Day 2 of our Bendigo trip saw us breakfasting at Finders Keepers in Mitchell Street. Tim and I shared a serve of the sourdough fruit toast ($7.50):
which was as delicious as it looks, and we both ordered the muesli with fresh banana and honeyed yoghurt ($12.50):
which was OK and did the important job of filling you up for the day ahead.
We then hopped on a bus to Castlemaine (because the trains weren't running) and visited the beautiful goldrush era house, Buda.
After exploring Buda, it was time for lunch. My colleague, Jacqui, had told me about an Austrian café across the road from the Botanic Gardens, which sounded just the ticket. The café in question is Das Kafeehaus, where the kitsch fitout and the staff uniforms are Austrian-inspired:
I started with a bottle of locally produced Harcourt apple cider:
Of course, being in an Austrian-style café, we had to order the sausages. I ordered the Vienna-style sausages, which came with crusty bread, sauerkraut, beetroot relish, mustard, horseradish and garlic:
They were pretty tasty. Tim and I also shared two desserts (it's an Austrian style café - how could we not?) - the sachertorte:
and the apple custard tart:
Both were tasty, but my favourite was the sachertorte (which surprised me as I usually go for fruity desserts!).
For dinner, we went to Rocks on Rosalind, situated in an old bank building. This is the vault room (which we were not in, but our tour guides from the day before told us to check out):
We were given bread on arrival:
We decided to order the 10 dish tasting banquet ($55), which was delicious, but do come hungry, as it is quite substantive. The courses are served on tiered plates, like a high tea.
Our first dishes were (top to bottom): Seared Scallops, wakami wasabi foam, salmon roe, black vinegar, ginger & sesame dressing; Salt & pepperberry squid, fire cracker sauce, lime; and Fraser Island crab salad, avocado & artichoke mousse, palm hearts, radish, watercress:
My favourite of this round was the salt and pepper squid.
Next up came Quatro Cotechino, pork, cinnamon & nutmeg sausage, walnuts, goats cheese, spiced dressing; Duck Larp, Thai sticky rice, green papaya salad; Wagyu 7+ de Palmer bresaola, morel mousse, candied pecans, green olive puree; and on the side, Cos & candied pecan salad, apple & shaved fennel:
For me, the hands down winner was the zingy freshness of the duck larp, which was my favourite dish of the night.
Then came the final courses, by which time I was already quite full - Crusted Moreton Bay bug tail, Thai caramel; Pork belly & crackle, master stock poached, black pepper caramel; Mushrooms, truffle, goats chevre; and on the side, Hand cut chips, twice cooked, garlic aioli:
This time, the chips were the winner for me. I was so full that the richness of the pork was not what I wanted right at that point.
There was no room for dessert, and we went for a walk through town to try and walk off some of our dinner.
The service at Rocks on Rosalind was friendly and efficient, and the restaurant was conveniently located next door to our accommodation. I would happily go back to Rocks on Rosalind - but would order less food next time.
9 Walker St
Castlemaine VIC 3450
Ph: (03) 5470 6270
10-12 View St
Bendigo VIC 3550
Ph: (03) 5441 2222