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.

BAHJONG

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

Dining

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.

THE DRUNKEN DUMPLING

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.

AMBERGRIS HOTEL

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.

CERES DISTILLING CO

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.

LOUKOUMADNESS

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

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.

Stay up to date

Get the latest info on openings, special events, deals and competitions.

    More articles

    Adventure

    8 things to do in the Moorabool Valley & You Yangs

    Located about an hour west of Melbourne, the Moorabool Valley is probably Victoria’s most un-sung wine region. Sitting in a...

    Eat and Drink

    6 winter drinks to warm you up in the region

    With Victoria shivering through some sort of Antarctic cold snap (seriously, even Phillip Island’s penguins must be browsing Queensland real...

    Eat and Drink

    Best cafes for early risers

    Whether you’re fresh off the Spirit of Tasmania or looking to get an early start for a day of exploring,...

    Adventure

    Perfect pit stop – A day in Werribee

    Alright, let's talk about one of the most underrated stops on your way from Melbourne to Geelong: Werribee. Yep, you...

    Stay up to date

    Get the latest info on openings, special events, deals and competitions.

      Visit Geelong & The Bellarine