weekend at bannisters – a photo essay11 April 2014
When I was given the opportunity to spend a weekend at Mollymook and stay at Bannisters, I couldn’t say no. I was there to help them promote their “#myseafoodmyway” competition. For the month of April, the team at Bannisters has teamed up with Sydney Fish Market to run a social media competition on the best seafood creation.
From the minute I got there, I felt the stress just wash away. The relaxing infinity pool that overlooks the sea, the penthouse with the eggshell bath and the relaxation massage were the perfect ingredients for a stress-free weekend.
My stay included a night at Rick Stein’s restaurant. Let’s face it, a weekend at Bannisters is just not complete without the icing on the cake (or should I say the catch of the day) that is dinner at Rick’s.
The entry to the restaurant was impressive, featuring a mosaic of tiles imported from Turkey, tasteful furniture and a selection of books. A warm smile from the staff greeted me as I entered the formal dining area. The dining area in itself has a five star atmosphere minus the attitude. It was a deliberate strategy. To deliver quality service in a relaxed fashion.
The menu was extensive but each had a distinct signature to it. Whether it was the shellfish platter or the fish pie, it carries the same philosophy – fresh seafood, simply cooked. As the relaxing sea air rendered me and my partner incapable of decision making, we left the task to Head Chef Paul Goodenough.
We started with Oysters Charentaise – a seemingly odd combination of local oysters with some spicy sausages but once you have a mouthful, you would quickly change your mind. This was followed by prawn fritters with Rick’s tomato chutney and kachumber salad, then the grilled Hervey Bay scallops with toasted hazelnut and coriander butter.
The next dish is a must if you ever find yourself dining here – salad of lobster, avocado, green beans and foie-gras. If Brangelina were ingredients, they would be lobster and foie-gras. This combination was rich but perfectly balanced with the fresh respite from the green beans and the avocado.
Our last stop in this seafood extravaganza was the grilled fillet of local snapper with clams, mussels, spinach and chevril. A deceptively simple dish with complex flavours.
We were now ready for something sweet. Ask and you shall receive. Out came their hot chocolate fondant with fresh strawberries and white chocolate ice cream. One of the beauty a chocolate fondant is the anticipation of that oozing molten chocolate sealed within a seemingly innocent pudding. We were far from disappointed.
With the oysters we had the Petaluma Croser NV (Adelaide Hills SA)
To match the prawns, we were given the 2012 Castro Martin Albarino (Rias Baixas Spain)
For the scallops, our matching wine was the 2013 Thomas ‘Two of a Kind’ Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (Hunter Valley/Adelaide Hills)
Our salad of foie-gras and lobster were a little more challenging to match so we had two samples. The complex flavours of the 2013 Mitchell Watervale Riesling complemented the foie-gras really well whereas the 2012 Scarborough ‘Blue Label’ Chardonnay (Hunter Valley NSW) was more of a match for the lobster.
For the snapper, the more ‘Chablis’ style 2010 Mr Smith Chardonnay (Mornington Peninsula VIC) was a perfect match.
We were given two different dessert wines with our hot chocolate fondant – the Stanton and Killeen Tokay (Rutherglen VIC) and the Chateau Du Pavillon (Bordeaux France). I personally preferred the Tokay.
Bannisters stock photos