Sometimes, a special occasion calls for something a bit different. With no lack of eating establishments around Bunbury, the choice can sometimes be daunting. So there in lies the question…Where should we go for lunch on our nineteenth wedding anniversary? Well, whoever coined the phrase “Happy wife…Happy life” was probably on to something and with that in mind, that’s where we opted for, that nice little place on the estuary The Happy Wife.#Happywife
Lisa and I have been here on several occasions over the years. I hope they don’t take offence when I say the place has a subtle “Hippy” feel about it. It has has a real chilled vibe. The tables are laid out here there and everywhere all higgledy piggledy which just works and adds to the relaxed atmosphere. If one walks through to the back of the building, there is a lovely alfresco area that over looks the beautiful inlet—there is something quite magical about eating next to water.
Today we opted to eat inside—well winter is only two days away. Continuing with the casual style, the menus were small and understated, but packed with interesting meals. The Happy Wife appear to be very serious when it comes to healthy eating. I could almost feel my antioxidant and vitamin levels rising as I read the menu. The all-day breakfast selection was very interesting with dishes like Chia Pudding and Protein Granola along with the usual favorites like Eggs Benedict and Bruschetta. There was something for everyone. However, today was about lunch and again there was a large selection of healthy and maybe not so healthy dishes. There was everything from tarts, salads, wraps, pies, and even vegan options.
Considering my love of Indian food, I had to choose the Lamb and potato Samosa. I definitely chose well. The samosa was huge. I was expecting a couple of traditional triangular Maida shell type samosas, but The Happy Wife has put their own unique stamp on it. It was a huge cushion of light puff pastry that was flakier than a paper bark tree—all light and buttery. The lamb mince and potato filling had just enough spice to make it interesting. The Chili and mango chutney that accompanied it packed a real smack in the kisser. I love it when restaurants offer choice. Some people love hot and spicy whereas some prefer their heat with the volume down. With this dish, I had the option to add the desired heat with the chutney—clever. The whole thing sat on a fresh spinach, coriander, mint and red onion salad which wasn’t just an afterthought but a main player in completing the plate. It all came together with a tongue zapping citrusy orange dressing. I was impressed.
Not to shy away from the Asian theme, Lisa opted for Satay Chicken Asian Chilled Udon Noodle Salad, (try saying that when you're drunk), This was a good-sized bowl. Lisa offered me a big forkful. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but this was literally a taste explosion. There were so many elements to this salad, one would not be forgiven for wondering if it was all going to work together. I am pleased Every ingredient deserved its place. The noodles were sleeker than Tom Selleck’s moustache. The addition of crunchy peanuts and “pop in the mouth” Edame beans made it a textural delight. The lime and coriander took us to an Osaka Noodle bar. The chicken reveled in it’s nutty satay sauce.
Both our plates were left spotless. I jokingly suggested desserts to Lisa and expected a negative response. She gave me a cheeky smile and said, “what they got then?” This was happening!
There was no dessert menu as such. But there were two large glass doored refrigerators displaying the sweet delight up for grabs. Again, The Happy Wife do not conform to the norm and there were some very different treats on offer. An Orange and Passion fruit White Velvet cake sounded tempting, as did the Ginger, Blueberry and caramel cake—bizarre!
After much deliberation, I went for the never before heard of Coffee and date baked cheesecake. Lisa plumped for an inviting Apple and raspberry crumble cheesecake.
Both desserts came out together and looked great side by side. They were served with a generous dollop of clotted cream…that’s right folks, none of that yukky spray stuff out of a can, this was the real deal. It reminded me of many holidays I had when I was a boy in the beautiful county of Devon in the West of England. My coffee affair was divine. The creamy cheesecake has the perfect baked consistency—you know the type, when it gets stuck under your tongue. The coffee flavour was not overpowering. Sweetness was supplied in the form of some fondant icing. The dates added a nice chewiness and a light zig zagging of strawberry coulis supplied enough tartness that Cynthia Payne would have been proud of.
The Apple and Raspberry cheesecake was another triumph. Also served with that beautiful clotted cream and coulis. The filling was wickedly dense. What better pairing is there than apple and raspberry? A bittersweet symphony if there ever was one. The crumble was scattered on top looking like a crushed-up flapjack. A cheesecake with attitude, you don’t see that every day.
Desserts at lunch. Not something we do that often, but then it’s not every day that you celebrate nineteen years of a wonderful marriage—just thankful that Lisa is as bigger a foodie as I am—needless to say, I skipped dinner that night!
We also enjoyed our usual Latte and long black coffees which were equally as good as the food. The service was friendly and prompt. If I was going to say anything, maybe the service was a tad too prompt as an eager staff member took Lisa’s coffee cup before she had finished it. That being said, they were very apologetic and offered her another cup, so no harm done.
If you like relaxed surroundings, lots of healthy meal options and some very indulgent sweet things then this is the place for you. Oh, and yes…I left with a Happy Wife.