It’s pretty easy to get excited about a restaurant, located beachfront in this great state of ours, and when it comes from some of Perth’s elite in the restaurant game (The Trustee, Enrique’s School for Bullfighting and the Beaufort Local) expectations start high. This casual chic, Swanbourne beauty had been on my list since reopening as The Shorehouse, so I was looking forward to lunching here on one of our perfect sunny Autumn days.
As soon as we arrived and were seated I was loving the makeover. This place was now bright and airy with some freshness and vibrancy, and made me feel like I was in someone’s beach house, someone’s very nice, trendy beach house (minus all the people eating lunch of course). We were seated inside where there is a nice array of different tables and chairs, booths by the windows, higher booths at the back of the restaurant (ensuring you still get a good view) and a mix of tables. The outside deck with it’s yellow and white striped umbrellas also makes for a great spot to sit and stare out at the ocean. All the seating is designed with the view in mind so you get a glimpse of the shimmery blue ocean wherever you are.
With a menu focusing on fresh, seasonal produce, lots of seafood and a ‘josper’ section (bit of an oven/grill combo giving meat a barbecue, charcoal flavour) it was a tough choice. We decided to share some of the smaller meals to start with and see how we go, not knowing how big the dishes would be.
First up was the blue swimmer crab salad, sweetcorn puree, pickled kohl rabi and almonds. This dish was so pretty on the plate, beautifully presented, and I couldn’t wait to try it. The crab meat was sweet and juicy and went perfectly with the kohl rabi and the sweetcorn, in different textures of raw and pureed. The almonds also gave the dish a nice crunch. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting but this dish surprised me, it was so fresh and delicious!
While we were enjoying the crab our next dish had also hit the table, fremantle octopus, salsa verde, kipfler potato and nduja sausage. It was actually a nice balance going between the crab salad and this dish as it was much richer in flavour. Nice tender bits of octopus, well seasoned potatoes and a chorizo like sausage giving the dish a bit of spicy warmth. Very tasty and well put together although I was glad for a bit of a palate cleanser with the salad.
We had also ordered some bread and butter just for a bit of a filler and it was so good. I just love it when the bread comes out warm and with a generous serving of creamy butter it hit the spot.
Our last dish to come out was the fried buttermilk chicken, pickled coleslaw, ricotta salata and yoghurt sauce. I’ve got a bit of a thing with fried buttermilk chicken at the moment, it’s that naughty indulgence I just can’t go past ordering if it’s on the menu. This one did not disappoint, juicy, tender chicken in a golden, crunchy coating, topped with the cheese and sauce. Yum! The coleslaw, although creamy, gave it the freshness and tartness it needed to make it an incredibly moorish dish.
I was a bit worried when the dishes first came out that they weren’t that big but there was certainly enough food for us to feel satisfied. Bit sad I didn’t get to try some of the bigger meals (I was eyeing a few off as they came out of the kitchen) but there’s always next time. I did however decide to try a dessert, couldn’t resist.
I went for the strawberry cream, pistachio cake, poached strawberries and ginger ice cream. Curious (again) as to how this would come out but I liked the sound of the combination of ingredients.
Placed in from of me I was excited by the presentation, lots of different elements looking too pretty to eat. The cake was light and moist, there was sweetness from the poached and freeze dried strawberries, the ice cream had a hint of ginger but was fresh and creamy, there was a nutty crunch with a bit of praline and toasted oats and the strawberry cream just brought it all together. This dessert was such a delight to eat and I enjoyed every mouthful.
The Shorehouse definitely lived up to my expectations. The food was all delicious but also had a sense of sophistication, the service was great (maybe could have been a little friendlier but they were super busy) and I love that a place can encompass a casual, relaxed beachside vibe while delivering on an up market dining experience and well thought out menu.
Put it on your list for a lovely coastal lunch with you partner, date night with romantic sunset cocktails or get a group of friends together and settle in for a long lunch on the deck. The Shorehouse is open all day, every day so you have plenty of opportunities to get down there and enjoy the view!