The Garden Feast, 63 Railway Avenue, Werribee. Phone: 9741 3100
Consider The Sauce tries to avoid too much hyperbole.
Words such as the “best ever pho” or the “greatest Hainan chicken rice” are sometimes too tempting when we get so excited about being served tremendous food in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Nevertheless, we try for restraint.
When it comes to the meatloaf at the Garden Feast, that semi-official rule is abandoned without hesitation.
This really IS the best meatloaf we’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.
“Mama’s meatloaf” ($20) is served as a huge wedge.
There’s carrot in there, as per meatloaf tradition, but otherwise it’s a meaty delight.
It’s topped with what I at first mistake for some rendition of tomato relish.
But I am told it’s actually “herbs, resting juices, spices, coconut and molasses”.
It, too, is grand.
And who knew that meatloaf could be cooked rare?
Not that there is blood puddling my plate or anything – but the meatloaf is wonderfully tender and almost of fall-apart consistency.
The meatloaf is served with a quartet of firm, delicious roast brussels sprouts and potato mash that is OK – but I would’ve preferred something a little more rustic.
The Garden Feast is relatively new adjunct of a long-standing garden supplies outfit.
The dining room is large, spacious and a pleasure in which to dine.
The staff are efficient, smiling and on the go even when it’s busy.
The menu (see below) features a longish line-up of egg-based breakfast/brunch dishes, a concise lunch list and a kid menu.
Our other lunch selection is also superb – arguably as good, in its own genre, as the meatloaf.
The bucatini ($18) with mushrooms, pecorino, black pepper and “poor man’s parmesan” (toasted breadcrumbs) explodes with shroominess.
The CTS photo portrays this dish as rather pallid.
The photo lies.
Garden Feast showcases a line-up of fabulous cakes – they’ll have to wait until next time.