Since it was a special occasion we decided to indulge in a gin and tonic cocktail each ($12.00). They have a great selection to choose from (perhaps some of the favourites from Enriques?) so we were each able to opt for one that suited our specific flavour preferences.
Jeremy’s Shanghai Nights was made with Beefeater 24, lemongrass tonic, white grapefruit and coriander. A squeeze of grapefruit from the garnish elevated it’s citrus balance and made for a very easy sipping drink – it was my favourite of the two!
My choice of the Sweet Sips was a gin and tonic with Brokers 47, elderflower tonic, strawberry and mint. Initially I found mine quite strong but the longer the strawberries infused into the alcohol it became sweeter and sweeter – and delicious!
We split our meal into entrees and mains even though we shared all items. Coming to the table piping hot we decided to devote our attention to the first dish of silver whiting with potato chips, saltbush and olive oil ($22.00) initially. And what a dish it was.
There’s something so beautiful and memory-evoking about whiting for us both. Jeremy and I grew up each spending time fishing with our families and so eating whiting always brings back those days, the wind in our hair and the smell of salt from the sea.
This dish was our favourite for the visit to The Shorehouse. The whiting was tender and flaky, the saltbush crisp and living up to it’s namesake. I love the addition of the grilled lemon which changes the flavour of the acidity to elevate the other ingredients. And just for that perfect injection of crunch – the house potato chips were spot on.
Our other entree was the cucumber gazpacho with diamond clams, compressed apple and charred cucumber ($18.00). I loved the theatre of this dish, with it arriving to the table with just the dry ingredients, then the gazpacho being poured over the top.
It was an incredibly refined dish, with the balance of ingredients and flavours perfect. Everything in that bowl complimented each other, from the slightly spiced chilled soup to the smoky cucumber slices and cold cubes of apple. The clams really shone here, offering a meaty presence in between bites (or slurps).
Once we finished our entrees our plates were swiftly cleared and new cutlery provided. The service here was really on the ball, with our waitress attentive but not intrusive, and the food appropriately spaced. When it was time for our mains, our mouths were watering from the heady aromas swirling around us.
First up were the tiger prawns with brown butter, capers and sorrel ($35.00). I couldn’t get over how amazing they looked and smelled! And I really appreciated that they left the heads in shell while removing the rest – after all, Jeremy and I both enjoy sucking out all the insides of the he’d – mmm-mmm!
Those prawns were beautifully cooked, the brown butter nutty and rich. It was so lovely swirling that sweet seafood through the sauce, and scooping up shavings of citrus peel plus the salty capers. I just loved this dish so much – every day should have tiger prawns in it!
As much as we loved those prawns, our other main was the clear winner of the two. The blue swimmer crab linguine was a glorious affair chocked full of thinly sliced garlic, chilli, tomato, sea urchin and pangrattato ($37.00 for main size, available as an entree for $27.00).
The linguine was al dente and so silky – the mark of a wonderful fresh pasta. There was an abundance of crab which was really pleasing to see as that’s something many places fail to deliver on. And the use of the sea urchin made the sauce so buttery and rich, interspersed with crunch from mouthfuls where you would scoop up that pangrattato. There was so much to love about this dish – seemingly humble in appearance but oh so satisfying in every bite.
I would happily return for this time and time again.
Because Jeremy will always indulge me (even though it was his birthday lunch) we decided to finish up our meal with dessert. After all, the best way to completely assess a new restaurant is to go the whole hog right?
After some careful consideration of their options, my boy chose the chocolate ganache with candied orange, cocoa nibs and buttermilk ice-cream ($16.00). It was so glossy and rich, with that smooth ganache melting in your mouth. The cocoa nibs offered textural crunch, and the buttermilk ice-cream was a really nice point of difference than you would normally find in a restaurant dessert. Clever and tasty!
My dessert choice was the coconut cake with lemon curd, passionfruit, almond crumble and lemon meringue ($16.00). It was such a great tropical dish, and while initially I was disappointed by the size, the flavour more than made up for it (gosh I’m so greedy).
The coconut cake was presented as thin shavings, soft and spongey. The mousse on the plate was silky, the meringue sticks crisp. I love toasted coconut and so the use of this with the crumble was all kinds of good – especially when you picked up scoops of that tart lemon curd. So. Damn. Good.
I love discovering a new restaurant, especially one that wows like this one did for us. We both adore seafood, and it was such a treat to indulge in plate after plate of ocean treasures. We will happily return, and make our way through the other dishes on offer I’m sure!