Sunday, May 8, 2011

Adelaide Family Trip Day 18 - (Otway Fly/Chris's Restaurant)

The Otway Fly is located about 45 mins - 1 hour from Apollo Bay (depending on which roads you take).

There are two main parts to the "Fly". You can walk through the forest and up onto the Treetop Walk, a 600 metre metal walkway up to 40 metres up in the air. The second part is the zip, where for "an additional fee" you can "fly" along a series of cable spans located throughout the forest. We didn't have $375 to spare, so just did the Treetop Walk.

The walk to the "Fly" takes you through forest settings in the Otway Ranges, and incuded a prehistoric walking path (cue happy snaps)

I took this photo midway through an argument between Nick and Ben about who was going to be in the photo. Neither boy is smiling here.
Photo taken just before the Dimetridon attempts to bite Nick's arm off.
Ben and Stegasaurus
Ben playing hide and seek with Velociraptor
One of the very few photos I have where Lesley has willingly posed for the camera.
Nick and Triceratops. Apologies for the fuzziness.
The Fly is one of those concepts that would work in a number of different environments. Anyone with a few million spare, the Kinglake Ranges is a perfect spot to set up another Fly.

The Fly itself was a bit of fun, and allowed me to tick the box "exercise" under my list of things to do whilst on holidays. I needed to burn up as much energy as possible to allow me to properly enjoy myself at Chris's.

Chris's Restaurant is located in Skene's Creek, a mere stone's throw from John and Helen's place (however about a 5 minute drive). The owner, Chris Talihmanidis, is a local identity in the region, having previously owned an eatery in Lorne. Chris also owns the Sea Grape in Apollo Bay (though I must admit I didn't see this when walking through the town earlier in the day). The menu reflects Chris's background in that it is mainly influenced by Southern European flavours and, given the location, seafood features heavily on the menu.

As part of my 40th birthday celebrations I wanted to have a special night out and Chris's seemed to be the perfect place for it. Now for those of you who know me well, I don't like seafood, but there was enough choice on the menu to ensure I wasn't going to have any problems.

The first surprise of the night came from both boys. Now normally at restaurants there are kids menus which will typically have dishes such as fish and chips for spagetti. This is was Chris's had. Both boys said no to the children's menu and instead opted for an entree as their main meal. Both of them went for whole baby squid, stuffed with spinach, feta, currants and pine nutes, very similar to this recipe on their website. The waitress was impressed and I think Chris was as well, as he came out to check that the boys were enjoying their meal (they were the only kids there). They did.

The entree choices included Mussels (chosen by John), octopus cakes (Lesley), quail (Helen) as well as couple of other seafood dishes and a duck confit. I chose a traditional Greek dish of Saganaki, made like this, but better.

For mains both Helen and Lesley chose Fish of the Day (Blue Eye? - not sure) and John went for another seafood dish (I forget now what it was).  I had rabbit, boned and stuffed with chicken and mixed herbs and other seasonings, wrapped in vine leaves. This was a very interesting dish, with many subtle flavours and nothing overpowering the overall taste.

I was keen for dessert and whislt John and Helen abstained, the boys went for a kids serving of icecream with chocolate topping (nothing special).  Lesey had a Jaffa Chocolate Mousse that I would have also gone for, had I not spied the icecream.  All of the icecreams served at Chris's are made in house. One of the menu items was a trio of icecreams with greek inspired flavourings. The first was mastikha (sic?) which I was told was a sweet gum, or resin from a tree, similar to maple syrup. The second was a pistachio praline icecream and the third was rosewater and turkish delight icecream. These icecreams were the highlight of an all round brilliant meal.

Chris's is quite pricey, but if you are looking for a special night out, and are in or around Apollo Bay, I would recommend this as a gastronomic night to remember.

After dinner we returned to John and Helen's and spent the next few hours listening to music and drinking red wine. German Brass DVD of Bach works, was the standout work.

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