Red Hill Epicurean has taken Mornington Peninsula by storm.
Red Hill Epicurean has taken Mornington Peninsula by storm. Photo: Ken Irwin

Hilary McNevin

Forget the queues at Chin Chin or Mamasita, there is a new place to wait 45 minutes for a table … in Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. Red Hill Epicurean has had lines of people waiting for a table in ''the shed'' (the dining room) to sample local produce cooked with an Italian bias, wood-fire pizzas cooked by Italians, and a selection of Mornington wines (including by the tasting and half glass). What's different about the queue here, as opposed to the city, is that most of the people in it know each other. And this was before the official opening. Owned by hospitality professional Craig Regan and wine importer Andrew Benallack, its soft opening was on January 26 and it has been full since. The official opening was on February 10. Locals say the bakery has been selling out, too. ''We have been astounded by the volume of people and humbled by the local support,'' venue manager Leah Neesham says. The room of 130 seats, at 165 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South, is being billed as ''an entire region under one roof'', Neesham says, and is open daily from 8am.