South West Australia is a paradise for foodies. The goal? To get off the well beaten tourist track and find hidden gems known only to locals. Here are our top picks for the best ever breakfast (or lunch), plus where to go for fabulous artisan cheese, chocolate and nougat.
Brunch at it's best
Bunkers Beach Cafe
Quick Facts Nestled in impressive sand dunes, Bunkers Beach Cafe is a stylish way to take in the crystal clear waters of Bunker Bay. It is one of only a handful of real beachfront cafes in Western Australia, complete with boardwalk access to pristine white sands and the Indian Ocean.
Awards 2014 & 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence – Top-performing 10% of all Businesses Worldwide, Winner 2012 Gold Plate Prix D'Honneur Award – Licensed Cafe Regional, 2009 STM Guide – Top 55 Restaurants in WA.
Tell Me More Bunkers gorgeous setting is matched by creative breakfast and lunch menus from renowned Margaret River Executive Chef, Hamish McLeay. An all-weather treat, enjoy alfresco dining on the sheltered deck during the summer and warm your toes during winter months by a cosy fire.
Breakfast - Yallingup wood-fired bread grilled served with rocket, parmesan, prosciutto and poached free-range eggs, Thin crepes with stewed pear, pistachio, praline and honey yoghurt, Oat porridge cooked in coconut milk finished with palm sugar, citrus, pineapple caramel
Lunch - Margaret River tempeh marinated in lemon & thyme, with grilled green beans, courgettes, beetroot puree & fresh herbs, Slow cooked Arkady lamb shoulder, mint & coriander glaze, flavours of cumin & preserved lemon served with zatar potato & beans topped with River Valley sheep milk labne
Quick Facts Bettenay’s French Style nougat is the ultimate more-ish treat. Their secret recipe is closely guarded amongst family members and hand made in small batches, hence the slew of awards proudly displayed in the tasting room.
Tell Me More Nougat is a traditional confectionery dating back to the 1700s. Made with sugar, honey, glucose, dried fruits and roasted nuts - almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and more recently macadamia nuts.
Tasting Notes Commercial nougat can be over-sweet, Bettanys offers up more elegant version in a range of flavours including traditional Cranberry & Pistachio, Honey & Toasted Almond, Rum & Raisin, as well as a decadent chocolate coated range.
Quick Facts Gabriel Chocolate is Western Australia's first bean-to-bar chocolate maker producing a stunning range of single-origin chocolate bars at their Yallingup chocolate gallery, leading to a haul of medals at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food awards.
Tell Me More The perfect place to visit when you are headed south of Perth. There's free chocolate tasting starting from roasted cacao nibs through to dark chocolate, milk chocolate and finally white chocolate. The tasting is accompanied by a staff member explaining the different aromas and terroir similar to what you would expect at a winery. Kids are welcome.
Tasting Notes Six single-origin chocolate varieties from beans imported from Java, Madagascar, Venezuela and Ecuador. Taste the range before you buy, or visit the onsite café and indulge in the best hot chocolate ever, salted chocolate chip cookies or hand-made, chocolate-dipped ice-creams. You may want to stay forever.
Quick Facts Born from Jane’s passion for cheese-making and Bruce’s experience in sheep farming, Cambray Cheese is food from the heart. The farmshop is conveniently situated between the Margaret River wine region and Pemberton, famous for its tall trees. Visitors can view the afternoon milking and watch the cheese-makers busy at work. You can even stay the night in one of Cambray’s charming 4-star cottages.
Awards Dairy Industry Association Gold and Silver Awards, Perth Royal Show Grand Champion Dairy Product (out of 360 entries Australia-wide)
Tell Me More The family’s flock of milking ewes graze freely on pastures surrounded by native bushland, drink from natural springs and are milked in a relaxed environment, ensuring milk of the highest quality, full of flavours of the natural environment.
Sheep milk has superior qualities to both goats and cows milk, being richer in vitamins A, B, D and E and with over 100% more calcium than cows milk. There is evidence that the lactose in sheep milk is more readily tolerated than that in cows milk allowing many lactose-intolerant people to enjoy sheep milk products.
Tasting Notes Sample the delicious range of Soft and Mature cheeses including Cundinup Cream Brie, St Johns Brook, Ashover and Cambray Blewe. Bring a bottle of local wine to enjoy with a cheese platter in the peaceful farm surrounds.
Cambray's vintage orchard produces spray-free fruit, made into fabulous jams which include Fig jam, Satsuma plum paste, Tangelo marmalade and Quince jelly. The farmshop also stocks local honeys, oils and everything cheese related - boards, knives, books and more.
Have you visited South West Australia? Let us know your favourites.