Steve Earl took over Apollo Bay’s upstairs restaurant La Bimba in 2007. When he couldn’t find the produce he wanted in the Great Ocean Road region, he bought a farm (Otway Harvest) and started to produce his own beef and lamb. He also began growing his own fruit and vegetables.
As a result, everything at La Bimba is locally grown, or caught – the venue is directly opposite Apollo Bay’s main beach. Snapper, baby squid, king prawns and oysters don’t come any fresher than this.
Shared mains include Otway Harvest lamb with peas and mint; and kangaroo loin with smoked tomato and shallots. Given the quality of the cooking and presentation, it’s tempting to classify La Bimba as fine-dining – and there’s an extensive wine list if you want it to be. But with the relaxed beachside atmosphere and the jugs of Pimms, Aperol, mojito and sangria, it’s something altogether friendlier.
The open kitchen operates from breakfast until dinner, with a two-hour closing period in-between. In the morning, the space is beautifully sunlit through the large glass windows that overlook the ocean. At night, it’s dimly lit and romantic, a favourite with locals and tourists alike.
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