The Ocean View Hotel Kilcunda
Anyone who’s driven through Kilcunda, near Phillip Island, remembers the view. Gippsland’s undulating green paddocks run right up to the ocean, which sparkles like a jewel as you roll into the elevated main strip. The Ocean View, affectionately known as “The Killy”, is one of about five non-residential buildings that make up the little village, but it’s an imposing one.
On the front deck, punters alternate sips of frosty craft beer with sips of salty sea air. Inside, grizzled dairy farmers shoot pool and get into hearty pub classics such as chicken parmas, calamari and steak sandwiches. The menu’s Central and South American dishes, courtesy of a Cuban head chef, are more surprising. Look out for Cuban-style pork spare ribs and Argentinian barbeque chicken. The bar’s impressive tap list includes beers from Holgate, Two Birds, Cascade and Bulmers. The cellar champions local vineyards, including Dirty Three, Cannibal Creek, Bass River Winery and Lightfoot & Sons. Whatever you choose to drink, it tastes that bit better with the view of Bass Straight’s steely water stretching to the horizon.