Next time you’re cruising on Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay, head up to where the Yarra River flows into the bay and drop in on Williamstown.
There’s a lot to discover and admire in the historic township, including breathtaking views across the bay to Melbourne, tree-lined streets with heritage homes and boutique shops, and historical artefacts and sites dating back to 1837, when Williamstown was established.
Go for a stroll along Williamstown’s pretty foreshore, which is dotted with piers, shady gardens and artefacts from its proud maritime history, or don your togs for a dip at the beach on the south-western coastline.
You’ll also find a vibrant café and restaurant scene and plenty of places to quench your thirst, with abundant options to suit everyone. We followed a local’s suggestion and had brekky at General Food Company, before visiting two celebrated restaurants – Pier Farm, which recently opened on the previous The Anchorage site, and Pelican’s Landing on Gem Pier.
Pelican’s Landing is located on Gem Pier at the beginning of the foreshore park, and boasts sensational views across the bay to Melbourne. Lots of seafood dishes (including the much-loved seafood platter – you’ll want to share that one as it’s a large serve) feature on the menu, alongside a handful of meat mains and delicacies for those who prefer to eat meat-free. We’d heard the paella was worth driving out of town for, so of course that was the first thing we ordered. Enjoy it as we did – on the balcony while soaking in that sensational vista, and washed down with a frosty beer or icy lemon lime & bitters. Or make it at home – here’s the recipe.
PELICAN LANDING'S SEAFOOD PAELLA
Makes a generous serve for one, or share it with someone special
4 pieces calamari
70g chorizo, sliced
˝ tblsp garlic, finely chopped
35g eschallot, diced
10g parsley, chopped
10g spring onion, finely sliced
10g parmesan cheese, grated
10g roasted red peppers, sliced
4 tblsps white wine
1 cup cooked rice
Around ˝ cup chicken stock
Lemon wedges, to serve
And here's how to make it ...
Heat a paella pan, add a little olive oil and sweat the garlic and eschallot. Add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes.
Add all the seafood and toss in the pan.
Add the white wine and cook for a minute.
Add rice and chicken stock, and stir.
Sprinkle with parsley, spring onion, parmesan, red pepper and paprika. Roast in a hot oven for five minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe courtesy of Pelican’s Landing , Williamstown, Victoria.
For more about Williamstown and recipes from the other restaurants we visited, turn to P74 in Vol 33.1 Club Marine Magazine.