Finger lickin’ good

May 17, 2024 BY

Local chef Mike Jaques can’t go past the lamb shawarma from Sam’s Café.


With most of us continuing to feel the economic pinch in some respect, many serial restaurant diners are swapping the eat-out options with eat-in ones, still opting for the treat of a meal cooked by someone else, just with their wallets in mind.

Between Uber Eats and whatever other ordering platform people have their online preference for, you can now get basically anything your heart and stomach desires, any night of the week. And when it comes to what we have on offer here in Geelong, there’s a wide range between the good, the bad and downright ugly.

So in order to find the very best delivery/take-out options out in our local community, I found that trying to research (AKA sample) each option out there – which is literally dozens if you keep scrolling – was starting to get daunting. Instead, I decided to ask a couple of our region’s best food identities what their favourite local choice of take-away is. Here goes…

One of Geelong’s young and brightest culinary stars (and the chef at one of my fave local restaurants) Mike Jaques thinks you can’t go past the lamb shawarma from Sam’s Café, found along Moorabool Street. “Great spiced lamb, sauces and fresh salad. I love the toasted pita wrap which makes the perfect mix of crispy and chewy…” confesses the Tulip chef (which still remains my go-to spot for a great meal out). He further notes “…it’s a Geelong institution run by great (local) people”. And we simply can’t top that, can we.

Lorne’s The Clam could be the ideal reason to head coastal this winter.


Head of The Culinary Collective at the Gordon, and in charge of the development of some of our region’s future creative culinary minds, former chef Leonie Mills feels North Geelong’s Great Ocean Rolls are pumping out the best banh mi from here to Hôi An. “Worth the wait in line!” she details, as well as mentioning another icon of Geelong’s takeaway favourites, quoting “the Turkish Bread topped with garlic, cheese and mushroom (from Pizzaland, Mercer Street)” as a huge family fave.

And my pick? Well, it does do takeaway, but you might as well eat in and enjoy the vibe for basically the same price. For those that haven’t been yet, my new favourite lunch spot is Rebecchi’s, the latest neighbouring coffee and food spot for Boom Gallery on Rutland Street. The man on the pans here is Daniel Hooper, who has one hell of a kitchen CV, having spent time at Brae, Willows on Lummi Island (the restaurant that film The Menu has loosely based on) and Moonah. Now punching out some of the best damn sandwiches you’ll ever eat, this should be a spot on every lunching foodie’s list. It’s. brilliant.

Former chef Leonie Mills feels North Geelong’s Great Ocean Rolls are pumping out Geelong’s best banh mi.


A great vinous find this past week has been the newly released (and inexpensive) 2023 Golden Plains Pinot Noir from Provenance Winery. The wine is a blend of grapes from the Moorabool, Bellarine and further afield, that delivers a bright red fruit-driven profile of strawberry, cherry et al, and a medium weighted, textural palate backed by gentle acidity and graphite-like tannin. Grab these via the winery’s website or, of course, pay them a visit at their local cellar door in Fyansford, where you can try before you buy, along with the rest of their well-crafted range of wines.

A final bit of culinary news I’m happy to report is the welcomed addition to Lorne’s dining scene, with The Clam opening opposite the foreshore close to Grove Road. Celebrated chef David Moyle (previously of Franklin, Longsong, and other famed hatted venues) has quietly been offering the local coastal community his version of a seaside tavern that serves great food and drinks – and music, when the right DJ is in town. Open Friday-Monday, this could be the ideal reason to head coastal this winter (dare I say the W-word just yet) if you needed one. Or if you’re like me, the Apollo Bay crayfish sandwich (or Clam Club salad) is enough for the lunch journey alone.

Surf Coast Times – Free local news in your inbox

Breaking news, community, lifestyle, real estate, and sport.