By Kirsten Langford
Welcome to the second Ferntree Gully Village Traders Food Trail.
The Food Trail was an inspirational idea by Anne Boyd, the editor of this paper, to encourage foot traffic to return to the village in between Covid Lockdowns in 2021 and to help our traders. This year we are proud to have 19 traders from the Ferntree Gully Village supporting the trail with some great offers.
It has been such a joy to walk the trail with Anne Boyd and Kathryn Lowe (President, Village Traders) hearing the stories of traders who have managed to navigate the pandemic and meeting new businesses who have now opened adding new international flavours to our village.
How to walk the Food Trail
Pick up your Food Connects Us brochure at participating Traders or print off a copy here.
Use the Map to visit traders and collect your stamps.
Once you have collected three stamps you can enter the draw to win one of two $100 Bunnings vouchers. You can enter as many times as you like by dropping off your entry at a participating Trader location. T&Cs apply.
Tag us on your Instagram and/or Facebook and use #FerntreeGullyFoodTrail, and the best photo will receive a $50 Bunnings voucher.
Your guide to Ferntree Gully Village
1. Rapture Cafe
Always first to visit on the trail is Rapture Café. On entering the café, you are always made to feel immediately welcome by owner Namita and the smell of fresh bakery goods is mouth-watering – we couldn’t go past their delicious breakfast pancakes when visited. Even though it was a cold day the winter sun streamed in the picture windows providing natural light. Another plus is the terrific coffee!
2. Captain Stomp
Further down the road is Captain Stomp Records – if you are a vinyl afficionado then this is the place to go – and David is an expert in the field. Visit and say G’day and you will get a free lolly and a stamp … and maybe you will find that old record you have been looking for.
3. Local Bike Shop
Nearby is the Local Bike Shop, newly opened with all the bike things you need – from clothing to repairs or a new bike for your kids – this is the place to visit.
4. Paddy’s Tavern
Paddy’s Tavern is our traditional Irish pub in the village – they have great food (I can recommend the Beef and Guinness Pie) and terrific collection of Beer and Guinness. Unfortunately, St Patricks Day is long gone but you can always party at Paddy’s when they put on live music most Friday nights.
5. Hills Church Op Shop
The Hills Church Op Shop is always a bustling place when you visit. For the bargain hunter there is a terrific collection of cookbooks, crockery, pots and pans. If you like to find op-shop bargains this is the place to go!
Across the road is the new Japanese takeaway Tokodon. Newly opened, Toko means shop and Don is from the word Donburi meaning Rice Bowl Dish. We notice this is take-away food with a difference. The meals reflect modern Asian cuisine whilst being simple and satisfying. We couldn’t go past the Takoyaki (Seafood Balls) and design our own Donburi bowl with vegetable tempura. The Bento Boxes also look delicious.
7. Salte Cafe
Next to visit is Salte Café. I visited with Kathryn Lowe and we could not go past the Fried Chicken Benedict – a perfect brunch for a cold winter’s day! There are so many yummy options including Gluten Free and Vegan. We also love the range of home-made indulgent muffins, many which are gluten free. When you visit, don’t forget to ask Tracey to sign up to their monthly Cheese Club to enjoy cheeses from all over the world.
Time to cross the railway line and say hello to the Swagman on the way. He is made from the wood of the great pine tree that dominated the scene until the early 2000s.
Turn left at Station Street and look for the Newsagent at 69. How does a newsagent get in to a food trail? Food magazines and cookbooks of course – it’s worth a visit to see what you can discover.
9. Ferntree Gully Fish and Chips
Don’t miss out on your favourites from Ferntree Gully Fish and Chips at 71 Station Street – fishcakes, dim sims, flake, squid rings, hot chips. What do you love to order when you have hot Fish and Chips? After all it is the ultimate comfort food!
10. Goodlife Party Food
Now we head into the Village Court to Gooddlife Party Food, this is the perfect shop to cater for your next function – whether it be boxed lunches or platters of the best sliders and tarts we have tasted, you can’t go wrong. As well as making your life easy at your next party, they are one of the best value for money caterers in Melbourne!
11. Station Street Food Co.
Walking down the hill from Goodlife Party Food we spot Station Street Food Co. – the view of the mountain from the bench at the front of the shop is superb – it’s a great place to prop for a coffee and one of their sandwiches or cakes. You can also shop for all those essential pantry items and fresh organic fruit and vegies.
12. Larder and Thyme
Now to another newcomer in the Village across the road Larder and Thyme – if you are too busy to cook dinner but still want a home cooked meal, this is the place to come – and there always something new to try and old favourites like Lasagne. When I last visited, I was impressed with the display of local honey and couldn’t resist buying some melt-in-the-mouth brownie.
13. Jennifer Anne’s Cakes
Over the road is Jennifer Anne’s Cakes. When you walk in, the smell of fresh cake baking is divine. We also love all the cake equipment that you can buy there. Of course, if you want a gorgeous quality celebration cake especially designed for you this is the place to go! Jen and Jodie often do cupcakes on a Saturday morning – get there early so you don’t miss out!
14. Ferntree Gully Thai
Next door is the Ferntree Gully Thai Restaurant. After surviving the long lockdown, it is good to see this popular restaurant trading so well. From their authentic Thai food menu, we can recommend the spring rolls, pad thai and satay chicken that we enjoyed immensely on our visit.
Down the walkway next door is the local IGA, where Ning and her caring team were Anne’s staple during the long Covid lockdowns. Small supermarkets may be called convenience stores but they are a huge help, especially for locals who don’t drive. As well as finding all the basics of food and liquor, you will also find your own favourites, with a good selection of cheese, chocolate and wine.
16. Chandelier Wine Lounge
I always enjoy visiting Chandelier Wine Lounge – especially with good friends a few weeks ago. Anne and I shared a bottle French Champagne with Janine the owner and Kerry from Frock Up – it was a satisfying and fun way end to a busy week. Janine makes some terrific platters to accompany your drinks – I recommend you try her Jalapeno Poppers to warm up your day.
17. Chook Station
Next we head to Chook Station – a Ferntree Gully icon which has been in the Village for many years – to grab one of their excellent Charcoal Chickens, some salad and scalloped potatoes to take home for dinner.
18. Frock Up
Final stop on the Food Trail is Frock Up – owner Kerry will help you choose the perfect outfit for dancing, whether it is ballroom or tap or ballet, there is dance. Call in to see how she has connected Food and Dance.
19. Mae Collard School of Music
Finally we would like to thank Mae Collard School of Music who will be providing music in the streets on Saturday mornings during the Food Trail – we cannot wait to hear the ‘sound of music’ and encourage everyone to come and visit.
So that’s the 2022 Ferntree Gully Village Food Trail. I did the trail over a couple of days, one with Kathryn and one with Anne. As always it was a terrific time visiting traders, exchanging stories and tasting delicious food, wine and coffee. We are sure you will enjoy the trail this year as much as we did ours.