When its cold, grey, rainy weather – I feel terrible. Nothing makes me want to go outside or do anything except hide under the blanket in my warm bed. But, determined not to waste a perfectly good Saturday, I went to one of the only places that seems to shine in this dreary weather – the country.
In amongst the mountains of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, surrounded by rolling green fields of dairy cows and pockets of rainforest teeming with native wildlife, sits the small township of Montville. This town with little more than 850 residents is home to many “Bed and Breakfasts”, small craft and antique stores, and a handful of restaurants. My pick of the bunch is Wild Rocket @ Misty’s.
Wild Rocket could easily be missed if you weren’t looking for it. Set back slightly from the footpath towards the highest point of the main street, its white wooden exterior doesn’t jump out at you like more of the busy neighbours surrounding it. Its quiet charm most likely resonates from the fact that this building is one of the oldest in the town.
There are several dining options at Wild Rocket, the verandah, the bar area, inside with the roaring fireplace, or upstairs. There is also a third storey reserved for larger private dinner parties or functions, but if its empty, you are welcome to venture up there to check out the view from the top.
Today, being the chilly day that it was, I opted for a table inside near the warmth and glow of the fireplace. The staff, friendly as always, were lovely to chat to. Like an old friend, they always make you feel welcome. Whilst the surroundings and staff of a restaurant are of course important, what’s most important (for me anyways) is the food.
I’ve visited Wild Rocket a few times in the past, and the food never disappoints. Today was no exception. Considering their slogan is “Fresh Local Seasonal Handmade”, you can see why I like this place. I had the Local Cuttlefish with Lemon and Chili, and Mr had the Duck Hoisin Pizza.
The cuttlefish arrived presented in a lovely old fashioned paper cone, surrounded by light-as-air chips, a lovely rainbow salad and accompaniments of mint aioli and chili jam. The dusting on the cuttlefish was perfect, not too thick or thin, and there wasn’t even the slightest hint of oil. The salad which included everything from tomato, red cabbage, wombok cabbage, corn, rocket and more was shredded and slathered with a creamy yet tart dressing. The aioli and chili jam were perfect for dipping, and the chips – well, usually I’m not really a chip person at all. But, these chips were amazing! Very crunchy and paper thin, whilst still managing to look like proper chips. I don’t know how they did it.
Mr’s Duck Hoisin Pizza (I’m sure an absolute travesty to any Italian reading) was nonetheless superb. It was displayed on a large wooden board (pictured), and instead of being sliced in the familiar and difficult to eat triangle slices, was sliced into about 16 squares, which made it so much easier to share. It wasn’t weighed down with toppings, but had just enough for you to savor the flavour, and texture of the base. Topped with a smattering of peanuts, finely sliced duck, shallots, chili and a dribbling of both sweet chili and hoisin sauce – I was pleasantly surprised by how satisfying yet clean tasting this pizza was. And the warmth of the chili was a welcome sensation on a cold day like today.
The lunch menu is cheaper than the dinner options, with lunch ranging from $10-$25; and dinner ranging from $10-$40. Our meals both sat around the $20 mark.
Wild Rocket has a decent bar selection with local and imported beers, wines and spirits. Ask for the beer of the day on tap from local brewer “Burleigh Brewing Company” located at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.
Wild Rocket also has on site toilets, and is wheelchair accessible.
Check out their website @ http://wildrocketfood.wix.com/html_number1 which has copies of their menus, some great photos of both the restaurant and the food available, as well as a birthday club you can sign up to (Eat for free on your birthday! Yay!).