Part two of Editor Simon Wittenberg’s experience at the five-star Pullman Resort Bunker Bay resort in Western Australia
The award-winning ‘Other Side of the Moon’ restaurant, which is themed around Australian cuisine with a Mediterranean influence, is the main dining venue at the resort and sits adjacent to the property’s bar area. The menu for the evening meal is not extensive, but is nonetheless varied enough to tantalise the fussiest of taste buds. However, before sitting down for dinner, romantics can watch the sun set over the ocean from the outdoor courtyard whilst sampling one of the many locally produced wines. For those who prefer something lighter, the bar menu offer a comprehensive range of freshly-prepared sandwiches.
There are several alluring options for a starter to satisfy those with a large appetite and a love of cheese and seafood. However, we took the option of a main course and a dessert. I tried the West Australian fish fillet, a tender piece of groper which was served with a deliciously light sauce as well as finely chopped onion and tomato. A portion of charred vegetables including squash, zucchini and marinated fennel complimented the dish superbly. My companion opted for the peppery grilled beef porterhouse which was equally as impressive. It came topped with a large mushroom stuffed with spinach and sat on a bed of soft flavoursome potatoes. It was decorated with a serving of fresh asparagus, green beans and roasted cherry tomatoes in a red wine jus.
The desert menu posed an equally difficult dilemma. After much deliberation, I choose a “Bombe Alaska”, a generous serving of mango and strawberry ice cream interspersed by a large slab of coconut chocolate, and topped off by a layer of soft scorched meringue. This mighty dish was even delicately decorated with tasty orange blossom-flavoured candy floss which simply melted in your mouth. My guest headed straight for a lemon, lime and bitters sorbet which was a refreshing way to finish off the meal prior to tucking into a piece of locally made berry and pistachio nougat.
Come breakfast back in the ‘Other Side of the Moon’ restaurant, and guests have the choice of a full buffet (costing AUS$32.50 per person), a continental buffet (AUS$25.50 each), or there are many different options on the à la carte menu spanning from fresh seasonal fruit to eggs benedict. We opted for the full buffet and knowing where to start was the real challenge, such was the choice. There were numerous types of bread, fresh, dried and strewed fruits, sweet and savoury muffins, nuts, pastries, smoked salmon, tomato and mozzarella salad, soft cheeses, and even the chef’s very own muesli which can be bought directly from the hotel. A large variety of teas and coffees were also “on tap” to make the first meal of the day complete. For those who do not wish to leave the confines of their villa, a full buffet breakfast can be delivered to your door for AUS$28 per person.
Further afield, and there is plenty to do in the region. A short drive from Bunker bay stands the legendary Cape Naturaliste lighthouse that still shows the way to passing ships and is open to visitors. It is surrounded by nature walks and stunning ocean views where whales can be spotted as they migrate through the waters. Apart from hundreds of kilometres of unspoilt coastline, the Margaret River region is known for its many vineyards that produce several world famous wines, from small boutique family run businesses to the larger more well-known marques of Voyager and Leeuwin. The local area is also home to the Caves Road, and as its name suggests, this main artery is lined with several underground and breath-taking caverns that the locals are proud to show off to visitors.
The Pullman Resort Bunker Bay really is a break away from the hustle and bustle, whilst also being perfectly situated to explore Western Australia’s other gems.
By Simon Wittenberg MIOJ