Lunch love in Geraldton

  • Posted by Jennifer Morton
  • September 4, 2013 4:42 PM AEST

Looking for a delicious dining experience in Geraldton? Salt Dish Cafe has it all: charm, efficiency and most importantly, yummy eats!

If you are doing a road-trip north of Perth, chances are you will be stopping in Geraldton. The coastal city is 418 kilometres away so by the time you get there, you will be hungry.


On my last visit, I found a darling cafe with great food and heaps of character. It's called Salt Dish and it's on the main drag, Marine Terrace. What caught my eye was the old bicycle parked on the pavement across from the front door. It wasn't any old bike. This 2-wheeler was wearing a loopy and colourful jumper; and it wasn't it that cold outside!


Inside, the main eating space was alive with colour, sounds, smells and happy-go-lucky customers. There were plenty of staff buzzing about and the barista was constantly on the go making coffee. Tatted up cooks grilled, tossed and plated up from the open-air kitchen.


A waitress took my order from the 2-seater table I snagged seconds after arriving. This place was busy and I didn't want to miss out. Turns out, I didn't have to worry. On a wander to the toilets, I found a second dining room that was practically empty.


The left side corner area called to me. The red love seat. The 60s style coffee table. The intricate wall mural behind. I grabbed my things from table #1 and told the waitress that I was relocating. I settled in just in time for my coffee in to be delivered. It wasn't long after that and my meal was set in front of me too.


Coffee Snobbery

I am very spoiled. There is a very flash espresso machine in my home so when I go out for coffee, it really cannot compete. Salt Dish was fast with the delivery but the taste was far too milky for my liking. If you are used to strong coffee, you'll want to ask for a double shot when ordering. But be warned: You may be charged extra. Saying this, I have read many positive reviews about the coffee at Salt Dish. Best for you to make up your own mind. Next time I go to Salt Dish, I may try the tea. They had a lovely blackboard tea menu.


Fresh n' Tasty

When my fried spiced squid and green papaya salad arrived, I was excited by the sight of the freshness of it. To be honest, when I spotted this on the menu, that was it, my mind was made up. Other choices were steak sandwiches and burgers but I was dead set on that squid. The gluten-free mention was a bonus.


The squid was ever-so-lightly coated and the spices were delicate, not hot. The tubes and a few leggy pieces circled the plate around the mound of papaya salad.


The salad consisted of gorgeous long curls of green papaya, vibrant carrot, spring onions and thick pieces of sauteed celery that still had a bit of crunch and topped with bright red slivers of chilli. The entire meal was fresh and tasty. Just writing about it makes me want to have it again.



Sweet Pie


I was impressed to see pecan pie in the dessert display and knew that's what I would order. The shy waitress gave me a run down on all the other choices and I listened carefully but my mind was already made up. It's not often you will see sweet pies on the menu here. A pie in Australia usually consists of meat, gravy and cheese and is not a dessert food. Dessert pies usually have fruit, lots of sugar and flakey pastry...yum. Pie was a staple food in my childhood home and I get all nostalgic when I eat it.


The pie was served cold with a dab of thickened cream on the side. The crust was sweet and more like biscuit than traditional pastry. It was simply delicious. The pie filling was exactly what I expected: gooey but firm in the centre and oodles of pecans on top. I later found out the crust was gluten-free. I would never have known.



Take a stroll or a nap


After I paid my $30 + bill (a bit of a splurge for lunch) at the counter, I walked across the road to the foreshore. There is a cool water-park that is buzzing with kids and families in summer. It provides a fun atmosphere on a hot day. A fine sand beach with glowing turquoise waters sits just on the other side of a cement wall. There's even a volley-ball net! Whether you choose to splash about or relax in the hot sand, the Geraldton foreshore is a great après lunch venue.

  • Ciara Snook
    Ciara Snook Jennifer, I was already hungry when I read this and now I'm even more so! Thanks so much for sharing
    September 4, 2013
  • Olly Wheatcroft
    Olly Wheatcroft This sounds like a great place. The spiced squid and green papaya salad sounds delicious.
    September 5, 2013