Located in the Otway Ranges, past Skenes Creek, the Forrest Brewing Company is a brewery with good beer and even better food. 

We arrived there at about 5pm, to be greeted by a completely empty restaurant, so I was a little skeptical of whether this place was any good. After all, which pub is empty on a Sunday afternoon?!

Luckily, we pushed on and started with a beer tasting paddle (or the equivalent of a paddle anyway). It contained their four standard beers - a pale, a red, a silvertop and a stout, and then three seasonal beers. They were great beers, and we realised why they were so much more expensive than regular beers.

It was then time for dinner which was the highlight for me. The menu revealed only one vegetarian option so this was what I chose, but it sounded pretty good and I was happy with my choice (or lack thereof!).

My dish was described as a series of components: Lebanese eggplant, goat's feta, quinoa, Israeli couscous, hazelnuts, avocado yogurt and lemon thyme.  What this list failed to describe was the deliciousness that the ingredients combined to become!

The eggplant was smoked so that it was tender with a subtly smoky aroma, the goat's feta was wonderfully creamy, the bed of quinoa, Israeli couscous and hazelnuts provided the right balance of softness and crunch and the star of the show was the avocado yogurt, which simply tasted amazing. It was one of the best meals I've had in a long time and worthy of a spot in any fancy restaurant!

The other half went for a traditional pub option, the fish and chips, which he also said were very tasty.

As we were leaving we looked around and the pub was full. The locals obviously know where to come for dinner.... Clearly this microbrewery takes its beer seriously, which you would expect, but more importantly for me, it's takes its food even more seriously!

Forrest Brewing Company on Urbanspoon
Chez Dre had been on the breakfast bucket list for a while, and it was only one Saturday morning that we randomly decided to visit. We were wary of long wait time, given that we were planning to arrive there at about 9, but luckily we had no reason to worry. We walked straight in and were seated next to the window, overlooking the alley. 

A waitress promptly attended to us, to take our coffee orders, and I stuck to my usual latte. Unfortunately I hadn't perused the menu at this stage, but if I had, I would have knows that they also serve Prana Chai, and I would have definitely chosen that!

The coffee arrived promptly, but unfortunately, it was nothing spectacular, infact I think the Nespresso machine does a better job which was a little disappointing. I must however, commend Chez Dre on their fabulous service. We had spilt an almost full coffee, and the staff were immediately there to wipe everything down, and a new coffee was brought to us, free of charge. These little touches make a big difference.

I looked through the menu, and totally against the norm, decided to order a sweet breakfast. I opted for a spiced porridge, with rhubarb, cardamom, candied orange, vanilla mascarpone and pistachio. It was a tasty combination, but as is often the case with porridge, it was extremely filling and I struggled to finish it. 

All in all, Chez Dre was a pleasant experience, but nothing special. Given all the hype that surrounds this place, I must say that I was somewhat disappointed. There are many places that do much better coffee and food, and are much cheaper too.

Chez Dré on Urbanspoon