Discover what’s new in Geelong and The Bellarine – March 2023

From lemon meringue-inspired dumplings to elevated dining after dark, there’s always something new waiting to be explored in Geelong and The Bellarine.

Take your mates out to treat their palates and discover your next favourite haunt.


Serving traditionally untraditional handmade dumplings, cocktails and beers, this retro Asian diner comes from the masterminds behind popular Pakington Street restaurant, BAAH LAH!


Here you’ll find dumplings that’ll have you second guessing what you think should fill those artfully folded dough-ey morsels; think moussaka, wagyu beef and even a sweet lemon yuzu meringue.


Traditional Chinese dumplings (Jiao Zi) with a contemporary flare take centre stage at this 22-seat restaurant. The pared-back menu features seven types of dumplings, including Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (small dumplings filled with meat and soup) and Hargow Prawn Dumplings, along with 10 tapas (Xiao Chi) dishes. It’d be rude not to wash it all down with one of the carefully curated wines on offer.

If you’re a fan of Sober Ramen and Sumi, you’ll love this sibling restaurant in The Drunken Dumpling.


Heritage green walls, pressed tin and cosy Chesterfield couches are the careful touches honouring the Ambergris Hotel’s gold rush heritage. Experienced sommelier, Dave Ellis, and Head Chef, Jackson Wilde, bring a fresh approach to gastropub dining with dishes like Bellarine truffle croquettes and a Western Plains pork belly dish matched with pippies, sea asparagus and XO sauce on the menu. You’ll even find an elevated chicken parmigiana with cheese fondant and sugo.


Geelong and The Bellarine is having a big gin moment. Ceres Distilling Co is the latest to join the growing list of distillers offering experimental botanicals, exciting mixers and garnishes that add new dimensions.

Located on the outskirts of Geelong, this family-owned distillery operates five state-of-the-art I-Stills from the Netherlands to craft its unique blends that end up in your decadent cocktail (or two). Settle in for a longer sesh with a gin flight and tapas style menu.


One bite of a loukoumades and a regular donut will never be the same. Coined as the Greek donut, this traditional dessert finds a new home in Geelong at Loukoumadness. Along with the classic drizzle of honey, walnuts and cinnamon, you’ll find more decadent toppings including Ferrero Rocher, black forest and Golden Gaytime. Or go all out and design your own.

Established by the same owners as Mavs Greek Restaurant, it’s a fitting continuation of their dedication to traditional Greek cuisine with a modern (and fun) flare. When you’ve clocked the loukoumades on the menu take time to try the other traditional desserts and not-so-traditional (but equally delicious) milkshakes.

Image via Instagram @loukoumadnessgeelong.


Hop It is The Bellarine’s first and only hop-on, hop-off bus service, taking the stress away from organising a deso-driver and adding a whole lotta fun in exploring wineries and distilleries your way.

Depending on your ticket, your journey will start at either Cunningham Pier in Geelong or Portarlington Pier where a friendly guide will pick you up to kickstart your journey of up to five stops before dropping you back where you started.

There are currently 11 stops on the Blue Route (aka The Bellarine) which include Lethbridge @ HatrockTerindah EstateFarmDog BrewingOakdene Vineyards.

Hop It’s Blue Route starts on 1 April, with bookings open now.

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