The Shorehouse opened just a month ago, so I expect a short wait to be seated. This popular new dining spot is owned by the people from buzzed about inner city venues – The Trustee, BeaufortLocal and Enrique’s School for to Bullfighting. There are two distinct areas at The Shorehouse – the chic restaurant and the outside deck, shaded with yellow and white stripped umbrellas.
Once we are at the front of the queue a waitress motions for us to follow her. She stops to talk to another waiter and wanders off. We’re left standing in the middle of the restaurant – not knowing where to go! A minute later the waitress re-appears, taking us to a table on the outside deck. Whilst the deck looks very inviting, I had specifically booked for the restaurant – as the full menu isn’t available outside. Eventually, we are seated at the correct table. No menu appears in the first ten minutes. An eagle eyed waitress notices, apologizes profusely and swiftly provides us with menus and takes our drinks order. From here on in the service is flawless – almost.
I dined at this Swanbourne venue’s previous incarnation – The Naked Fig. It’s gone from a dark, bohemian café to a light and open Hamptons style restaurant – totally reflective of its beautiful coastal view. The dining room’s centerpiece is an antique copper bath which is where the wine is chilled in ice. The wait staff look like they’ve stepped straight out of the GAP – dressed in trendy cottons and denim aprons. A note to the ladies – be careful that your heels don’t get stuck in the decked flooring!
The wine list of mainly Australian and French drops is extensive – with 50 whites and 50 reds on offer. I feel like a glass of red wine – though the weather is too warm for me. I pick a Tomfoolery Rose, which feels much more like a chilled red – I love its crisp flavors. There are other excellent drink choices – craft beers, ciders and bespoke cocktails.
The kitchen is led by Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year, Head Chef Oliver Gould. The menu, features a lot of seafood as well as grilled meats from the “Josper”, a Spanish BBQ oven. The Shorehouse’s menu has a sophisticated feel and it’s certainly not the place for a casual burger or pizza.
I enjoy an entrée from the “small house” small plates menu, which can double as share food. A summery salad of ripe heirloom tomatoes, $24.50, sugar cured fresh kingfish, watermelon, watercress and basil has sweet and sour flavours.
Little Chef chooses the grilled fish and chips, $19, which includes a drink and dessert. Initially I think that $19 is quite steep for a kids meal and the portion isn’t huge – though I think that’s more of an optical illusion, as a regular plate is used to serve it on. Little Chef wolfs down the meal and absolutely loves the fish fillets – which are super fresh and clearly very good quality. He asks, ‘when are we coming here again for dinner’, high praise from this 6 year old indeed.
Cooking at 400 degrees in a Josper keeps meat juicy, whilst adding touch of charcoal for added smoky flavour. I choose the slow cooked pork belly, $36.50, with sweet and sour shallots, peach and mustard seeds. The pork is deliciously moist and it is a beautifully plated dish.
Chef’s Harvey scotch fillet, $43.50, is topped with grilled eggplant, kipfler potatoes, taleggio and anchovies. Whilst it is a tasty piece of meat, oozing with smoky flavours, Chef questions the hefty price tag – he’s had better steaks.
As we watch the pink sunset over the ocean our dessert arrives. We admire the sweet creations, then realise we have no cutlery! Eventually, Chef devours the white chocolate sponge, $16.50, with different textures of mango cream, banana and almond milk ice cream.
At a glance
■ The Shorehouse
278 Marine Parade
Phone 08 9286 4050
■ Opening times
7am till late
value for money 3
■ style – Modern Australian
■ wine – Large list, lots of
■ Chef – Oliver Gould
■ Owner – Scott Taylor
■ feel – beachside chic
■ wheelchair access – yes
Small – $3.50 to $29.50
Big – $32.50 to $125.50
Dessert – $14.50 to $25.50
■ all in all – stunning restaurant
with a menu to match. Excellent
drinks. Service is a little patchy.