I headed out to Healesville on a rainy Friday recently to make the most of a long weekend where I should have been in Sydney. We booked lunch at Innocent Bystander and while it may not have been the trip to Hamilton I had planned, it was a very delicious alternative.
Despite having done lots of day trips to Healesville over the years, this was the first time I had eaten at Innocent Bystander. The space is really lovely, large and industrial but still welcoming and warm. The staff were very friendly, and the covid-safe protocols were all very well managed as well.
I started with a glass of their rose and then we got stuck in to perusing the menu.
We decided to go with a few dishes to share, which is always my favourite way to eat. The menu at Innocent Bystander is focused around their pizzas, with lots of vegetarian options and vegan cheese available too.
Our first pizza was a Melanzana ($26), topped with eggplant, zucchini, semi dried tomatoes, ricotta and basil. The bases of these pizzas were excellent – a good hybrid of doughy and crispy and cooked to a nice char. The toppings were equally delicious, although I would never say no to more eggplant!
The second pizza we went with was the Mushroom ($28) which was on a white base with truffled mushroom, confit garlic, pecorino and parsley. This was the pick of the pizzas – and probably the pick of the dishes we had. In fact, it was one of the best pizzas I have had in a while! There was no shortage of mushrooms on this one, and an excellent amount of garlic too which always makes me happy. We were off to a good start!
To go with the pizzas we ordered the slow roasted beetroot ($15) which was served with feta, macadamia dukkha and a herb dressing. I love roasted beetroot and this didn’t let me down at all. The creamed feta was light and airy and worked so well with the sweet beetroot and the crunchy dukkha. A great little side dish.
Last but absolutely not least we ordered the roasted pumpkin salad ($13), served with rocket, feta, pepitas, candied grapes and a chilli crumb. I always love a roasted pumpkin and feta salad, and this was a slightly fancy and very delicious version. The combination of the candied grapes and chilli crumb were excellent, and the pumpkin was roasted to perfection. It was such a good salad to have alongside the pizzas, and all in all we were very happy campers with our meal.
We had such a lovely visit to Innocent Bystander and I would absolutely go back again soon. Healesville is such a great spot for a day-trip (or longer!) and if wasn’t so rainy we would have spent more time perusing the shops in town! We made do with a visit to Four Pillars distillery instead, which I would also recommend!