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Published December 5th 2018
A slice of The Mediterranean near Goolwa
It was a bucolic scene.
A Sunday that dawned grey and gloomy had, by mid-morning, cleared to reveal a pristine aquamarine sky. The sun, risen hours earlier, had banished the dense mist that clung tenaciously to pasture, paddock and vineyard. Brown and green hues, wood and stone textures, rose from the monochrome mist. From above could be seen a patchwork quilt covering rolling hills, dotted with groups of ambling animals and framed by tree lines.
A short drive out from Goolwa is Kingsbrook Cafe and Cellar door. Long a well-known location for weddings, it also opens on Sundays for lunch between September to March, 12 midday to 5pm. Descend a few steps and the dining area evokes a Mediterranean villa; an airy, idyllic scene of creeping vines, sandy stonework and charmingly rustic tables. Here there is a bar with Kingsbrook wines; there, crackling against a wall, a wood fired oven to the side of the open area, with the kitchen alongside.
A blackboard with the day's menu is situated near the bar - descriptions and prices below contributing to an appealing Cittaslow atmosphere. On this Sunday the menu comprised a range of Mediterranean dishes including garlic prawns, puttanesca, stuffed squid, chicken involtini, salt and pepper prawns, grilled salmon and a steak, with a few wood fired oven pizzas. A small selection of comforting desserts ranging from brie with salad to butterscotch pudding and a chocolate torte was also available.
The service was friendly and the experience was relaxed and casual. With the pizzas, flavoursome tomato and melted cheese with basil contrasted well with a thin base. Where the edges had been licked with flame and crisped against hot stone the crust had a delicious smoky char, the faint bitterness contrasting well with the rich cheese and tomato lifted by the freshness of basil.