SkyHigh on Mount Dandenong is a must-visit tourist destinations in the Dandenong Ranges. The main attraction is the view – which is pretty spectacular, as you can see above – although views don’t pay the bills and that responsibility falls to the restaurant and function centre. The picturesque grounds at SkyHigh include a maze – which has its own cafe – and various attractions and “events” to keep the whole family entertained.
It was a bit of a trek from the Yarra Valley, nearly an hour’s drive, although it would have been easier if our GPS hadn’t sent us down a nerve-wracking one-lane windy road. Panic attack over, it was time for lunch.
You first realise that this is a tourist destination when you’re charged $5 just to enter the car park.
I had looked at the lunch menu online, and thought it was a little…pedestrian…which sounds really snobby, but I didn’t go to the Yarra Valley to eat food that I could get anywhere. The choices include porterhouse steak with olive oil mash, mushroom ragout & green beans ($26.50), wagyu burger with aioli, tomato relish, tomato & lettuce in a brioche bun with chips ($22.50) and cider battered barramundi & chips with salad ($23.50). There’s also a children’s lunch menu, and all meals come with a soft drink and ice-cream sundae for around $16.
The dinner menu looks a little more sophisticated, but is “designed for a 3 course experience”, which I find an odd declaration – your 3 courses will cost around $50-$60, excluding drinks, so it’s not too expensive. Maybe the portions are small?
When you enter the restaurant, it’s clear that any apparent sophistication on the menu means nothing – it’s pretty rough. The staff were rather inattentive, our waitress disappeared after we were seated and it wasn’t immediately clear whether it was counter or table service. We actually considered leaving at one point, however decided to persevere.
I chose the “bbq pulled pork in a sourdough baguette with spicy red cabbage coleslaw & seasoned wedges” ($17.50) which was perfectly acceptable, and pleasantly presented – I’ve certainly had worse, although there was nothing exceptional about it.
The lemon lime & bitters wasn’t out of a bottle, which was a nice surprise.
There aren’t too many places where you can have lunch while enjoying this kind of view. You can hold a conference or get married here, it would certainly be a great place for wedding photos! There’s even a special proposal package, that includes a four course dinner with champagne on a private terrace for $485.
The food at SkyHigh was better than I expected, but ultimately this is a tourist attraction not a foodie destination. The view is worth the trip, but don’t expect a gourmet experience.