrived in about 10 minutes and there really was nothing about the Mediterrani that I could fault - they even split the bill which nowadays is a rarity. They also have a rather impressive looking bar near the entrance to the restaurant.
The bar at the Mediterrani Restaurant
An awesome place, with good food and a relaxing atmosphere. It is situated at 150 Gt Eastern Highway, Ascot, and has the following opening times:
Kitchen opening times
Or you can find out more by going to their website for bookings.
Sounds like a great find, Finy! Love the fact that you panic when you think you're lost - we lived in Europe for 3 years and I know the feeling well - driving on the wrong side of the road didn't help my sense of direction either.