Sime and I decided to try out Rock Salt, having heard good things about it from quite a few people of late. We thought we’d go first to sample the $40 lunch special (2 entree sized courses plus a glass of wine) and were very impressed with both the food and the service.
We arrived to a fairly quiet Broadbeach – I’m actually not sure how some restaurants survive in that precinct in the quiet times, especially given the rents they must be paying. Rock Salt, for those of you who don’t know, is in the Aria building down the Albert Avenue side of the building. We hadn’t booked but it wasn’t a problem, there were probably a maximum of 10 other patrons in the restaurant.
We perused their whole menu even though our intention was their special, and I have to say there were some menu items that sounded delish so I’d love to go back again to try them (e.g. Duck breast, duck neck sausage with foie gras… mmm). There was an option to have 3 courses for $65, not sure whether this is lunch or dinner, but both of us are generally smaller portion eaters so stayed with our original lunch special choice.
There are 8 items to choose from on the lunch special menu including a range of seafood options, soup, minute steak and beef carpaccio. Pregnancy somewhat limits my food options, so I had to bypass the Carpaccio and Sashimi options – bummer. We ordered and the waiter suggested that I have my prawns before my steak (nice touch) which I agreed to. House wine available with the special was either a Sauvignon Blanc or Barossa Shiraz. Although we both knew the Shiraz wouldn’t match our food choices we don’t like Sauvignon Blanc, and happen to love Barossa Shiraz.
So on to our food – my first choice which was Salt + Pepper Prawns, Sweet Corn Custard, Asian Spanner Crab Salad, Soy Dressing. This dish was delicious. The prawns were beautiful, fresh and fleshy, coated in just the right amount of batter. The batter itself was very light and crispy and not the heavy salt and pepper flavour you sometimes see in these types of dishes. The sweet corn custard was delicious with the prawns. I usually don’t like crab, but the Spanner crab salad was lovely, light and gingery with a Japanese flavour. I chose to eat the sweet corn custard and prawns separate to the salad and prawns and really enjoyed the separate flavours of each.
Sime started out with a Half Dozen Natural Oysters w/ Mignonette Dressing (FYI he generally only orders oysters if they are from Coffin Bay – he thinks they’re the best). He said the dressing was nice, but the oysters themselves were so fresh and tasty all he had to do was squeeze a little lemon on them and eat them.
For my main I ordered the Minute Steak, Creamed Potato Mash, Tempura Onion Rings, Red Wine Sauce. Wow – this was really yummy. The minute steak was char grilled on the outside and cooked perfectly, the mash had a beautiful creamy texture, the onions tasted great even just on their own, and the jus was rich and delicious.
For his main Sime had the Salt + Pepper Prawns I had for my entree. He agreed that the two separate elements (Salad vs Sweet Corn Custard) both had wonderful flavours.
We also ordered a side of Thick Cut Chips, Roast Garlic Mayo ($9), which were freshly cooked and tasty (my favourite – thick cut), especially with the Roasted Garlic Mayo.
After this we were full and actually couldn’t fit any dessert in :(. My recommendation if you’re a large portion eater trying the lunch special: go for the more filling items on the menu like Linguine and Minute Steak, and order some sides and/or dessert. You won’t be full if you have oysters and one of the smaller sized options.
Overall we were very impressed by the menu choices, flavour combinations, presentation and quality of produce – we will definitely go back. We were actually musing on how long it had been since we had been somewhere on the Coast we were so impressed with… Also FYI they do have degustation options available which we’d love to try – however an unfortunate pregnancy side effect I’m having is decreased appetite… boo!
Similarly the service was great – warm and attentive but not over the top. The main waiter who served us was clearly experienced and knows his stuff.
So we both highly recommend a visit to Rock Salt – I love doing blog posts like this!