Corner Ridge Road &
Mt Dandenong Tourist Road
Olinda (03) 9751 2033

Lunch & Dinner
Wednesday - Sunday

Ben Higgs Executive Chef at Wild Oak
  • Valentines Day Menu
  • Wed 12th February 2014

  • Wild Oak

    Valentines Day Menu







    Five freshly shucked tasmanian pacific oysters GF DF


    Warm calamari salad with wild roquette, mint & capers GF DF


    Twice baked yarra valley goats cheese souffle with a heirloom tomato & basil salad V


    Cream of exotic mushroom and potato soup  GF DF


    Duck liver pate with homemade relish and toasted sourdough bread




    Moroccan chicken tagine, spiced yoghurt & saffron cous cous GF DF


    Tasmanian salmon fillet atop a pea, mint & quinoa salad with a beurre blanc drizzle GF


    Slow roasted pork belly with sweet potato puree & a pear & ginger relish GF DF


    Slow roasted sirloin of black angus with potato puree & red wine jus GF DFM


    Our Risotto of exotic mushrooms, finished with truffle oil, yarra valley goats cheese and Italian parmesan  V DFM




    Our ?bombe Alaska? vanilla pod ice-cream, raspberry and warm toasted meringue


    Coverture chocolate pudding with double thick cream and raspberry coulis

    Wild Oak lemon meringue pie with pure cream and pasionfruit sorbet


    Trio of house made sorbets (raspberry, mango & Lemon) DF V GF


    Individual cheese plate with homemade lavosh marinated figs

    $85 per person
  • Author: Ben Higgs
  • 10 Year Anniversary
  • Thu 22nd August 2013
  • Thursday the 22nd is a special day on the calendar for me.

    This year it marks the 10th Anniversary at the helm of the Wild Oak.

    In this Business you are 87% likely to fail within the first 12 months. Of the 13% that don't, they are over 90% likely to fail within the following 5 years.  True my high school teachers did say I was an underachiever.

    Now for those of you that have been around long enough you would know that the "Wild Oak Cafe" was born in 1994 by Gary Cooper and his then wife Sonia and named after the wild sown oak trees that sit behind the restaurant. Janette and Doug Greenall piloted the ship for 6 years after that, and by chance I had the good fortune they hired me. The rest as they say is history.

    As I look back at the last 10 years I would like to extend a thankyou that goes beyond words to everyone that has dined here over that time. Maybe you had a light lunch or maybe it was a lavish birthday celebration, you have all been quintessential making up the fabric that has become our Wild Oak. I would also like to extend a very hearty thankyou to all of our staff over this time, whether you scrubbed the dishes, swanned across the floor or worked the pans you have been invaluable and have also been the fuel that drives me quite daily.

    Over these 10 years the Wild Oak has been fortunate to play host to soo many happy memories for soo many people, combined with our off site catering we have catered nearly a thousand weddings, in excess  of 10,000 birthdays, Anniversaries, naming ceremonies, graduations, first dates, last dates, 10 valentines days, mothers days, fathers days, New Years Eve drinks and I daresay how many dirty weekends in the hills :)

    Because of your support we have been enabled to support our community here donating products, cash and hosting fundraisers that have been in excess of $100,000.00 for everything from Limbs to life, heart kids, black Saturday appeal, palliative care, legacy, cancer fundraisers, local schools, kinda, football clubs, cricket clubs, playgroups, scout groups, book fairs, church fetes and more. We are only as strong as the community we exist in and for this we are lucky to be as strong as the mountain ash that tower above us all. Thankyou.

    For me personally I have had the ability to cook 3 times for the prime minister, formula 1 legends, Moto GP legends, Premiers,  govt ministers, MP's, TV stars big and small. I have had the opportunity to cook feature dinners in locations like Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Laos, Bangkok, Hanoi.
    I have had the opportunity to cook onstage at good food and wine shows, fine food shows, food and wine festivals here and there, TV appearances, Splash magazine and newspaper pages here and there, I have been fortunate to consult to many food companies and share my passion and indeed been lucky enough to be Head Chef of the recent Canberra 100 dinner for 4500 people by the shores of lake Burley Griffin, the biggest of it kind ever held. I have had the opportunity to be a national consultant and trainer for MLA working many times with Sam Kekovich and many others on meaty projects here and there. I have had the opportunity to open the first dedicated cooking school space within the region and sharing great recipes and laughs with hundred of great people along the way.

    The most rewarding part of being in the hospitality buisness is to comfort of seeing people happy, yes its true some people are impossible to please, and some are just a pain in the arse, but we do like a challenge also :) it is richly rewarding to see the instant gratification when someone has had a great night out with a loved one, and we take seriously the responsibility of being the guardians of this.

    Secondly to this it is a great thing to be able to play a key part in lives of our young team members. Some kicking off their very first jobs, some starting their career, others putting themselves through uni or tafe. Of the 15 apprentices we have been involved in training 2 have been finalists in the most illustrious apprentice award in the country, 1 of them winning it. Two others owns their own cafe- restaurants, many have travelled and worked overseas, one has even cooked for the queen. and some do not even work in restaurants now at all. Of all the staff we have had I am proud of you all and thankyou for your part in my dream.

    In restaurants the average working hours are nothing short of ridiculous, the profits are often non existent, service periods hot and hostile, the pace is frantic, the effects on your social life, sport, recreation, family and relationships diabolical. Still I wouldn't change the last Ten years for anything.

    Specials thanks must also go to family members whose unwavering support has been crucial, you all know who you are and how much it is appreciated.

    of course it would be remiss of me not to mention at this time the never ending, and unquestioning support of my fantastic albeit unwilling parents Rob and Glenys.

    And we would not be able to achieve what do day to day without our magnificent team here at the moment headed by David Dos Santos comprising Stuart, Bryce, Tom, Lachie, Jay, Cassy, Helen, Nick and Sarah whom you will no doubt see regularly in and about the Oak.

    Lastly but definitely not least it would be despicable not to acknowledge the unwavering support and guidance from my lovely wife Jilly whom in the past half decade has added with what can only be described as her natural essence of hospitality, special thanks.

    On behalf of myself and our team here...


       Our Opening Team 2003 
  • Author: Ben Higgs
  • Mothers Day
  • Thu 25th April 2013

  • Author: Ben Higgs
  • Carbonara recipe as promised
  • Sun 17th March 2013

  • Carbonara

    ?             1 cup chopped parsley 
    ?             1brown onion sliced
    ?             1 clove garlic crushed
    ?             2 rashers streaky bacon or spec
    ?             2 eggs beaten 
    ?             ½ cup parmisan or pecorino cheese
    ?             ½ cup chicken stock or pasta water
    ?             Sauté onion and garlic until translucent
    ?             Add bacon and saute trying not to get too much colour
    ?             Add liquid and bring to simmer
    ?             Add your pasta of choice and toss thoroughly
    ?             Remove from heat, and add parsley, salt, pepper egg and cheese
    ?             Mix thoroughly and serve

  • Author: Ben Higgs
  • Hollick Wine Dinner at Wild Oak
  • Wed 13th March 2013

  • Join us at Wild Oak on Friday April 19th at 7 pm for a night of fine wines and great food.  You will be enjoying wines from 2years old to 28 years old.  Ian and Ben have got together to make sure the food and wines marry together seamlessly to make it a truly memorable night.  Ian Hollick will be there on the night to tell you more about the wines and the secret behind the door that makes him one of the leading wine makers in the Coonawarra.
  • Author: Ben Higgs