Give into temptation! If you’re peckish while in Healesville you should definitely visit Innocent Bystander. One of the first things you notice is that that the whole place has the comforting and friendly smell of freshly baked bread. Not overpoweringly so, but their bakery is definitely a core feature and it is evident in the air! Accordingly, we thought we’d start with and order of the fresh baguette with salumi and chose the Spanish cured pork leg from the many options. As we didn’t have a booking, we sat outside for our first drinks while we perused the menu, but the friendly staff soon found us a table inside. It wasn’t too bad outside, actually, as they have great heaters. The outdoor lighting scheme is quite atmospheric in the evening, too. Nevertheless it was nice to move indoors to take in the full ambiance of this well-designed space.
After thoroughly assessing my options in the very extensive and detailed documentation available, I also selected (and enjoyed!) a ‘wine flight’. This is basically a mid-sized tasting of three vintages of the same wine for comparison. The 2011, 2012, and 2013 vintages of the Giant Steps ‘Sexton Vineyard’ Chardonnay were all predictably delicious. Conventional wisdom suggests that it is best to start with the newest and work your way back to the oldest, but I’ve found that a bit of switching back and forth between wines helps me to appreciate the similarities and differences more fully.
Hungry after our short hike and chilly waterfall photography session, we ordered one of the specials which was a beef curry with saffron rice as well as one of the wood fired pizzas. It was a hard decision but we settled on the ‘Putanesca’ pizza which had white anchovies, capers, San Marzano tomato, fresh rocket and cravero parmesan. Scrumptious!
The pizza dough itself was to die for! The toppings were perfectly balanced, fresh and delicious. For a side dish, we ordered the roast pumpkin with freekah salad, soft herbs, seeds and labane. The textures were terrific and the flavours went together beautifully. Ben found that a Weihenstephan Pilsner went well with the food. And so did a second one.
We went a bit overboard with the dessert and needed a box to take some home! We had the bread and butter pudding (for which you need to allow 15min), chocolate truffles, Turkish delight and an Espresso Martini. Very decadent!
Have a look at our menu snaps and see what you think you might order. Or you can have a look at the proper PDF versions by following the links on this page. So much tasty food! And in such a funky and thoughtfully designed setting. Next time we’ll be sure to arrive earlier so that we can get in on some wine tastings!
Innocent Bystander can be found at 336 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville, VIC 3777
The restaurant is open everyday other than Christmas Day.
Sunday-Thursday 9am – 9pm, Friday & Saturday 9am – 10pm.
It is worth noting that the Cellar Door is only open from 10am – 6pm daily. Tastings are $10 but this is redeemable on purchases.
Bookings are usually recommended to avoid wait times, but don’t let this stop you from coming in if you’re passing by and want in!
Call (03) 5962 6111 or (03) 5962 2533 (after office hours) to make a reservation.