Cottesloe is almost deserted on this mid-week winter’s day, as we watch waves crash against the groyne and rain clouds blow in from across the churning ocean. Sure, it’s not a picture-postcard sunny day, though it’s equally stunning. We take cover at one of Marine Parade’s stalwarts – The Cottesloe Hotel.
Inside the dining room of Cott and Co Fish Bar, the seafood focused restaurant at “The Cott”, is a hive of activity. Distressed timber and strong blues give a casual, driftwood chic feel to the light-filled room. Here we can sit at the kitchen bench and watch the Chefs in action in the open kitchen or at a table with ocean views. We choose a front row view of the stormy ocean, at a table by the window.
Service is efficient, if not a little business-like. The wine list is substantial, with lots of popular drops, as well as a few interesting tipples to try from smaller vineyards. Not surprisingly, Sandalford wines appear on the list. The winery is run by the Prendiville Group, The Cottesloe Hotel’s owners. We pick a crisp Forrest Hill Gewürztraminer from Mount Barker to compliment the seafood dishes.
A crowd pleasing menu is small, and features the dishes you’d expect at an upmarket pub – fish and chips, steak, chili mussels and more.
The black boards are where the really exciting dishes are found. These individual boards change daily, depending on what fresh and local produce the Chefs have to hand. Expect to see such WA delicacies as Busselton whitebait and Exmouth tiger prawns, as well as Humpty Doo barramundi from the Northern Territory.
Plump oysters ($4 each) from the pristine waters of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula are served no-fuss, with a squeeze of lemon. I love natural oysters, and enjoy their fresh, salty flavours.
Smoky chargrilled chorizo ($14) with a Pedro Ximenez and orange reduction, almonds and a creamy hummus, is a delicious share plate.
The Shark Bay manna crab ($16) absolutely blows the chorizo dish out of the water. The luscious chunks of crab meat, with a hefty kick of Aleppo pepper, adorn a mound of creamy polenta. Perfect for smothering over the grilled bread. A cracking dish from the black boards. I could have easily gone back for more.
For Chef, beer battered Shark Bay Whiting ($28) with triple cooked chips and tartare sauce ticks all the right boxes. Crisp golden batter, check. Hand cut chips, check. Scrumptious flaky flesh, check. I’d like to see the smashed minty peas served hot, not chilled, but maybe that’s my British blood and a hankering for mushy peas, getting the better of me.
Another dish chosen from the fresh specials is the coral cod ($38). Poached to perfection, this silky cod is swimming in a fish broth along with asparagus, capers, basil oil and confit heirloom cherry tomatoes.
I’m always a sucker for a good side dish, and the chunky roasted chat potatoes are spot on.For dessert, there are just two choices on the menu. The different textures of dark chocolate biscuit, with hazelnut cream and a decadent white chocolate gelato tempts Chef.
Fans of a liquid lunch will be happy to know Cott and Co offer “liquid dessert” cocktails. I pick the Tiramisu Martini ($16), garnished with a sponge finger. The chocolaty, vodka concoction is a pleasant way to end a tasty lunch at one of WA’s most iconic ocean side pubs. Be sure to hit The Cottesloe Hotel this Spring, as there will be a fresh new look at the iconic Beach Club.
Cott and Co Fish Bar is more “swish and chips”, than your average Cottesloe fish and chip eatery. The Chefs at Cott and Co certainly know how to cook their seafood to second-perfect timing, allowing the quality local produce to shine. It’s a top spot for fresh seafood by the seaside.
At a glance
■ Cott & Co Fish Bar
104 Marine Parade
Phone 9383 1100
■ Opening times
Mon – Sun 12pm to late
Breakfast Sat & Sun, 8am to 11am
value for money 4
■ style – Seafood
■ wine – great selection of
local and international labels
to please all wine lovers.
■ Chef – Marco Purussini
■ Owner – Prendiville Group
■ feel – casual coastal
■ wheelchair access – yes
■ cost –
Entrée – $3 to $14
Mains – $26 to $38
Dessert – $14
■ all in all – Catch a table at Cott and Co
to enjoy well-cooked local seafood,
with top notch wines and ocean views.