Belgrave Manor Earthly Pleasures Café is not like any other café.
Walking past the gates, you will notice the distinct grey stone heritage listed building, surrounded by a beautiful and peaceful garden. There are seating around the front and back of the manor for you to sit and relax and enjoy the views of the gardens. On the inside, it looks like an oversized cottage with high ceilings, vintage décor and a fireplace in the corner. You strangely feel cosy and right at home.
Ok I've rambled on too much about the ambience (but you do have to see for yourself what a truly unique place this is). Let's get down to business, the food. It doesn't matter if I'm eating at the Taj Mahal, bad food is not worthy of a revisit. So based on the food alone I can safely say that I will be a regular visitor. The café specialises in a fresh and organic menu, catering very well for dietary requirements such as gluten free and vegetarians. There is no set menu; it changes daily, so there is always something new to try.
We started our dinner with a selection of dips, olive mix and crisp, fresh bread. I had the Sri Lankan potato and cauliflower curry with wild rice and apricot chutney. Outstanding! The portion size was so large but I could not stop eating. Others on my table had waguy steak, salmon, and an interesting grilled vegetable salad, all cooked to perfection. Trying to squeeze in more delicious food, we all shared a pear crumble and raspberry cheesecake with a side of vanilla bean ice-cream. Try their beers and chai latte too. All organic of course.
My one and only gripe was that the mains took a bit too long to come out. Though the service was so pleasant, I really can't complain. We spent the time enjoying the views of the garden from our window seat anyway.
This is definitely a place worthy of a visit even if it's a bit far from you. Make a day trip of it, it's right near the Dandenong mountains. Go and have scones for afternoon tea up in the mountains, then make your way here for dinner. Make sure you're very hungry by that time though, you'll need to be!