Best Eats in Albany - by local Craig Pullin
After thirty years’ experience in hospitality, I've done everything from running Melbourne Cup marquees and a 24hr 300-seat restaurant in Melbourne’s famous Lygon street to a bustling pub restaurant. So where to next? My wife Sally and I were lured to tranquil Albany for the opportunity to manage Sally’s parents’ Boutique Hotel - The Beach House at Bayside.
As part of the hosting team at “The Beach House”, when we are not cooking our simple home style meals for our guests, we find ourselves in the position of recommending Albany’s best food, wine and hospitality experiences.
Our guests take our recommendations with great trust, and we offer them with reverence. One of the advantages?… We MUST sample the food ourselves as often as possible!
New Kids on the Block
These three new additions to Albany’s dining scene offer lovely views (like just about everywhere in beautiful Albany). Hybla was recently awarded two glasses out of three by Gourmet Traveller for their Wine List of the Year Awards. Garrison is set in the pristine Albany Heritage Park next to the National Anzac Centre. Due South was included in Gourmet Traveller's Hot 100 for 2015.
Tried and True Favourites
Locals and visitors alike return to these favourites time and time again with good reason! Lime 303 is ajacent to the iconic Dog Rock, The Venice offers something for everyone, Rustlers is the king of steak and Dylans has been there since the beginning.
Touch of France
Surely France has a special place in every food lover's heart. Gourmandise offers the true french patiserie experience, Lavender Cottage knows the way to your heart and Liberte impressed WA food reviewer Rob Broadfield as a 15/20 with the headline “My new food heroes!”
There's great options for those with a hankering for a specific international flavour – all great value and friendly service. Origin Albany Indian have a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, The Venice make italian the right way and Joop Thai dishes are always fresh and generous.
Rooms with a View
Albany is renowned for its natural beauty – beaches, harbour, ocean – and I can’t imagine a better way to enjoy any view than with good food! View Restaurant is in the iconic Albany Entertainment Centre while Garrison takes in the highest vistas of Princess Royal Harbour. Emu Point Café is surrounded by calm waters perfect for swimming and Due South is a bustling meeting point for locals located on the water. The Great Southern Distilling Company have been winning too many awards to mention but received Australia's only gold at the 2015 London IWSC for their Limeburners Single Malt Whisky. You might just get lucky and spot a whale from Whalers Galley Cafe, situated at Discovery Bay's Historic Whaling Station.
Tipples and Tastes
Of course… life isn’t ALL about food…there’s “drink” as well! You can eat at these spots too. The Great Southern Distilling Company has a vast range of Whiskey and unique Liquors. Liberte are the cocktail queens of Albany, the Earl of Spencer takes you back to old England and Rats Bar is a contemporary wine bar.
Warm friendly service, homemade sweet treats, GREAT COFFEE! Sal and I indulge often! At Fredericks, you'll find Jackson, the best barista in town! At Naked Bean each bean lovingly roasted on site. View is a great spot to grab a coffee and homemade cake after a walk along the waterfront.
Wines and Vines
Of course Albany is one of the five wine regions in our midst. Also try Denmark, Porongurup, Plantagenet and Frankland River.
The Great Southern region is a serious wine lovers paradise. When it comes to food with your wine we recommend Kirby’s at Rickety Gate, who won Best Restaurant in a Winery in WA's Restaurant and Catering Savour Excellence Awards 2015. Pepper and Salt at Forest Hill Winery offer a tasting plate like no other. The Lake House at Denmark produce a wine food range, Vinofood. Among their accolades they received best single vineyard Pinot Noir at the Cowra Wine Show. Oranje Tractor have a cafe focused on local produce and organic wines. James Halliday scored their Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc 94 and 92 respectively.
We love picking up tips and tricks to improve our cooking skills... while having fun and eating more food. Nilla's Italian Kitchen will get you creating pasta dishes that would make any nonna proud. Kirby’s at Rickety Gate teaches a different flavour each class; Morrocan, Thai, Spannish or the traditional Christmas pudding.
There's nothing better than fresh from the grower. Head to the farm gate at Howard and Bev Shapland's for veggies, greens and herbs or to Sheelah and Phillip Marshall's for asparagus, raspberries and Jerusalem artichokes. Both will have a sign at the gate featuring what produce has just been picked. Or you can hit multiple vendors at once at the Albany Farmer’s Market (every Saturday 8am - 12pm, but get in early! Collie St, Albany CBD) and the Boatshed Market (every Sunday 10am - 1pm, on the Albany Waterfront).
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