Thursday, July 25, 2013

White Salt

One of my girlfriends loves to go to White Salt in Sorrento for their lunch salads, so we decided to try out their dinner menu before her next 26 day stint at Barrow Island.  It's well-located along West Coast Drive near the beach, and if it wasn't the middle of winter and already dark and cold by 6.30pm when we got there, it would've been a lovely place to watch the sun set over a meal (though when it hit around 7.30/8pm it was really quite noisy in the restaurant so the ambiance wasn't exactly romantic).

We started with some shared entrees:

Parmesan gratin scallops - $19 
These scallops were quite nice - the parmesan was crusty and flavoursome and the scallops weren't over or under cooked. They were tasty, there just wasn't anything terribly exciting about them.

Oysters - starting at $3.20 each
Cayley was disappointed that the oysters weren't sold at slightly cheaper rates per doz or half doz, but they were definitely fresh.  Nothing to complain about here, taste-wise.

Soup of the day - cauliflower, seeded mustard and scallops with crostini - $13 
At first the soup doesn't seem like much - a little on the watery side, maybe, and then suddenly a little mustard seed explodes in your mouth, combine that with the crostini (which on its own is a little too cheesy) and you have a really lovely entree.  I didn't get to try the scallops in this dish, as there were only two and my 2 other girlfriends at the table had already fished them out and devoured them before we realised there were no more to be had.

Fish of the day: salmon with beetroot 3 ways and a seeded mustard potato salad - $34 
Both Crystal and I ordered the fish of the day (salmon) for our mains.  I can't remember how it was meant to be cooked (whether baked or fried), but for my taste, the salmon was overdone.  I like my salmon seared on the outside and almost raw right in the middle.  This was cooked the whole way through, and I'm just not big on the way cooked salmon likes to stick onto the inside of my mouth.  I also find it tastes a little more fishy cooked this way, but Crystal said it was perfect for her, so this is probably just a personal preference thing.

A bit too cooked for me
The beetroot was lovely though, and I was a big fan of the seeded mustard baby potato salad.

Veal Saltimboca - Sage and prosciutto wrapped veal, braised mushrooms, confit tomatoes, truffle oil and asparagus - $37 

Cayley's main was the veal saltimboca.  It certainly looked delicious, and came with truffle oil in a little jug on the side.  Beware the truffle oil! It's quite strong if you're not used to it, so a little goes a long way.  Cayley only drizzled a little over her dish and I could smell it from across the table.  As appealing as the description is, the great shame with this dish was that the veal was overcooked, or perhaps that the cut wasn't quite right.  It was incongruous, as the inside of the meat was pink when it was cut open, yet it was dry and powdery in your mouth.  I couldn't actually finish the small piece I tried.  What a shame - all the elements were there, but the execution just couldn't get it over the line. 

The mushrooms and vegetables tasted good (I really liked the asparagus) but the truffle oil was just a little overpowering for me.

One point I should mention was that the service was impeccable.  Our waitress was very helpful with our meal choices, very patient with our indecisiveness and, when she came to check on how our meals were going, very understanding when Cayley gave her comments about the veal.  She came back a few minutes later to offer Cayley a free dessert to compensate for her disappointing main course. 

Dessert special: sticky date friands with butterscotch sauce - $4.50
Crystal and I were quite full from our meals so were happy to have something small - we both opted for the dessert special.   The friand was just ok, not very memorable.  To be honest, if the butterscotch sauce was going to be drizzled so sparingly, I would've preferred for my sticky date friand to have had a little custard on the side instead.  The friand itself was a bit on the dry side for me, and didn't have enough of a date flavour (though it did have pieces of date through it).  I don't know - it just left me wanting to go home and make a sticky date something (even my sticky date and ginger cupcakes are better!) just so I could taste it the way I was hoping to.

Creme Brulee - $12.50 
Cayley's complimentary creme brulee was just lovely. The caramelised sugar cracked perfectly and the custard underneath was creamy and cooked to perfection.  It matched perfectly with the strawberry compote and was a lovely way to end the meal.  I wish I had ordered one for myself!

We divided the total by 3 and including soft drinks and a bowl of fries it came up to $58.75 each.  Not too pricey, considering the amount of food we had, location, decor and the excellent service, but unfortunately the inconsistency in the quality of some of the dishes we had was a little disappointing.


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