Seaside road trip to Robe

A road trip across South Australia's beachside towns is more fun with the addition of luxury foodstuffs.

Australia's favourite food blogger, Not Quite Nigella, compares the lobster sandwiches of two seaside towns.

Do you know how you can lure certain creatures with food? Well I can easily be lured in a similar fashion by a crayfish roll. We had just left Coonawarra and Penola on our South Australian road trip and by way of a quick mention, Philip had suggested that we stop at Robe for a crayfish roll on our drive from Penola to Goolwa. Well, it didn’t take much convincing to stop at Robe and I could almost taste the crayfish roll and imagine the mayonnaise. We made it to the wharf and alas, the shop was closed! So we called the information centre, which suggests that we try the fish and chips store in the town centre.

There’s a sign outside saying that crayfish are $81 a kilo and they’re selling halves for $32 and $42 and we also buy a roll and some added tartare sauce and for old times’ sake, and a potato scallop as it’s been about 20 years since my last. We take this and the pie from Vintage Cafe to the picnic tables on the beach where we unwrap our goodies and make a crayfish sandwich.

the australasian goolwa

I should have chosen bread slices as the rolls are a bit too thick for the crayfish so we make this a more open faced sandwich. It’s satisfying and hits the spot although some of our travelling partners didn’t really rate the fish and chips there. And the chicken, mushroom and champagne pie from Vintage Cafe in Penola? Superb! Generous chunks of meat, perfectly balanced with mushrooms and champagne cream sauce.

It’s a hot day so we wander around in Robe which is a lovely seaside town. We stop at the ice cream shop on the main road where they make all of their ice creams on site (except for two flavours). There are flavours like Mars Bar and Cherry Ripe (the latter one of their bestsellers) but I hone in on a jam donut one.

How brilliant an ice cream flavour is this? With strawberry jam streaked through and cinnamon sugar crunchy throughout, there is the occasional piece of donut interspersed through the creamy ice cream.

The mango tastes more of unripe mangoes than ripe ones. We do a bit of shopping, the Robe Town store holds an excellent range of goodies including an ornate glass cake stand which I can’t resist but buy as it is the bargain price of $10!

Okay tell me the truth Dear Reader, if you had just eaten a crayfish sandwich and then you came across another town that sold crayfish sandwiches, wouldn’t you be a tiny bit curious to try one of their sandwiches just for comparison or research sake? No? Okay, perhaps it’s just me!

Mr NQN refuses to stop at Kingston when I see the crayfish sandwich signs telling me very sternly "You’ve already had one crayfish sandwich, you can’t have another!” even though I doth protest about research purposes so I’m sorry Dear Reader, but I can’t give you any impressions or comparisons about crayfish sandwiches between the two towns. But I can give you an enormous picture of a giant lobster instead, will that do perhaps?

the australasian goolwa

The Australasian circa 1858

The next drive to Goolwa involves driving down a very long, straight and not particularly smooth road and then getting onto a ferry which is more like a barge that takes us across the Murray River. Mr NQN recalls the book and movie Storm Boy. We pass several signs advertising Coorong mullet but alas we don’t have time to stop and I don’t think I should
have another meal because we’re on our way to somewhere very special that evening…

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