Since moving to Bendigo this February, I realize a new avenue has opened up for me – being a whole lot closer to many interesting locales across regional Victoria, such as Castlemaine, Ballarat, Echuca, Kyneton, Daylesford, and so on.
It’s been noted that years ago, when you set out for these country towns, they weren’t places in which you could expect to take your family to a fancy restaurant, rather you’d have a picnic in a park instead. But there’s been something of a culinary revolution in these parts, and now you can find some of Australia’s finest restaurants away from the city.
I’d settled on a trip to Kyneton, but unfortunately my preparations got off to the worst possible start as I failed to get any sleep at all. This was due to a combination of factors – the cat, the indigestion… ultimately I gave up, and pulled an all nighter.
Showering revived me somewhat, and by 9am, I’d left the house. Before heading for the train station, though, I took the bus into Bendigo and walked to Royal Jim’s Barbershop for a full face shave, something I’ve been making a habit of for months now. I daresay I’m their best customer.
After leaving, I got myself into a bit of a muddle as to where the train station was located, which was so stupid of me, but also so typical, I often make these directional fuck-ups throughout my travels. Only good thing after walking up and down through Bendigo, was the amount of exercise I managed.
At last I located the train station, but I must’ve just missed the last train, as the next scheduled arrival was in 30 minutes or so. I could kill the time playing games on my tablet, but this development made me nervous as I’d booked a 12:30pm reservation at Source Dining.
The most interesting thing about the train ride was the conversation going on between these three ladies seated on the aisle opposite me, initially they discussed dresses and a place that had fitted them very well for their weddings, then they made various remarks about the passing scenery and how beautiful it was, which was nice. They said it’s something we take for granted, because we live here, and there’s definitely some truth to those words.
Getting off at Kyneton, I needed to reach Piper Street, but I didn’t know where it was. I spotted a couple and asked them, but they were as clueless as myself. They then headed towards a bus and the driver said he’d take me to Piper St., so I hopped on board, feeling slightly ridiculous.
Kyneton is a very pretty little town, though the weather that day was pretty miserable. It’d really be something with the sun out.
The Piper St sign was impossible to miss, but once there, I kept walking up, and up, not finding the restaurant, and then I searched my memory, and panicking, I wondered if I’d even forgotten the name of the restaurant? It had kind of a bland name, in my opinion.
So I popped into a shop and asked the woman there for help. First I asked her if she knew any particularly highly rated restaurants in the area, then I asked if they had free wifi. She hadn’t, but she got a PC and searched Kyneton for a list of restaurants, and I got my answer.
On her counter she sold a variety of soaps which smelt nice, so I purchased those, besides I felt like I owed her something after she’d helped me.
The restaurant turned out to only be a few steps up from that lady’s shop, so I stepped inside, hoping they would forgive my slight lateness.
I stood waiting at the counter, as there was no one there. I glanced around and a woman wearing an eyepath was serving a group of people in a large dining area. She indicated that she would be with me shortly.
Once there, I did my best to explain my lateness, but I don’t think it hardly mattered; aside from me and that group, there was no one else there. Not surprising as they’d just opened.
I was led down to my table, I would’ve preferred the table near the front door, away from the family, as they wouldn’t have been aware of my presence; I felt self-conscious as the lone diner there, but really I hardly cared, they were absorbed in their meal. And perhaps she led me down into that dining hall as the ducted heating is felt more intensely there.
The waitress with the eyepatch, the pirate waitress, was incredibly nice and accomodating, I would comfortably say she’s the nicest person ever. Well, maybe the woman I spoke to in that other shop rivals her. Seriously, country folk are awesome.
I looked at their wine list, but seeing no Moscato, I opted for the Mocktail “Michelle’s Delight,” which was delicious, I particularly enjoyed its infusion of rhubarb.
I took a while to decide on the main course, not for lack of choice, but for the opposite – ultimately I opted for the barramundi and salmon pie, and it was quite good, but I felt slightly disappointed given the reputation of this place. Incidentally the last two ‘fancy pies’ I’ve tried haven’t been total successes, so I think I’ll lay off the pie for a while…
It also came with a side order of chips with dip, and these were delicious. I probably should’ve just had them by themselves…
I paid the pirate and upon leaving she gave me a delicious dessert treat, perhaps cementing her place as the nicest human ever. But kind lady down the road was about to strike back big time, as I went inside her store, and told her about the meal, then I asked if she would call me a cab as I needed to get back to the train station, and I wasn’t sure how, not being that familiar with Kyneton.