Good seafood chowder is hard to find. I mean the authentic dish that evokes olfactory memories of San Francisco's Pier 39 or the rugged fishing villages of New England, where the bread bowl is made of actual sourdough and you shamelessly slurp your way through a superlatively satisfying soup.
Warrnambool is a long way from coastal USA, and a fair drive from Melbourne for that matter. But if you're down that way for a strenuous weekend of whale watching, volcano viewing or apostle appreciating, there's an eatery worth checking out for one of the simple pleasures of culinary life.
Nestled on Pertobe Rd abutting the beach, Simon's Waterfront is not unlike many beachside café restaurants dotted along Australia's coastline. Two factors do set it apart, however: a killer view that may feature a dolphin or whale on the right day. And amazing clam chowder.
Now I'm not really one to rave about food, and don't care much for pretensions; a good hearty meal will trump some overpriced work of edible art any day. This chowder is not overly fancy from a visual perspective, though it's aroma and flavour are true to the soul of its origins far across the Pacific. The robust seafood bisque is sumptuously complemented with prawns and clams, and faithfully served in a crusty sourdough bowl that's a thoroughly satisfying meal down to the last crumb. Nothing more needs to be said.