The Lotus Eaters Cafe

BYO $-$$   Hat iconHat iconHat icon
10 Mary St, Cygnet
03) 6295 1996
Open: Thu to Mon 9am to 5pm. Takeaways.

I’ve written before about how good the food is at the Lotus Eaters. In a previous review I wrote that Giselle Benton and her kitchen team were serving “the best, most varied and perfectly cooked café food in the state”. Six years on, and after a recent Sunday lunch where we sampled every dish on the menu, I’m happy to say that is still my opinion.

Over the years, with dishes as varied as a beef, red wine and bay leaf pie, a roasted pumpkin pizza, mushroom tart, Indonesian-style curry and a chicken miso broth, the cooking and harmony of flavours have been outstanding. Best of all perhaps, was a beautiful dish of duck egg pasta with white wine, fennel and pepper-berry sauce topped with crumbled toasted walnuts and shards of grana, a simple, subtle and sublime dish that any top-end restaurant anywhere would have been proud to serve.

The stars of the small lunch menu this time round were a beetroot, carrot, dill and vodka soup with sour cream, a beautifully spiced chicken and vegetable Thai green curry and a Dutch Cream potato, bay leaf, rosemary and Tongola cheese tart with toasted almonds.

“We use whatever fresh goodies people drop into us” I was told.

But it’s Benton’s and her team’s cookery talents and refined palate knowledge across a whole diversity of flavours and cuisines that makes The Lotus Eaters special and, for me, sets it apart from most other cafes in the state.

And, when it comes to “fresh goodies”, they have an abundance of riches to draw on from their own and other’s gardens, orchards and farms in the surrounding Cygnet area.

It’s also interesting how they, along with the Red Velvet Lounge, the area’s varied produce and the people who grow it, have been integral components in the transformation of Cygnet into the busy and attractive, multi-faceted tourist and communal village it is today. As with Zepps in Campbell Town, good food in Cygnet has acted as an important catalyst for change.

But, those carrots in a Russian-style Borscht? Unusual, but it worked, beautifully.

And that’s the way with just about everything at the Lotus Eaters. Eclectic and ever-changing menus using fresh local and home-made ingredients served up in a crowded, often chaotic and frenetic small space – but it all works, beautifully.

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