Small country towns almost demand that you visit the local pub for a pub meal, and the Bright Brewery is no different. Located on the highway in Bright, Bright Brewery clearly prides itself on its local brews. With a menu that offers beer matching suggestions with each meal, kegs scattered throughout the venue, and dried hops used as decoration, there was never any doubt where the focus was. Despite this, I went against the grain and had cider! Poor form for an engineer, I know!

The menu was fairly basic, with a handful of entrées and mains, and then some pizzas. There was only one vegetarian main option, a vegetable frittatta with a garden salad so I chose it.

Vegetable frittatta with garden salad
This dish was definitely not what I expected a frittatta to be. It was more like a vegetable lasagne with layers of cooked egg rather than pasta, but nevertheless it tasted pretty good. The garden salad had all the traditional elements of a salad, and was lightly dressed, which was much appreciated. I am always wary of basic salads being overdressed with glugs of oil. Overall it was a good dish, nothing spectacular, but certainly passable.

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I am a firm believer that cheese can make any meal taste better, so when lunch at the Milawa Cheese Company was proposed, there were no complaints from me!

Located in Milawa, en route to Bright, the cheese company has not only a small restaurant, but also sells cheese, jams, chutneys and various other condiments made with local produce. We decided to take advantage of this by doing some cheese tastings before our lunch orders arrived. Hot tip: the ash rolled chévre and the cheddar were definite winners for me!

Looking at the menu, there were only a few vegetarian options but I found one that caught my eye, so I was happy. I had a goat’s cheese galette which was a large puff pastry casing, filled with the Milawa goat’s cheese, char grilled eggplant, caramelised onion, char grilled capsicum, and sundried and fresh tomato, all topped with a rocket and pine nut salad and drizzled with a beautiful sweet balsamic dressing and a few olives on the side.

Goat Cheese Galette

Each component of the dish made a worthy contribution to the overall flavour – the cheese was the obvious star, creamy and slightly salty, the eggplant was soft and had a melt in your mouth texture, but for me the highlight was the caramelised onions. These were places right at the centre of the galete, so you only reached then once you had eaten through half way, and they almost served as a surprise! The pastry was flaky and delicious, and the dressing brought everything together. All in all a definite winner!

The Milawa Cheese Company is a simple place. Don’t expect 5 star service. The staff are friendly, happy country people, but you are required to place your order at the counter, and grab your own cutlery and water. Infact, if I had to pick a flaw, it would be that you have to drink your water out of plastic cups – not very environmentally friendly... But if you want great food out in the country, the Milawa Cheese Company provides a great option!

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