161-167 Main Street, Montville
I made a conscious effort to be more active this month so that has resulted in not one but three recent bushwalks and mountain hikes. One of these took place at Kondililla falls just north of Montville. It was my mum and dad who took me because the shameful fact is they are generally more active than me on a weekly basis. We stopped over at Montville after our hike with worked up appetites and decided to have lunch at Poets Cafe.
Over the years my parents and I have been to Montville on many occasions and more often than not, we chose to dine at Poets. The food hasn't left a particularly grand impression on any of us but the location is tops and if you're lucky enough to score a window seat, there are spectacular views down the mountain.
When we were first seated on this day, there were no window seats left but not long after we ordered another couple left so we relocated over to their table.
Poets Cafe has what I think of as an expanded cafe menu. There are all the 'usuals' like burgers, sandwiches and salads with a few more abstract offerings like curry of the day, pies, steaks and pastas. I suppose this suits the touristy nature of Montville and most people who stop here would find something that fits their appetite.
For beverages, Poets is licensed and dad chose a refreshing beer. I was half asleep after our walk and needed a coffee. The coffee was average quality but the serving size was huge.
Seared salmon fillet with garden salad
Mum's choice for lunch was the salmon special of the day. I didn't like the sound of it on the sandwich board and didn't like the look of it when it was brought out. I was certain the salmon was overcooked because it looked so opaque but my mum and dad (who tried a piece of it) insisted it was really good. They're quite picky with food, especially fish, so now I'm not sure what to believe. Dad ended up eating a bit of everyone's dish and judged mum's to be the best of the lot.
Salmon fettunice with capers and spanish onion
For his own meal, dad selected the salmon fettuccine pasta. He asked me to find a 'creamy pasta' and this was the obvious choice on the menu. He commented that he did really like the creaminess of the sauce but thought mum's salmon fillet was better value (at $20 versus $30 for the pasta). I promised him I could cook better at home.
Chicken, mushroom and thyme pie
My lunch pick was another special of the day, the chicken and mushroom pie. I liked the look of the pie, all golden and puffy, full of promise. It was served with a colourful side salad dressed in balsamic. The pie itself was generously filled and had a homely thyme flavour to it. It wasn't amazing but I quite enjoyed this dish. Dad commented that the pie was the least impressive of the lot so we agreed to disagree on our verdict of this meal.
I've made the same general consensus on plenty of other tourist hot spot cafes and restaurants before. Like others, Poets Cafe is unexceptional when it comes to quality of food or beverage. Prices lean to the expensive side but there is a large range of menu items to pick on. I would never drive to Montville especially to eat here but when I'm there for another reason, I like eating here because of the views and overall feel of the place. There is a charming house-turned-restaurant look to the building that suits what I think of as the Montville vibe.