8/17/2009 07:55:00 PM

View from The Verandah View Cafe

How lovely was the weather on Saturday? About 20 degrees and sunny, with only a gentle breeze during the day. (Those super-strong-almost-gale-force-winds came back at night, but the day was lovely!) I took advantage of the great weather to take an impromptu roadtrip up to the Dandenongs. It's only an hour away from Melbourne. (Or 30 minutes if you live in Zone 2 of the Eastern suburbs, heh.)

We went to Sky High Mt Dandenong tourist destination first, to look at the view of Melbourne and walk around the gardens, and then got peckish, so went to the town of Olinda. Pie in the Sky (best pie floater this side of Adelaide!) was tempting, but we were drawn into Immerse by the promise of a $16.95 chicken parma special, and the cute-looking produce store within. We went in, we were seated by a waiter, and given a menu. Then we waited... and waited... and waited...

... we tried in vain to get someone's attention, but they were either too busy or didn't see us. Other customers came in after us, got seated, and got drinks, but we got nothing. Oh well, after 25 minutes or so of waiting, we got up and left. No-one seemed to notice.

Across the street was The Ivy, which offered wood-fired pizza, a mozzarella bar, and reasonably prompt service!

The Ivy Cafe and Restaurant
540 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd
Olinda 3788
(03) 9751-2388

Parmigiana melanzane - san marzano tomatoes, D.O.P buffalo mozzarella, chargrilled eggplant, parmesan and basil - $17.50

The eggplant pizza, or as I like to call it, "Sarah's favourite everything on a pizza". I could have done with a couple more slices of eggplant, but then again I absolutely adore eggplant. The base was a great mixture of crisp and billowing, and was covered in a delicious tomato sauce.

Porcino - Porcino mushrooms, mozzarella taleggio parmigiana reggiano and white truffle oil in bianco - $22.50

The mushrooms, although being button mushrooms, not "porcino mushrooms" as the menu stated, still had a deep mushroom-y flavour. We loved the crispy, inflated parts of the pizza covered in finely grated parmesan - rather like a cheese Shape biscuit, hehehe.

The Ivy on Urbanspoon

Following that we took a drive to the Mt. Dandenong lookout point, and grabbed a coffee at The Verandah View cafe, before making the (not-too-long) drive home.

The Verandah View Café

Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd (Directly opposite Mt. Dandenong Lookout Point)
9761 9902

Cappuccino - $3.30

What a lovely way to spend a lazy Saturday!

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My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.