Cafe Olive, Seacliff

Sausage roll
Sausage roll, chips and a small hand – no respect for the art of the blog!

date of visit: Monday 16 January 2017

During the school holidays I had this idea that it would be a great opportunity to visit loads of new places with Master 6.  After all, we had six long weeks to fill and various forms of social media were full of parents (mostly mothers) bemoaning the extended stretch of time and the traumatic requirement to entertain children.

I can only assume that these people have a very different idea of what constitutes ‘entertainment’ to me. I did some preparation before the holidays – I will ‘fess up to that – but by the end of the break, we most definitely were not running out of things to do (in fact, we had to put in a bit of an effort to use up some vouchers I’d bought!).

Master 6 loves the beach so one warm morning we headed off. We were planning on hitting the beach we always go to, but I decided, last minute, that we should go to a ‘new’ beach – variety being the spice of life and all that.

Seacliff is not exactly new or undiscovered but we had our swim and then headed up to the Esplanade to grab something to eat. Master 6 spotted the pub but our last experiences there have been pretty average (to say the least!) so I steered him towards Cafe Olive, right next door.

It’s a very cute, airy cafe – there are seats on the footpath, as well as inside in an enclosed verandah AS WELL as inside the building proper. There are bench seats, normal tables and even a SWING.

It’s green, it’s cool, it’s casual – it feels really beach-y and creates a very distinctive vibe from the pub next door.

A lot of the cafe’s products are made in house. Master 6 ordered himself an iced chocolate (decidedly, the largest drink known to man – far bigger than his head) and one of the house-made sausage rolls, served along with chips and salad. I ordered the spinach and feta tart.

Spinach & feta tart
Spinach & feta tart

You’ll see from my photo that there might be an argument for the tart suffering from the dreaded soggy bottom but I love pastry so much that didn’t bother me. What I did like was the balance between cheese and spinach was spot on. So often, you order some spinach and cheese pastry and it’s overwhelmingly (and sometimes inedibly!) salty. Not so here!

The sausage roll was also delicious – however, Master 6, by now sated by the iced chocolate, had a bit of a wobbly moment because it didn’t look exactly as he’d been expecting. He had been hoping for one (or possibly more) of the bite size sausage rolls, just like the ones produced by his grandmother and our family friend, Trevor. This was just too big!

Of course, this didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for the chips or the salad.

I was really impressed to find a venue with so many goodies made in-house – especially things like pastries which so many places just buy in. The coffee was good, the iced chocolate was rated excellent (this may be due to size …).

Definitely a venue I’d head back to. In winter, it would be stunning to sit in the warm and watch the sea!

Cafe Olive Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Olive
1/220 The Esplanade
Seacliff SA 5049
phone: (08) 8296 8824

Seacliff Beach Hotel

slightly anaemic salt and pepper squid

date of visit: Sunday 9 February 2013

I know we’ve visited the Seacliff Beach Hotel before – but that was way back in 2010 so I think our latest visit merits a few words.

This time we were booked in for Sunday lunch: a booking for 5 plus a highchair. When we arrived, there was someone at the bar and we were seated quickly. No high chair (sigh) but that did arrive quickly and we were soon set up and ready to go.

The menu at the Seacliff is one of those very standardised pub menus and you’ll find carbon copies (or near enough) of it at various pub venues around the country. There’s nothing to challenge you here and even the pricing is comfortable with most dishes (bar the steaks) under $20. In our group, we had fish and chips, salt and pepper squid (that was me), the chicken and bacon burger, and a bruschetta.

The salt and pepper squid was unexciting. It was tender, but flavour wise there was not a lot going on at all. The batter was reasonably light and it wasn’t soggy or oily. The squid was served atop some chips, a couple of very sad looking wilted salad leaves, and with a portion of coleslaw on the side. The coleslaw was ok – totally inoffensive, and totally too much of it. I wonder if any of those bowls of coleslaw return to the kitchen empty …

Of particular note were the chips, which were awful. They were thin, long chips, soggy, nowhere near golden enough – I’m guessing they were a great example of especially cheap frozen bulk chips. There is just no excuse for them being on a plate.

Service wise, things were a little uneven. At one point I went to the bar and it was unattended and the little group of patrons that assembled over time waited quite a while for someone to show up. But our food came out quickly and correctly. There was one guy wandering around who was great and should give all the other staff instruction in customer service. When he saw us settling our toddler into the highchair he came over, unprompted, to let us know where the baby change facilities were, and when he saw our group leaving he made a point of saying good bye and thanking us. These are two tiny things but they make you feel like someone is actually interested in you having a good time.

Of course it was cheap – you can eat for under $20 a head and we used our Entertainment Book voucher for a further 25% off.

I don’t know about you but I’d rather eat somewhere with good chips …

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Seacliff Beach Hotel

Seacliff Hotel Schnitzel

date of visit: Sun 29 August 2010

It had been quite a long time between schnitzels and a friend had returned from a long stint working in Hong Kong … so rather than wait to organise a more substantial night we headed to the Seacliff (or, more properly, the Seacliff Beach Hotel) for a Sunday evening meal.

I haven’t been to the Seacliff for years (living abroad does that) so the original plan was to meet in the upstairs bar for a drink before eating in the Bistro. Now, ten years ago or so, I’d enjoyed quite a few quiet Sunday evenings playing pool in the upstairs bar, but while the pool tables remain, the vibe now is distinctly … rowdier. There was a live DJ and the crowd seemed to be winding itself up for a reasonably big night.

Because I’m a grumpy old lady type, particularly on a Sunday night, we scurried down to the front/sports bar. While we weren’t too interested in the various types of racing being shown around the bar, we could at least hold a conversation.

We moved in to the Bistro, where we had a totally unnecessary reservation. At the start of our meal there was just one other table (of two) occupied and by the end of our meal, we were the sole diners. Of course, it was a Sunday night – I wouldn’t like to comment on a Friday or Saturday evening.

There’s no table service – you order (and pay) at the counter which makes it ideal for large groups, or groups incapable of splitting the bill. We started with some garlic bread which was pretty underwhelming and not very garlicky before moving on to the schnitzels. Disappointingly there were no chicken schnitzels left so it was beef schnitzels all round – mostly parmigianas, one with gravy.

The schnitzels were pretty much pub standard. The parmigiana was nothing particularly special: the tomato sauce was topped with a thin slice of ham and melted cheese. It did avoid the (seemingly common) problem of the sauce being overpoweringly sweet. The chips were standard frozen chips and the salad was OK although a little heavily dressed for me (I would have to say that about 95% of dressed salads I eat so it’s not much of a criticism). One thing though … if sufficiently ripe tomatoes aren’t available … just don’t put them in the salad. No one orders a schnitzel explicitly for the tomatoes in the salad, so no one will miss them if they’re not there.

Schnitzels are $18 ($20 for parmigiana). This is a standard price for a standard schnitzel. I’ve certainly had far worse.

And let’s not forget, the Seacliff has great views over the sea so roll on summer and daylight saving!

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