Best Western / Olde Maritime Motor Inn
Corner of Banyan Street & Merri Street
Warrnambool, VIC 3280
Ph: 03 5561 1415
When Mr. AA told me that he’d booked us a spa room here, I was ecstatic – but a quick Google for veg food options left me a bit worried. As it turns out, Warnambool is a little more veg-friendly than the internet led me to believe. I contacted the hotel more than a week in advance and explained my dietary requirements, hoping they could help me out – and they kindly obliged. Just in case you’re wondering, you don’t need to be a hotel guest to eat here.
If you’re up for a fine dining experience, I can definitely recommend coming here. Mr. AA & I are fairly casual people, so when the waitress called him “sir”, I just about choked on my water! You’re treated with the utmost respect when you’re a guest at Clovelly. The décor is clean, simple and understated and the staff are friendly, professional and can confidently recite the day’s specials to you.
The only vegan options on the menu are the side dishes: steamed veg, garden salad & sweet potato fries. There’s spinach and ricotta canneloni on the menu for those of you who are vegetarian and still eat dairy and eggs. I humbly told the hotel that I’d be happy to have a main-sized serve of the side dishes (chips & salad) and was pleasantly surprised when I received this on the first night!
Normally when it comes to vegetable stacks, I freak out a little over how oily they are. They alwaysalwaysalways need something acidic to cut through the weight of the oil and freshen the meal up a bit. In most cases, even a simple lemon wedge will do – in this case, the chef dotted the stack with warm semi-dried tomatoes. The tomato juice bursted in my mouth and undoutbedly “made” the dish. The sweet potato fries were perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside making them a great guilty pleasure, and the salad was good but nothing to rave about. All in all, I was really pleased with this; I honestly never thought I could feel so full from eating a plate of veggies! The variety buried in there was decent… Somewhere in there was eggplant, zucchini, carrot, capsicum, radishes and squash.
I was kindly invited back for dinner the following night for another [different] vegan meal and I accepted!
This was a Fijian curry – something I’d never had before. If you’ve never had one either, it comes fairly close to a Malay style curry in flavour. Again, I was surprised with an impressive varriety of veg: onion, eggplant, zucchini, carrot, red and green capsicum & celery. The eggplant was the stand-out vegetable here and the sauce, while seeming mild to my mouth, actually caused my nose to run. I love a good curry and after this experience, Fijian cuisine is something I’d like to explore a little more.
A shout-out and huge thank you to Jonathon & staff for going above and beyond what was requested and expected. It was so nice to feel warmly welcomed and catered to!
If you’re a vegan and thinking of heading here, I highly recommend it – just make sure you give plenty of notice as a courtesy.
For the non-vegans, apparently the seafood platter is amazing – Mr. AA loved it so much that he ate it two nights in a row!