This boat house style café is an institution in Goolwa South Australia and is perfectly situated on the Wharf overlooking the Murray River and the bridge to Hindmarsh Island. It’s open from 9am to 4.30pm, every day so whether you’re in the mood for a morning coffee, a hearty breakfast or slow lunch, this is one place that must be on the list of places to see when you’re travelling on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The décor inside is light, bright and comfortable with fishing and boating paraphernalia adorning the walls but not overdone. Fishing rods line the ceiling, a wooden boat frame rests overhead and the Navy and white interior generally creates a very soothing mood that makes you want to settle in for a while.
An unmissable feature inside is a collection of signed boards that line the wall near the bar area. A few well known diners have signed the walls including South Australian television journalists and media personalities, sporting greats (Sir James Hardy) and quite a few politicians including Joe Hockey, Alexander Downer, Brendan Nelson and our first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
It’s not a pretentious café by any means though, you can share a laugh with the owner who gave us a gentle (figurative) slap on the wrist for being too eager to order (“this is a Cittaslow town remember”) oops! You can also dine in the café blind protected verandah area or outdoor under umbrellas.
The meals although perhaps a little on the expensive side, were perfect. There is a 5% surcharge on Sundays which added to the bill. The seafood platter for two had salt and pepper calamari, beer battered flathead, scallops and prawns which you had to pay extra for, but a few extra of which were thrown in because they were small. Another plate ordered of the Coopers Ale beer battered flathead was very tasty and had plenty of fillets a crisp green side salad and chips and the Beef Wellington was cooked to absolute perfection and was very tender, it was a little confusing to be served ‘deconstructed’ when you were looking forward to the whole wrapped in pasty original style.
The menu, wine and other drinks lists was extensive and there were no complaints from anyone about the food the friendly and timely service and of course the outlook. The deserts and cakes looked oh so tempting but we will save them for another time.
It couldn’t be situated in a more ideal position either, right on the Goolwa wharf, a beautiful, peaceful spot to watch the river traffic glide by as you spend a leisurely Sunday dining, or any day for that matter.