Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Early spring is the perfect time to catch cold. I was smothering, and a little brain-dead, at the beginning of the weekend as I braved gale-force winds to drive across town for a family dinner. We owed Lee a posh dinner and she had chosen Donovan's as her treat.

We sat by the window as the wind howled and the waves crashed on the shore just feet from our table. Donovan's feels as if you are visiting somebody's cosy home: bookcases line the walls, the tables and chairs are mismatched, and the russet colours are a far cry from the minimalist decor so many trendy places go for.

Wines by the glass were limited but well-chosen. Lee and Orlando selected sparkling wines whilst I went for a local red, Amherst 'Dunn's Paddock' Shiraz 2004, from the Goldfield region about 100 miles from our house. I still love the fact that I live in a country which has local wine.

Every morsel was divine. My seafood chowder was augmented by slivers of prosciutto, giving it an amazing saltiness. The heavy sour-dough bread was served with olive oil infused with parmesan and basil. My seafood linguine was simply the very best I have ever had.

How I found space for dessert I will never know. Three Sweet Things served with my coffee were a tiny a square of passionfruit cheesecake, a home-made jammy dodger biscuit and a minute chocolate brownie. Sounds like comfort food, but again, all the best I have ever tasted.

40 Jacka Boulevard St Kilda www.donovanshouse.com.au

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