Many of us crave different foods throughout the seasons. In winter my heart sings at the thought of slow-cooked baked beans, or long-time stirred oats and porridge smothered with maple syrup or honey and loaded with healthy fruits, seeds, nuts and milk.
Some of Bega Valley’s cafes have been very clever and created heart-warming winter menus to keep us healthy and happy in these cooler months.
The Plaza, Shop 15, 20-32 Market Street
Warming up their morning customers with a luscious Earl Grey-infused porridge. With lightly toasted slivered almonds, fresh berries and a hint of lavender and your choice of milk, this bowl of goodness is perfect in the fresh Valley Winter, especially after a walk along the lovely lake.
Eastwood’s Deli and Cooking School
1/26 Bunga Street
Eastwood’s’ have created a stunning pair of wintry dishes. Steel-cut, slow-cooked oats with cinnamon pears, local bananas, raspberries, healthy nuts and seeds, accompanied by a traditional Scottish tablet to crumble over it all, and a beautiful, deep, perfectly seasoned rice congee full of soy, ginger, sesame, chicken, crispy shallots and greens all in a tasty miso broth and topped with a soy egg.
These dishes are available all day and I thoroughly recommend the congee to warm the cockles on a blustery Bermagui day, absolutely stunning flavours from the experienced hands of Kelly Eastwood.
1/29 Andy Poole drive
These guys are constantly raising the bar for breakfast in the region. No fewer than three of owner/chef Rowena’s ‘winter menu’ items are worth mentioning here, as each element is well thought through and beautifully presented.
A cast iron cazuela of ‘Moroccan’ baked eggs, nestled in a spicy smoky tomato, capsicum sauce, with Danish feta, and crispy thin slices of chorizo, and Wheatley Lane sourdough on the side. It’s a wow dish. I also consumed a beautiful bowl of breakfast oats with milks and honey, granola, coconut and fruit – as pretty and tasty a dish as you could wish for.
Wild Orchid has a special weekend ‘big breakfast’ which includes eight-hour baked beans, and a singular croquette that puts your frozen hash browns to shame. Rowena bakes potatoes, scoops out their soft insides, mooshes it all together with garlic and butter, and then douses it in egg and Panko crumbs, not once, but twice before frying. With roasted Swiss Brown mushrooms and tomatoes, eggs your way, truly-crispy-crispy bacon, sourdough toast on the side with butter, this is a stunning dish that knocks Bega Valley breakfast right out of the park.
Warning! Wild Orchid will be closing from Monday, July 22 until mid-August so don’t dilly dally!
210 Carp St
Cafe Evolve uses organic fresh produce from Peter and Anna’s own garden.
This year was a bumper pumpkin harvest, so you can expect a plethora of pumpkin on the menu – rostis, pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup, and pumpkin soup are all on the winter menu here.
I had the winter oats on a cold Bega morning, and delicious they were. The oats came with chia seeds, buckwheat, coconut, cranberries, banana and honey and really hit the spot.
The View Coffee & Bites
Shop 3/ 89-93 Campbell Street
Of course, boasts a most spectacular view over the breakwater and harbour, and it is no less stunning in winter.
They recently added a winter pancake dish to the breakfast menu and it’s now so popular it will be a permanent menu item. Lovely light pancakes, sweet maple syrup and lightly toasted almonds, with a side of fresh whipped cream – what is not to love?
Add a serve of crispy bacon for that singular experience that is sweetness and pork, it’s bound to add some bounce to your step.
To keep the winter blues at bay, get out to one of our cafes and indulge in some mood-enhancing oats, some zinc laden spinach, an iron-rich big brekky, and up your intake of eggs, root veggies and soups. See you in the spring.
Editors note: Lisa Herbert dines at her own expense. Reviews are honest and not based on a commercial relationship.