The Atlantic4/26/2011 12:26:00 AM
Crown Entertainment Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank VIC 3006
My birthday celebrations started a week early this year! Yes, I am having a little party next weekend, but last night we had a fabulous family dinner at Donovan Cooke's new restaurant, The Atlantic.
The Atlantic is yet another new high-end restaurant in Crown, taking up an enormous space on the river between Nobu and Giuseppe Arnaldo and Sons. I must admit I was a little nervous visiting a relatively new restaurant for a birthday meal - special occasions always carry a big weight of expectation, and I'd had some not-so-positive experiences from other high-end restaurants in Crown. (Interestingly, I've always had good experiences at the in-house Crown restaurants - Number 8, JJ's etc., and it's only been the independently-run restaurants that have ever let me down). However, The Atlantic came strongly, strongly recommended by a couple we know who are incredibly well-traveled and love high-end food.
The menu, which changes daily, is almost exclusively seafood based, with only three mains that don't include seafood. The rest of the menu is divided into: Oysters, Caviar, Cold and Hot Starters, Premium Fish Selection (both on and off the bone), as well as Salads and Sides. They follow an "ocean to plate" philosophy, with seafood being sourced "from quota driven areas as set by the authorities".
In keeping with the menu, the restaurant is styled with nautical touches. I love these water glasses!
From where we sat - "The Cabins" - I had a great view straight into the open kitchen.
We started with a round of cocktails. (Y'all know I can never resist a cocktail!) The Atlantic has a very impressive drinks list, with custom cocktails and a good selection of (pricey) wines by the bottle, by the glass and by the half bottle (yay!). (You may remember my previous post about Moortangi Estate - their Old Vine Shiraz is also on the wine list.)
The cocktails are designed to go with different items on the menu, but we just drank them as aperitifs.
|The Sparkling Oyster Cocktail - a Peychards soaked sugar cube sunken in a sea of sparkling wine with a float of Grand Marnier. $20|
|Port Phillip Punch - Makers Mark bourbon, port, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar syrup. $18|
|Fisherman's Margarita - Herradura blanco tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, agave syrup, sea salt. $18|
With our mains, we ordered a half-bottle of Beauroy 2008 Chablis on the recommendation of the sommelier. With only two of us drinking, we were originally going to order by the glass, but then the sommelier pointed us in the direction of the half-bottle page, where we could get a similar amount of wine, but of better quality. The wine had that oaky aroma I love in white wines, with a crisp finish - it complemented the food well. At $58 for the half-bottle, it was quite expensive, but not more so than if we'd ordered three separate glasses.
And now, the food. For her entrée, my mother ordered the trio of crudo - a refreshing, light dish with incredibly fresh fish.
|Trio of Crudo - kingfish, yellowfin tuna, New Zealand king salmon, pickled cucumber, diakon (sik), horseradish, lime. $32|
|Atlantic Seafood Cocktail - crayfish, scallop, crab, prawn, iceberg, rockmelon, green apple, basil, soft boiled quail eggs. $35|
For her main, Sandra ordered the Pure Black Angus Sirloin, and declared it the best steak she'd ever had in Australia!
|300g 200 Day Grain Fed Dry Aged Pure Black Angus Sirloin. Sea salt, olive oil, lemon. $48|
|Roasted Garfish (Port Albert, VIC) with salsa verde. $44|
|Roasted Rock Flathead (Mornington Peninsula, VIC) with buerre blanc. $39|
And my baby snapper! Recommended by our waiter as his favourite of all the fish on-the-bone.
|Wood-fired Baby Snapper (Queenscliff, VIC) with buerre blanc. $44|
|Aah... there we go.|
|Mixed young leaves - French dressing, tarragon, chives, shallots. $10|
|Mashed Bintje Potatoes - butter, cream, nutmeg. $10|
|Strawberries & Cream - layered shortbread, lemon mascarpone, strawberry salad. $19|
|Rum & Raisin Sandwich - valrhona mousse, cookie, chocolate croquant. $20|
|Vanilla Panna Cotta - quince, pear, nougat, fairy floss. $19|
Finishing off the meal were coffees and a little sweetmeat...
In the below jar was a delicious chocolate-and-peanut-covered crunchy caramel. It was kind of like a dime bar, but better. So addictive!
And that was our meal at The Atlantic! We had a fantastic night, and really couldn't fault anything. I can't wait to come back and try more from the menu!