Geordie's is a new cafe that's opened at Geordie Bay on Rottnest Island, setting up shop in a cafe space that has lain vacant for two years now. Holidaying on Rottnest over the 2012 Christmas holidays, we visited Geordie's for lunch on only its second day of operation.
The architects have created a nice space at Geordie's, with polished concrete, bright chairs and spacious tables inside, and a shaded casual area outside. Quokkas hop about and it generally has a nice, relaxed island vibe.
Geordie's caters for those who just want a coffee or juice and for hungry types seeking more substantial fare. Open from 7am to 9pm during the summer holidays, its menu includes breakfast options, smoothies, burgers, salads, fish and chips, and cakes and pastries. Vegetarians are catered for.
As at all the eateries on Rottnest, many of the items on the Geordie's menu are expensive enough to make you think twice about eating there ($4.50 for a coffee, $20 for a steak sandwich, over $20 for a chicken caesar salad).
We'd eaten out on the island a few times before we headed to Geordie's, so we knew what to expect price-wise. But we did see a number of other prospective patrons (especially backpackers) walk in, check out the prices, then leave without ordering. Nonetheless, the cafe was packed with hungry holidaymakers, including plenty of families.
We accepted the prices and ordered quickly -- two serves of the kids' fish and chips ($10 each), a steak sandwich for me ($20) and a roast vegetable on turkish ($18) for my husband. Our pleasant waitress explained that the holiday rush meant we'd have a half-hour wait for our food, and also that no substitutions or changes to standard items were permitted. Again we shrugged, accepted fate, and ordered some drinks to enjoy while we waited.
These took around 15 minutes to arrive, but were good when they did. My husband's short black ($4.50, made on 5 Senses coffee) met his high standards, while my boys' mango smoothies ($8 each) were full, fruity and refreshing. My green tea ($6) was nice enough, made on a bag but a good quality one.
Our food followed about 20 minutes after that. The kids enjoyed their fish and chips, which were better than most that they ate on the island. While the chips came from out of the freezer, the fish itself tasted fresher and more flavoursome than some of the frozen fillets we were served elsewhere.
My steak sandwich was filling, with nice bread, a fresh salad and a tasty relish, and steak of reasonable size and quality. My husband's meal was the pick of the bunch, with pesto, fetta, roast vegetables and plenty of fresh spinach. We ate with gusto, paid our bill ($82 for four), and headed off to explore the island some more.
Like everywhere on Rottnest, Geordie's charges a premium that would simply be unacceptable on the mainland. I'm not sure how much that premium reflects the undoubtedly higher costs of doing business on an island, and how much it reflects a captive tourist market.
Either way, if you're willing to accept the prices, the food at Geordie's is above average, and substantially better than equally expensive food we ate at other Rottnest outlets. Add to that pleasant (if slightly slow) service, attractive surroundings, and some friendly quokkas, and you have one of the island's more enjoyable eateries.