Red Hill Epicurean is a large gourmet food destination focusing on the Mornington Peninsula’s producers and vineyards and it’s a must-do if you love good food and wine.
The site spans two venues – the spectacular atrium ‘The Shed’ housed in the former Red Hill Cool Store and framed by large timber columns from an old Woolloomooloo wharf.
The Shed includes a few different function areas as well which are sometimes opened to the public depending on the crowds, such as this barrel room.
The former Packing House is now the daytime cafe ‘The Store’ with gourmet providore and pricey homewares store attached.
I was taken to Red Hill Epicurean for lunch with bespoke tour company Wine Compass, but since we had already eaten cheese and barbecue before arrival our appetites unfortunately could not do justice to the comprehensive Italian-influenced a la carte menu.
So we settled on sharing a pizza, for which Red Hill Epicurean are particularly famous. All the pizzas are made thin-based, Neapolitan style, and come in a variety of traditional toppings.
On recommendation we chose the margherita ($19.50) with added prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella ($10) and a traditional rocket and parmigiano salad on the side for some greenery ($17). Our pizza was ready in record time – I literally managed to take a few photos and then a freshly wood-fired pizza arrived on the table.
I really enjoyed the lightness of the crust though I found the fragility of thinly-stretched base towards the centre too soggy for my liking. The simple and fresh ingredients reinforced why the combination of tomato, garlic, basil, prosciutto and cheese deserves to be a classic.
The food was delicious but I think the prices are high for just a pizza and salad. However, the pricing is comparable to winery restaurants in the area so I think it’s pretty standard across the board in a tourism-driven area.
In the cafe the menu offers pizza, plus pre-made salads and sandwiches in the cabinet. Save your appetite for the tempting array of sweets, including the amazing baked goods from Johnny Ripe (my must-do destination whenever I visit the Mornington Peninsula).
Red Hill Epicurean is part of Wine Food Farmgate, a collection and trail of the best of Mornington Peninsula’s wineries, eateries and farmgate providores. It’s a hugely popular destination with queues often forming out the door during weekends and in summer, so bookings are recommended if you have a group of 10+ or try to arrive very early or late to avoid the crowds.