Kim Wherret has had an interesting life. She’s worked in law and was once a private chef hopping around Europe cooking for the rich and famous. She also owned a cafe in South Yarra in the ’90s and ran workshops at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Since January 2011, she’s been leading the kitchen at Port Albert Cafe and Wine Bar, cooking up hearty meals that would have made her grandma proud. She won’t serve asparagus when it’s out of season, but she will for the two weeks in November when her Koo Wee Rup farmer sells her all the seconds. And if her solo fisherman doesn’t catch any fresh flathead or squid that morning, then her hyper-local fish and chips is off the menu that day too.

Everything is made from scratch here, from the stocks for the soup base to the chicken liver pate. Biodynamic lamb regularly becomes a massaman curry and Berry’s Creek and Prom Country cheeses form the Ploughman’s Platter. The shelves are lined with Old Palmerston Jams + Cordial (turn right at the roundabout to visit the maker) and bags of Ameys Track hazelnuts and Dargo walnuts when in season.

The cake selection is impressive. Thinly sliced Yarram-grown apples are layered to form a sizeable mound encased within a crunchy tart crust. The carrot cake is nothing short of monstrous, with a whipped cream centre rather than cream cheese icing. There are also lemon and chocolate tarts; friands and muffins; chocolate, date and meringue cakes; and Eton mess topped with berries for gluten-free appetites.

Local wines are available by the glass, so you can self-fashion a regional tasting flight before walking it all off by the water.

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Updated: November 21st, 2019

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