Tuesday 3rd November was the date this year that stopped a nation, Melbourne Cup Day. In Melbourne you would have been lucky to have had a public holiday, but sadly for the rest of us it was a normal day at work. Hmmmm well that is unless you get the girls together to have a very very long lunch that does not actually get you back to the office in the afternoon!
The venue was Summer Salt, the baby of Carl Jensen who is executive chef and owner. The one thing I love about SummerSalt is their location, perfectly situated at Elouera Surf Club with uninterrupted coastal views, truly sensational.
The eager beaver that I was, I was the first to arrive for the 12pm lunch booking. The restaurant was already live and kicking. I was offered a drink on my arrival, but declined as I was waiting for the others to arrive. Eventually we were all there and chatting away the best we could over the loud music and bad acoustics of the restaurant.
Once all seated we were asked if we would like a drink, yes we would love our glass of sparkling white please. Oh no that is not part of the menu that is just a suggestion we were advised. At $70 a pop we were under the impression that we were to receive a complimentary glass of sparkling on arrival. Sadly no this was not the case like every other venue around town.
Actually the menu was quite deceptive, as when I looked at it I thought we were on a great deal with matched wines as there were no prices next to them. Wines were suggestions only I was advised, funnily though they put prices next to the side dishes.
We placed our food orders and also for a bottle of bubbly to share. For entrees we had a choice of Salt & Pepper Squid, Blue Cheese Tart, Smoked Chicken Mango Brie Salad, and Tempura Prawns.
Still waiting for our bubbly our entrees arrived. I had the Tempura Prawns, they did not impress me, not tempura and the harissa mayo did not go well at all. The Smoked Chicken Salad looked fantastic, if I could hear what was being said at that end of the table I could tell you how it tasted. The Salt & Pepper Squid had a little too much Szechuan pepper as it was burning the tongue of my friend opposite.
Bubbly finally arrived, after much prompting and entrees being finished. This is when we all started to melt. It was a hot day in Sydney and the venue’s air-conditioning could not keep up with all the bodies they had crammed in.
The service for food was very quick, drinks not so quick. Mains turned up and we had a choice of Sliver Dory Fillet, Black Angas Fillet, Cashew Pesto Chicken and Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Ravioli. I chose the dory, friend next to me had the chicken. Both were lovely, dory cooked well, still moist and could not fault it, some more salad would have been nice though. Chicken was also still moist and I have been told tasted great.
Dessert was a choice of Raspberry Clafouti, Chocolate Fondant, Passionfruit Pannacotta or a Cheese Plate. I had the Pannacotta, there was nothing wrong with it, but was not exceptional. The other dessert chosen at the table was the fondant, it looked lovely and nothing was left on the plate.
All in all I was disappointed with the service (staff were lovely) and really did think that $70/head for what we had was overpriced, $40/50 would have been more like it. Basically three tempura prawns, a couple of bits of deep fried dory and some pannacotta for $70, not great value. Oh I forgot, we also got a sourdough bread roll.
Food was fine, just a little overpriced, but the main thing is that we had a wonderful long lunch with friends. I won the $5 sweep too, which basically paid for my meal, so I really can’t complain.
Elouera Surf Lifesaving Club
Mitchell Road, Cronulla