Friday, July 1, 2011

Wheeler's Oyster Farm & Restaurant, Merimbula NSW

Wheelers Oyster Farm & Restaurant is located just outside of Merimbula, on the Sapphire Coast of NSW. Although their website claims that they have 'been producing the finest Sydney Rock Oysters for almost 100 years', being a local to the area, I had no idea that this was the case.

Having the opportunity to buy their oysters straight from the farming area of this establishment is a great idea, as it is directly next door to the restaurant. Unfortunately it seems that every time I have visited with my family for lunch or dinner, their retail outlet never seems to be open for purchasing produce, or even for a chance to have a guided farm tour. The website states that their oysters can be enjoyed with 'other local seafood and produce' which you can also find at the farming premises. I have a feeling that they might buy their seafood from another local seafood outlet in Merimbula, but I could be wrong. 

Wheeler's Restaurant in particular is a clean, spacious establishment that I frequent with my family whenever I visit, without fail. I enjoy their fresh oysters and their menu selection, and the fact that you can opt for indoor or outdoor dining is a bonus. The menu specialises in seafood, however patrons can pick from a decent variety of Modern Australian cuisine, and the menu can be found here.

The service is pretty basic, however it's a higher standard than other restaurants on the Far South Coast. The floor staff are young in comparison to other restaurants I've been to that are on this same level, however they do their job well. Unfortunately, there were two points of criticism that I can mention - on one occasion I did have to remind the waitress to bring out an already ordered glass of champagne. Another downside was that on one occasion in the past, we had turned up 15 minutes before our lunch booking and we were advised by (I'm assuming the floor manager) to come back later. I would have expected to have been seated and offered drinks whilst we waited for the kitchen to open. Instead, we decided to go over the road to the Sapphire Coast Golf Club for a cheaper drink.

Wheeler's is affordable for a couple, however when it comes to a family of four adults who also drink alcoholic beverages with their meal, it can be pricey. Having said that, you get what you pay for - fresh, large, creative meals.

Don't expect Wheeler's Restaurant to be a quiet, placid dining experience during school holiday periods, particularly summer or Easter. Children, and possibly international visitors, may be lucky enough to see the many kangaroos that graze on the green grasses of the well-kept garden that surrounds the restaurant. 

Wheeler's Restaurant has a family-friendly atmosphere, as well as a sophisticated air about it. For me, it's a fantastic place for a perfect family dining experience,for both young and old.

Dishes Ordered

Wild Rye Fresh Baked Panini Bread         $7
Served with butter, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic and confit of garlic 
Seafood Pasta         $29
A selection of fresh seafood tossed through fettuccini with a mild chilli, garlic, herb, extra virgin olive oil sauce finished with a squeeze of lemon and parmesan cheese
Mixed Plate of Cooked Oysters          1/2 Doz $18 / Doz $28Plumrick - crisp bacon & sweet & spice plum Worcestershire
Rocky - tomato, bacon, basil, onion & grilled cheese
Mornay - mornay sauce & gratin cheese

Recommended Dishes

Mixed Plate of Cold Oysters        1/2 Doz $18, Doz $28 
Japanese - pickled ginger & cucumber salad with wasabi aioli
Salmon - smoked salmon, chives & champagne
Natural - with seafood sauce & lemon
Four Tastes of the Sea                  $22
Oysters Japanese
Plumrick and natural smoked salmon, cream cheese, dill roulade with red pepper relish
Tasmanian scallops grilled in half shell with caper sage butter
Banana prawns with seafood sauce

Lunch: 7 days 12-3pm
Dinner: 7 nights from 6pm (restaurant only open for Sunday dinner during peak season)

Wheelers Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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