Above The Greens with down-to-earth dining

December 10th, 2023Above The Greens with down-to-earth dining

Above The Greens, the Daylesford Bowling Club's bistro is back up and running with some great fare on offer from chef Geoff Wellington.

Words: Donna Kelly | Images: Kyle Barnes

Above The Greens, the Daylesford Bowling Club’s bistro is back up and running with some great fare on offer from chef Geoff Wellington.

Geoff, who is a bit of a raconteur, got his career start in hotels and has also spent a fair bit of time in clubs already – so he knows how to provide well priced, good food for the community.

By his own admission, Geoff is not into fine food, but he is into hearty meals with loads of flavour. And that shone through when we arrived last Wednesday in time for the first day of opening. (Mind you, some people had popped in on the Monday not realising the bistro was closed, so Geoff just cooked them up a meal. How good is that. Welcoming and hospitable.)

We started with the traditional bruschetta ($12.90) with Turkish bread topped with Spanish onion, tomato, toasted garlic, EVO and cheese. It’s a big serve and really tasty with a great combo of flavours. Off to a good start.

Next up were the vegetarian arancini balls ($15.90) atop a tomato relish served with balsamic glaze and parmesan. These deep-fried rice balls had a deliciously crunchy breadcrumb coating and were just yum. We had three between us and I scored two before Kyle knew what was happening.

Oh, drinks. This is a club so you are still only paying genuine 1970s prices. A pot of beer is from $5.80 Р$7, a schooner is $8.20 Р$9 and even a pint is just $10-$11.50. Wines are from a tiny $6.50. I guess there are also non-alcoholic drinks available…

We decided to share a main, the serves are big, and Geoff served us up the nasi goreng ($34). Rice based, it was loaded with jumbo prawns, big hunks of juicy chicken and peas, and flavoured with onion, chilli, garlic and ketjap manis.

As is per tradition, on top was a lightly fried egg with the yolk just folding into the meal. This is really good. Slightly sweet, slightly hot. I guess umami is the best description – covering all the flavour bases. And certainly enough for two.

We were pretty done by this time but there are plenty more mains to choose from. Of course there are all the club classics but there’s also a few different dishes to try like the jambalaya risotto, the cauliflower steak or the bbq pork stirfry.

One dish I have not seen for a while, might provide a challenge, The Beast. It’s an 800gm rump steak ($68) cooked to your liking with a choice of sauces or an additional $12 for the surf ‘n’ turf sauce with prawns and calamari in a creamy, garlic white wine sauce. You also get a beer, wine or soft drink as part of the deal.

Now I am not much of a red meat eater but I do know a few people who will take on that challenge and I know couples who will share it for something special.

If you are keen on dessert, there is pavlova with coulis, berries and cream or sticky date pudding, both $12. Kids’ meals are all $14 and seniors get a great deal on weekdays with a main for $20 or a main and dessert for $25.

So find your way down to Above The Greens and settle in for a nice arvo or evening with great food and service. And you’re bound to find a local to chat to at The Bowlo.

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