Exert From: "The Age"
January 7, 2012
Chris's Beacon Point Restaurant, Apollo Bay
FIRST-TIME visitors could easily overshoot the turnoff to this long-established restaurant overlooking the Great Ocean Road above Skenes Creek. Situated among the gumtrees and huge tree ferns that thrive in the Otways, the restaurant has been a beacon for food and wine lovers who come for owner Chris Talihmanidis's fresh seafood dishes and warm Greek hospitality.
Still tanned after his annual foray to his native Greece, the restaurateur greets guests as friends, welcoming them into his "tree house" whose floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow fabulous views through to the sea below.
As a young migrant, Talihmanidis planned to perhaps stay three years but he has now cooked for more than 40 years in Australia. His first venue was a coffee house in Lome, but Chris's restaurant today is an elegant 85-seater that gained a one-hat rating in the latest The Age Good Food Guide.
Bookings are essential. House guests (he has four on-site villas) have first claim on seats by the window.
With fond memories of his signature seafood-filled kakavia soup ($23) from earlier visits, I cannot go past it. It's laden with prawns, mussels, scallops, calamari and salmon poached in a rich shellfish broth with spring vegetables. My husband opts for the confit duck leg tossed with mushrooms, leek
and pancetta wrapped in a thin crepe and topped with caramelised apple ($22). A local Clyde Park pinot gris goes down well ($13 a glass, $40 a bottle).
We both choose from the day's specials: slow-braised lamb shoulder with apricots, olives and walnuts on rice and a pork neck cutlet with eggplant, green olives, walnuts and feta and mashed potatoes (both $40).
Desserts echo things Greek and we order two: a trio of Greek-influenced ice-creams with mastic, rose petal and pistachio praline with Turkish delight, and a plate of Greek sweets - walnut baklava, pistachio saragli pastry, cherry glyko and mastic ice-cream (both $16).
Exert From: "geelongadvertiser.com.au"
December 10, 2010
Oprah tipped to visit Apollo Bay
OPRAH Winfrey's Great Ocean Road whirlwind wound up a notch yesterday with hot rumours the US television queen would visit Apollo Bay herself today.
The billionaire talk show doyenne headed for Uluru yesterday, but sent nine chopper-loads of her US guests to the Twelve Apostles and Chris's Beacon Point Restaurant in Apollo Bay.
Talk on the ground in Apollo Bay says four more choppers are due back today and that Oprah is Beacon Point-bound herself.
A New York critic recently visited the restaurant and hailed it as having the finest seafood in the world.
Oprah is due in Melbourne for a civic reception at Federation Square this afternoon but specifics on most of the movements of any of her entourage are locked away in iron-clad confidentiality agreements.
"The region hasn't been privy to any of the specifics, it's a bit like hosting the president of the US or the head of the UN," Geelong Otway Tourism chief Roger Grant said yesterday.
No one was quite sure what was happening yesterday from hour to hour as part of her 302-strong Ultimate Australian Adventure audience headed over the Great Ocean Road.
They left Essendon Airport and touched down at the Twelve Apostles mid-morning, landed at Apollo Bay about 12.15pm and lifted off soon before 3pm after having been bussed to Beacon Point.
Geelong residents spied the line of choppers flying overhead both ways.
Staff members at Chris's Beacon Point said before and after lunch they had no idea about the Ultimate Australian Adventure visit and pleaded ignorance of another visit today.
Mr Grant was on the money with his prediction early yesterday they would visit the acclaimed restaurant and hoped footage would translate into an invaluable promotion which would take the coast's "spectacular wow factors" to millions of US television viewers.