With the reimagining of seafood-focused The Colourpatch in Augusta, Margaret River’s deep south has far more to offer above fine views and that stunning lighthouse.
Until the establishment of Glenarty Road, Karridale’s farm-to-table restaurant-cum-winery, Augusta and the deep south of the Margaret River region was in need of dining options beyond the standard pub fare and fish and chips (even if these venues boasted some of WA’s best coastal views). With the opening of The Colourpatch Cafe & Bar, the region can celebrate.
For those in the know, The Colourpatch conjures memories of eating fried fish at Augusta’s river mouth, the calm of Hardy Inlet one side, Flinders Bay the other, and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse – perhaps this town’s biggest claim to fame – beyond.
While fish and chips, eat in or takeaway, is very much still a go, the restaurant isn’t pulling any punches on the seafood front.
The redevelopment of this fish-and-chip icon hasn’t been done by halves. A small-bar licence sees the proffering of local winemaking talent (albeit to – perhaps predictably – small-town cries of city-priced pours) across a bar fashioned from a wooden yacht, Nomad, built in Albany in the early ’60s. Another vessel, a small Huon pine sailing boat, takes pride of place on a wall. Bi-fold windows frame the riverside aspect – a view worth the trip from the northern reaches of the region alone.
While fish and chips, eat in or takeaway, is very much still a go, the restaurant isn’t pulling any punches on the seafood front. There are the crowd-pleasers: crunchy whitebait, say, or a classic spaghetti marinara. Fish of the day might be locally caught dhufish or hapuka depending on the season. Abalone, cultivated in Flinders Bay, is used across the menu, while nannygai cooked en papillote with caperberries and tomatoes – a daily special on one visit – shows the level of aspiration. Service can sometimes be a little “country town”, but The Colourpatch shows the promise of what looks to become a low-key, charming destination.