A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published January 5th 2015
The perfect spot on the wharf
Summer holidays are a time to unwind, with many of us heading to the coast. Goolwa is a charming coastal village with its own wharf, paddle steamers and railway station complete with visiting steam train (the cockle train). There are also markets run by the Rotary Club every 1st and 3rd Sunday. A pretty main street with solid heritage buildings, galleries and cafes. While enjoying a bit of the local culture it is worth stopping at the highly regarded Hectors on the Wharf.
This popular cafe caters for breakfast and lunch and is fully licensed. Its coffee is also highly rated, but as I did not try the coffee I can't comment.
Hectors on the wharf has scored the best location in Goolwa, right on the wharf in amongst all the life and times of life on the water. As you sit perched on the wharf you can definitely feel the sea breezes. With views of the pelicans, sailing boats, ducks and even the occasional seal will pop up to say hello. Hectors sits on the boards of the wharf and visitors can feel the bounce as people wander by. The other feature for those dining outside is the imposing sight of the Hindmarsh Island Bridge.
Food The menu offers a good range of meals, within the average price range. The house-made baked spinach, feta, sultana and pine-nut pie in filo pastry served with salad of Spanish onion, rocket, olive and parmesan salad, with over roasted cherry tomato and capsicum salsa is quite substantial. The salsa was a good addition to round out the flavours. As fitting a restaurant by the sea there are some good seafood options including salt and pepper squid and a seafood platter for two which was very tempting. Which is listed as being available for one too.
Wine A smallish selection, but within reasonable price range. Wines by the glass are now quite expensive, with some hitting $12 a glass. The chilled Tapestry Sauvignon Blanc was generous, light and fresh.
Design Hectors has a boathouse beachy décor that is perfectly attuned to its surroundings. It is air conditioned but as with many busy restaurants the sound can build up inside. The other option is to sit outside at a small wooden table and be within close proximity to the water.
Service The staff were all friendly and offered suggestions on what was available in food and drinks and dining options while not being intrusive.