During our recent week in Margaret River we decided to spend a leisurely afternoon at one of the local breweries, and after much deliberation chose Cheeky Monkey on Caves Road.
Open from 10am to 6pm daily, Cheeky Monkey has its own restaurant and brews seven varieties of beer and cider, which you can read about here.
There’s plenty of room to move and seating inside and out.
Food ordering is done at the counter, and the service was acceptable but not particularly friendly. A queue four or five deep seemed quite common and there’s only one place to order so I can imagine it being slow going at busy times.
A pilsner-size pear cider ($7.80) was a fine way to start proceedings.
We parked ourselves on some comfy lounges outside, and over the course of a few hours watched heavy rain give way to sunshine. A perfect way to spend a lazy winter’s afternoon.
We decided to start lunch with items from the tapas menu, although these were large enough servings to serve as main courses. We had “Buffalo style hot wings” ($14.50) and vegetarian spring rolls ($12). The wings had a bit of a kick but could have been spicier – but isn’t that always the case? – and the blue cheese dip was very strong. The huge spring rolls were stuffed with vermicelli and stir-fried vegetables, and tasted very fresh.
Main meals include burgers (beef $25 / lentil $22), fish & chips ($24), sticky pork ribs ($34 – I saw someone with a massive plate of these and was very tempted) and daily soup & pasta specials. You can download the full menus from here.
Um…not very exotic chips with tomato sauce and aioli ($8). An interesting range of pizzas is available, including The Howler (satay base with marinated chicken breast, chilli, peanuts, red capsicum, spanish onion and coriander, topped with sour cream – $23) and The Sea Monkey (roquette pesto base, exmouth king prawns in a creamy garlic velouté with crispy prosciutto and roasted pimento peppers, topped with mozzarella and dill – $25).
I chose key lime pie for dessert ($10), which was really nice and a welcome change from the usual fare. I’d often wondered how a cheddar crust worked on an apple pie, and now I know. This was a really nice touch. Other “American style” desserts on offer included banoffee pie, pumpkin pie and chocolate meringue pie, all of which are made in-house according to the menu.
The iced coffee ($7) certainly didn’t disappoint with plenty of cream and ice cream.
Cheeky Monkey makes a point of being “family friendly”, and as you can see there is a large children’s playground. Many of the complaints on Urbanspoon relate to there being far too many kids around, and I can see this being a problem on weekends or during the holiday season. We’re glad that we were there on a damp Tuesday afternoon.
There is a shop waiting to take whatever money you have left as you leave that sells wine, food and gift items from popular producers in the region.
We really enjoyed our afternoon at Cheeky Monkey, and it’s well worth a visit – the food and drink are excellent, and it’s a very comfortable spot to stop for a while. I wouldn’t want to be there on a weekend or when it’s busy, though. Recommended.