Point Cook Homestead, 1 Point Cook Homestead Rd, Point Cook. Phone: 9395 1213
It’s a bleak, wintry day for a seaside visit.
But it’s magical anyway – making landfall at Point Cook Homestead and being knocked out by the stunning beauty of the grounds and the relaxed, charming atmosphere of the restaurant.
Happily envisaging, too, future visits for picnics and more when the weather is warmer and time constraints not so demanding.
We could spend days here … and may even do so, as the homestead operates as a B&B.
When completed in 1857, the homestead – its builders had a family connection with Werribee Mansion – would’ve been a long way from anywhere.
These days, suburbia in the form of Sanctuary Lakes and other developments is encroaching, but it retains a very strong feel of being far from anything urban.
Turning left before I get to the RAAF museum, the development sprawl is left behind and then I’m driving the dirt road up to the homestead grounds.
On arrival, I am greeted by a gaggle of fat, waddling and thoroughly gorgeous geese.
The restaurant is sited in a building of far more recent vintage than the homestead itself.
Mind you, it, too, has plenty of country charm.
I am the first lunch customer and the waitress is partially occupied mopping the floor in the half of the dining room in which the chairs are on the tables.
In the sunny half of the dining room destined for lunch-time business, the tabletops are all painted a dullish green and the paint is liberally scratched.
I like that.
The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, and dinner on Fridays, with the lunch menu offering pretty much what I expect from such an establishment.
There’s pastas and burgers and dips and caesar salads.
There’s even a surf ‘n’ turf (market price).
Never been there. Probably never will.
I’m hungry and happy, so consider ordering both the soup and the pie from the specials board – that sounds like a decent lunch for just a tad over $20.
However, after being assured that fresh oil has just been installed in the deep fryer, I do something unusual for me – I order the chicken parma ($22).
I am no parma expert, for I rarely order any of the variations of this dish – simply because most I’ve had over the years have been dull, average or dreadful.
This one doesn’t fit any of those three categories and I really enjoy my lunch.
The crumbed chicken not draped with tomato sauce, cheese and ham is crispy and ungreasy.
The chicken is real and well cooked.
I love the way the flavours of the three topping protagonists come through quite discernibly in different ways with different mouthfuls.
The shoestring chips are hot enough but just on the positive side of OK.
The salad is standard fare for such eateries, may be what the customer base expects and wants, and the ingredients are all in good nick.
But I find the hodge podge of greens, sprouts, onion, carrot and capsicum unappealing, a situation not helped by the gloopy mustard dressing.
Oh well – the parma itself more than suffices.
After lunch, I amble around just a small part of the grounds, once more delighting in the sights and fresh air, and once more already planing future visits in sunnier times.
From the beach, there’s a lovely view of the distant Melbourne CBD skyline.
The restaurant staff have told me that visitors bringing their own picnic goodies are welcome but are asked to make a donation, as the mansion and grounds are maintained by the residents rather than Parks Victoria.
And of course such visitors are unable to use the restaurant’s outdoor seating, though most I’m sure drop in for a coffee at the least.
The Point Cook Homestead website – including menu pdfs – is here.