Tasting Melbourne – Pelican’s Landing, Williamstown

Howdy all, and welcome to another delving into the gastronomical offerings of destination Melbourne, the city with more restaurants per capita than… okay no, I got nothing there. But it was sounding good, right? Hoping that wherever you are in the world right now, life isn’t treating you too badly.

Gem Pier in Williamstown, the perfect setting!

A few weeks back I brought you the first restaurant review from the delightful seaside suburb of Williamstown. Since then I took the trouble of checking out the house prices there and calculating that I can afford to live there by the year…. Never. Still, cheaper than Brighton! However, I maintain it’s a delightful spot to visit. You can explore the workings of the moored ship HMAS Castlemaine, go for a swim or catch some rays at Williamstown Beach, cheap out the delightful Botanic Gardens, the Railway Museum or even find a spot to schnorkel. But you know, a day out needs a spot to eat, and after trying out the World Travel Bar, also known as the WTF Bar, there are literally hundreds more options.

And so on my second visit to Williamstown – in the same week if you don’t mind – I looked for another eatery to satisfy my need for the meal they call ‘lunch’. The only place that had caught my eye was a sort of bar/pub/seaside establishment called ‘Pelican’s Landing’, perfectly located at the end of the main pier, Gem Pier, listed as one of the highlights of Williamstown.

Well sir, could you ask for a better spot? Directly outside the front windows of the place was a boat yard where raised boats were getting painted and repaired. It seemed a decent sized venue too, with balcony seating and tables as well as a good sized restaurant area inside. Lowish ceiling, and friendly service.

The service was great actually, extremely friendly person looked after me whilst I was there, all on my lonesome this time. But the waitress was friendly to everyone, and it really does make a difference. I was lucky because I arrived at 255pm and they stopped kitchen orders at 3pm. I was informed of this and was able to make a quick decision to have the rib eye steak 350g medium-rare. The service continued, I was checked on a couple of times and asked how everything was and if I wanted another drink. So I couldn’t complain in that respect.

As I said the ceiling was low and it was a little dim inside and a little worn. Nothing bad, but I’m looking for point to comment on here and it could have been a bit brighter considering it was the perfect blue-sky day outside.

The balcony area was covered and seemed more designed for winter weather rather than summer (this was in February = summer here). Despite it being around 23 degrees outside, the balcony had plastic shielding around it linking to the roof with only small gaps for fresh air. And as a result it was almost steamy outside which is why I opted for a table near the balcony but not quite on it.

The menu reflects the location of the restaurant – on the bay means it specialises in seafood. It’s again standard fare at an Aussie pub-style restaurant. Calamari, muscles and the like for starters. Barramundi, seafood paella and marinara pasta mains-sized, along with desserts and more. It was a moderately-sized menu, which I think reflects well on the kicthen because too many dishes on offer and often the quality dips.

My steak was served with a pepper sauce and I would have chosen differently but I ordered in a hurry before the kitchen closed (very good of them to do a steak at the last possible second) which I wouldn’t have chosen if I’d thought about it. A little too ‘peppery’ for me but I don’t like hot/spicy food at all, my palette does agree with it. Nevertheless it was nice enough in flavour, and the chips and salad were pretty good. But the big question is – did the chef’s idea of ‘medium-rare’ match mine? Pretty much, could have maybe taken it off the pan a minute or two earlier but I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. And it was a good size. Here in Australia they almost always tell you the weight of your steak in the menu, but sometimes I think it’s not even close. But this was to be 350g and I’m very confident it exceeded that.

So I was, I will admit, pleasantly surprised by food, I was a little nervous that perhaps it was going to be sub-par but it wasn’t. And with such a great location it’s perfect if you’re visiting Williamstown for the day. Well worth considering!

Thanks for joining me today, take care – and May the Journey Never End!

6 thoughts on “Tasting Melbourne – Pelican’s Landing, Williamstown

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