great ocean road

mr t and me

I think it’s quite possible that by next year you’ll find that the WHOLE of Fairfield/Northcote has relocated to Aireys Inlet for summer. On Sunday we ran into 2 families at Mr T and Me, the new(ish) cafe up near the General Store. This is in addition to the 9 other families we have met, caught up with and done stuff with around the traps. Man.


Anyway Mr T and Me is a great new addition.  It looks woody and beachy but fairly small and unassuming from the front. However it has a large courtyard deck and garden out the back.  So I can see it will be a great small sized place in winter, and it works well in summer when Aireys is packed as well.

And the food is good. We had excellent chips with a yummy dill aioli (I am now going to make some dill aioli…). And there are options like borek and pulled pork and coleslaw rolls (which we had) and pides. And a large breakfast menu and a breakfast roll all day for those still looking for bacon and eggs after 11.30am.  Which I am sure lots of people are craving on holidays.

But, truth be known, I am a simple soul, and it was the outdoor furniture that really did it for me. Recycled solid timber and timber slat tables and chairs. Pulled together with a cheery rainbow paint job. That was matching, but not too matching. Oh, and to top it off the use of old tin cans to hold cutlery on the tables. Fun.


While we waited for our food I browsed through a Delicous mag.  India looked through Surfing Australia.


Second hand furniture in a cafe … on the Great Ocean Road …. finally … HOORAY … now it’s just like home! No wonder everyone’s here.

garlic mussels and food miles

I think I have raved on in the past about the garlic mussels at The Robert Burns hotel in Collingwood.

Anyway, recently I had a crack at making them using a make-it-up recipe (I did look on the Internet for a recipe that resembled what I remember from the Robert Burns Hotel – but didn’t find exactly what I was after) …. and they were spectacularly easy.


We are down at Airey’s Inlet for the week and the weather hasn’t bee great, so we drove down to Wye River and had lunch at the pub and then a play on the beach when the weather cleared.  On the way back to Airey’s we called in to the fish shop at the Lorne pier.  I picked up a kilo of Port Arlington mussels. Then we called in to the Airey’s Inlet General Store and bought some Irrewarra bread. I was going super with the food miles! All key ingredients within a stone’s throw.

But then I bought Tatura butter. Shepparton isn’t that close to the Great Ocean Road is it? Oh well, maybe Victorian is still okay….

The other ingredients in this less than precise dish are garlic, chilli and parsley. And a dash of white wine.


The Recipe (or how I make great garlic mussels)

The first step is to clean  the mussels and get the seaweed off.   Then add about a half cup of white wine and a pinch of salt to a saucepan with a lid and steam the mussels open. Just a minute or two. Take some out of the shells and leave some in the half shell (just do as many as you need to so they fit nicely in your baking dish). Add about half a cup of the juice from the saucepan that the mussels were steamed in (I strain it first), 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, a good bunch of chopped parsley, abou 125 grams of butter and chilli to taste. Cook for about 30 minutes in the oven at about 220 degrees or until the butter is bubbling and it all looks fab.

Serve in the baking dish and with nice bread and salad to accompany and try to share nicely ….

If you want it low fat, use low fat butter – just joking … as you soak up the last of the garlic butter at the end with your bread you’ll know there’s NOTHING low fat about this.

But it tastes GREAT.

Note, how lovely is the dish I cooked them in? It belongs to Hilary and the house and is cast iron with an enamel coating inside and out and has a lid and is the best colour.  And did you notice the view out the window?  It’s so beautiful …