What to eat at Port Campbell? 12 Rocks Cafe & Beach Bar review

19 February 2018 19 Lord St, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia

If you're visiting the 12 Apostles/Loch Ard Gorge and is planning to stay a night at Port Campbell, chances are you'll be wondering what's there to eat. While there are very limited restaurants available, your options will be further reduced when it comes to dinner time as a handful of them would be closed by 5pm. 

We did our typical trip advisor tourist research and after being on the road for hours, we were pretty tired so we decided to have dinner at 12 Rocks Cafe & Beach Bar. The restaurant is located just opposite Loch Ard Motor Inn (the place we were staying) so it was very convenient for us.

Here's how 12 Rocks Cafe & Beach Bar's exterior looks like. It's a corner restaurant facing the beach, so you definitely won't miss it.

Parking lots are available too

Before entering the restaurant we took a look at some of the specials they were offering.

We were one of the first few to arrive and thank goodness we were early. Slowly after we placed our orders, the restaurant started filling up very quickly. Didn't take long until it reached full house.

Quite a lot of desserts to choose from as well! Too bad we were too full to try any :(

Since we're in Australia and couldn't wait until we reach QVM, we decided to order some fresh oysters as an appetizer. At 12 rocks, they offer two types of cooking style for their oysters. They serve their oysters fresh natural (16$ for half a dozen / 32$ for a dozen) or classic Kilpatrick style (18$ for half a dozen / 36$ for a dozen). We went for half a dozen of natural fresh oysters ($16). For those wondering the Kilpatrick oysters are oysters topped with cheese, Worcestershire sauce and bacon! We weren't feeling that adventurous, so we settled for the standard basic option haha.

I don't think I've ever ate fresh oysters in my life??? So I guess you can say that from now on, this place has somewhat 'set the standards' for me when it comes to fresh oysters. And I swear these fresh oysters tasted sooooo good. Then again it's also my first time having fresh oyster so I can't tell if it's really above average for a Malaysian standards but I know for Australian standards, this is like average la. If you're visiting Queen Victoria Market and you don't have any oyster cravings, you can save your $16 and just spend it at the market!! You'll just miss out on the rock salt bed plating, that's all!

Moving on, the first main dish we ordered was their Thai Style Seafood Curry ($28). This dish was not spicy at all. A little too bland for my liking but the seafood was like large and fresh! (like most places in Australia to be honest)

Next up we have the very Australia classic Beer Battered Fish of the Day served with chips and garden salad as sides ($27.5), basically fish n chips. I wouldn't call this the best fish and chips I've ever had but it was pretty decent. The fish was fresh but I was slightly disappointed that their tartar sauce was pre-packed ones and not made fresh in the kitchen :( But nonetheless, it's an alright dish if you can't decide what else you want from the menu.

Another dish we ordered was their Cajun braised pork ribs with BBQ onion glaze ($24). Yet another dish I expected to be spicy but wasn't spicy at all. The meat was tender and well seasoned but there's just a certain spice/ingredient in the sauce that I wasn't a fan of? Nonetheless I still ate quite a lot of this because in general I really like bbq ribs ahahaha.

Lastly we ordered their Chicken Parmagiana ($23). I think out of the four, this was probably my favourite. The meat was tender, wasn't dry and tough like most chicken parmagiana I've had previously, and 12 rocks was very generous with the Napoli sauce. Other than that, the serving for this dish was also pretty large. If you're a small eater, this is definitely enough for 2.

This wraps up my review for 12 Rocks Cafe & Beach Bar! Overall I think the food served was average in taste but good enough as a hearty hot meal to warm you up during the freezing cold winter season. Unless you plan to cook your own dinner/ dine at the other small selection of restaurants opened/ drive out of Port Campbell, I'll still highly recommend 12 rocks cafe & beach bar because while the food is average, it wasn't bad at all, plus their menu selections are pretty good compared to the other restaurants open. Even though their pricing isn't cheap, the portions are large enough for small eaters to share. 

Also for those concerned about it being a bar, it felt more like a family bar so rest assured. The restaurant is well-lit at night and you'll see many families with young children dining here as well :)

Overall rating 7/10
Taste: 6.5/10
Pricing: 5.5/10
Serving size: Large.
Service: 8/10
Choices of food: 8/10

12 Rocks Cafe & Beach Bar
Address: 19 Lord St, Port Campbell 3269
Tel: 55986123
Business hours: Monday - Sunday || 9:30a.m. til late
Social links:  Website   |   Facebook

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