Shelly’s Beach Pavilion, 26 The Esplanade, Williamstown. Phone: 9397 7878
Our lunch adventure destination was a Willy pub we’re told does a real fine Sunday roast meal.
We soon discover that the pub in question does do a Sunday roast – but only for dinner.
So we end up at Shelly’s Beach Pavilion somewhat by default.
No matter – this replacement for oft-derided Sirens has been high on our radar anyhow.
As it turns out, given the happy hubbub that is in evidence, I’d say we’re lucky to snag a table for the two of us.
I have an open mind about this new venture.
I’ll be trying hard to not let the knowledge that it is being run by an “events company” colour my impressions.
Though I confess that upon reading the menu several weeks earlier my heart sank a little when I spied the inclusion of a cliched “trio of dips”.
The place’s interior and most-excellent patio appear little changed but the furnishings, zippy, apron-clad staff and the professional service give the place a swish feel.
We dine off a real tablecloth and use real serviettes.
Could it be that this signature, landmark western suburbs venue is finally getting the eating place it warrants?
Our verdict, based only on a simple, light and very nice lunch, and the deftness with which we are served, is: Yes.
Spaghetti vongole ($26) has all it needs – heaps of garlic, oil, breadcrumbs, chilli and clams.
If the resultant dish falls a little short of really impressing, it’s nonetheless rather nice.
The clams themselves are plentiful, gorgeously tender and delicious.
Our pizza of tomato, rocket, prosciutto, tomato and cheese is good for its $19 asking price.
The toppings are excellent, though they do slide from the base with slippery ease.
Regular readers will know we now favour a nearby outfit that does excellent pizzas, a wide range of them, for very good prices.
But we’ll not be turning our noses up at a pizza pie of this calibre, especially given the lovely beach-side setting.
A garden salad ($8) of fine leaves and baby tomatoes is a good accompaniment.
It’s to Shelly’s credit that they are having cheapo “special” nights away from the regular menu in a bid to win over regular, local customers …
On Wednesdays, there’s pizzas with a beer or wine for $15.
And the Tuesday $20 steak deal doesn’t sound too shabby, either.
As well, they’re doing breakfast – though going by their website, not for real early starters.
Regular sourdough toast goes for $7 and a “double” bacon and egg roll with gruyere for $15.
Smashed avo with goats cheese AND poached eggs sells for what sounds like a good-deal $14.
So … our inaugural visit to Shelly’s has done more than enough to encourage a return.
Our total bill comes to $61, which includes two $4 Cokes.
Check out the Shelly’s website, including menu, here.