Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seafood Tasting Plate vs Seafood Platter

1A-1D, 10-18 Jacka Blvd
St Kilda Sea Baths
Telephone 03 8598 9055

So G's parents are in town, and in the interest of sun, sea, sand and spring (what spring?!), we take them to St Kilda which is the obvious touristy locale. But because this 'spring' is so absolutely chilly, we give up on the Pier Walk somewhere around 4pm and enter the empty Republica where the service is perfunctory, but the food - eeh.

Although maybe it wasn't their fault - you be the judge. If a menu entry reads 'Seafood Tasting Plate For Two', costs $37 in a clearly 'casual' beachside cafe, and describes itself as 'today's seafood specials including oysters, soft shell crab, calamari, kingfish sashimi, tuna roulade, and more' - do you unbuckle your belt in anticipation and flex your fingers for some lemon-squeezin?

Because we did.

And thus...eeh.

I really wouldn't call this a 'tasting plate' for two though G did point out that maybe the words 'tasting plate' alluded to the fact that it was really an appetizer for two and he's probably right. To be fair, the food was fresh and tasted pretty good individually - the best bits in my opinion being the kingfish 'tataki' with fish roe masquarading as caviar, and the deep-fried calamari - crisp and comforting as all deep-fried foods should be.

Nothing jaw-dropping but it was..adequate. And not super 'value'.

I guess the disappointment just stems from the fact that I was expecting this instead:

Red Mullet
210 Glenferrie Road
Malvern VIC 3144
Telephone 03 9500 9338

greatly misleading menu entry: 'Seafood Platter for Two ($90)'

Mother of God, that plate had it all. Three kinds of fish - sweet chilli salmon, cajun fried and battered fillets (not just one of each kind, but several), crab in chowder, fresh oysters, mussels in a very creamy, white wine sauce, mounds of smoked salmon, skewers of scallops, calamari, cold king prawns, and on and on. I also liked that it had lots of salad underneath, including lettuce and rocquette leaves, which made for excellent 'wraps' for the seafood, ala san choi bao.

The only miss was that some of the mussels weren't the freshest, and I wouldn't say the food was inspired in any sense, but the entire experience was great and the service was charming! Parents were happy - no easy task - which means I was definitely happy! And just as a reference guide for 'size' - one platter can EASILY feed four. We had two platters for eight people, left quite a bit behind (and my siblings are vacuums for food), and left absolutely stuffed.

Great value - especially if you're with a big group of hungry and impoverished students. Now that's my locale.

Red Mullet Fishcaf on Urbanspoon