It may not have a large population, but the bustling tourist town of Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria is home to a good selection of restaurants, cafes and eateries. Among them is La Bimba, which serves up contemporary Australian cuisine with an emphasis on fresh ingredients, sourced from local farmers and fishermen.
Going with the sustainable theme, the interior of the restaurant features tables, chairs and other fixtures built from recycled timber from the region. The brick walls and wood create a cosy, homely atmosphere, coupled with awesome sea-front views and plenty of natural sunlight filtering in from its tall windows.
Since ingredients are seasonal and subject to availability, the menu changes accordingly so diners will always have something new to try. During our visit, we started off with some samplers of Beetroot Carpaccio, Ricotta, Hazelnut and Saltbush, as well as Beef Tartare, Horseradish, Creme Fraiche, Saltbush and toast.
Refreshing and sweet, the beetroot carpaccio is a great alternative for vegans, balanced out by the slightly sour ricotta cheese, as well as the natural nutty sweetness of the hazelnut and the earthy, leafy flavour of saltbush – a common plant found in the bushlands of Australia. The beef tartare was also good, with none of the bloody, iron-like taste that usually comes with raw meat.
Served in a crockpot, Portalington mussels, garlic, chilli and cilantro. Simple but hearty, the mussels were plump and juicy, bathed in a garlicky juices.
For sharing, Kipfler potatoes, cultured cream and seaweed powder. The peels were left on, giving the taters a smokey taste, while the seaweed powder added a touch of brininess.
The Corner Inlet Flathead with harissa and coriander was sizable, with firm, fleshy meat.
Pumpkin, macadamia, grains
The 1KG Tomahawk steak was a spectacle to behold, swimming in its own juices on a metal serving plate. While the meat was cooked perfectly, it was a lot to finish, even for our group of 8.
If you’re into fresh, local food, then La Bimba ticks all the boxes. Grab a seat by the window to enjoy the sea breeze.
125 Great Ocean Rd, Apollo Bay VIC 3233, Australia
Opening hours: 9AM – 3PM, 6PM – 8.30PM (closed Tuesdays)