I was always told as a child, never to judge a book by its cover, and I have to admit I was guilty of it recently when approaching The Bunyip Village Cafe in search of sustenance for my family on a jaunt to the country. The outside of the cafe appears non descript and darkly shadowed by its wide verandah painted in heritage green, but pull open the wire screened door and the inside is deceptively bright with its high ceilings and fresh white walls.
While the outside decor fits in with the expected old country charm of a small township such as Bunyip, the interior colour scheme of black and white gives it a hip and chic feel that was unexpected some 80 or so kilometres south of Melbourne.
Simply decorated with modern black tables and chairs, well placed so as not to crowd the diners in while maintaining the feel of spaciousness and teamed with positive affirmations in black cursive script on the walls, The Bunyip Village Cafe could easily hold its own in an inner city setting.
The menu is written on the standard fish and chip shop blackboard with chalk, and ranges from fresh made sandwiches, chicken nuggets, dim sims, hamburgers, chicken schnitzel burgers, souvlaki, fish and chips. Both my husband and I ordered chicken schnitzel burgers while our young man went with what he calls chicken golf balls (chicken balls filled with garlic sauce), chicken nuggets, and chips. The nuggets and 'golf balls' arrived on a crescent shaped little plate, eliciting the comment of, "It's a smiley plate" from our young son and put smiles on all our faces.
Upon the arrival of our chicken schnitzel burgers, I felt a frisson of fear go through me when they arrived skewered right through the middle of the very large serving, and I knew there would be no hope of eating these burgers politely. To sum up the enormity of the situation they were an "eat me with two hands" sized burger, were deliciously fresh, and yes I did manage to polish off every last bit.
In typical country style, the staff served us with a friendly smile and were extremely understanding when our young man politely asked for some tomato sauce for his chips. The all important wait time was approximately 15 minutes, which was very reasonable especially when you have to deal with an always rumbling tummy of a growing 3 year old.
There are outdoor seats and tables available if you prefer to eat outside although I don't believe they are for the exclusive use of the cafe patrons.
Our first sight of the Bunyip Village Cafe, looks can be very deceiving
The Bunyip Village Cafe can be found at 9/10 Main Street, on the corner of High street, Bunyip (phone 03-5629-6164). Their prices were more than fair for the high quality of our meals and I have come to appreciate eating establishments that understand the needs of their littlest customers by bringing out the kids' meals first.