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Published March 16th 2020
Big Bites & Better Entertainment @Kogarah Clubhouse
Talk of the food bazaar in Sydney and the limelight is often stolen by the CBD based food joints. It takes a certain level of audacity and visual charm for a solemn suburban restaurant to beat the cityside giants. There is one such capable hotshot in South Sydney. Between Kogarah (800 metres by walk) and Carlton (a stone's throw away) stations, walking along Railway Parade, Kogarah Clubhouse does not arouse much curiosity. Rather the attention is drawn towards the residential apartments sitting atop it, like a chimney-pot hat. Not to be misled by its looks, one has to step in to discover the swanky entertainment world the clubhouse is on the inside. The expansive centre encompasses the reception and The Clubhouse Bar, which is flanked on either side by two posh restaurants - Blake Street Kitchen and The Pearl - like the wings of a mighty bird.
On a recent bright afternoon, our date was with Blake Street Kitchen (BSK). Earthy notes and tasteful decor flow effortlessly from the Clubhouse Bar into the restaurant. The main appeal is the arrangement of tables. A systematic layout that can accommodate business meetings, quick catch-ups, family gatherings, a private date, plus lone diners, BSK is more of a chic sweeping lounge with a kitchen than just a charming restaurant in the southern suburbs. The food adds further punch to the story.
Our lunch started with a fabulous cup of mocha and a pineapple juice. The restaurant doesn't do juices so my pineapple juice came from a bottle (of which I had been apprised). Credit for the creamy beverage goes to Donna their senior barista. Constantly on her toes, when not busy brewing she went about exchanging pleasantries and making sure the customers were well-tended. Waiting tables was Mercedes, an endearing presence with a warm winning smile. Before the final sips of our drinks, she served us the starters.
The lemon glazed Satay Chicken Skewers had been roasted to perfection - flesh rendered tender with a hint of golden toast settled on top. Though in need of a tad more salt, its gentle notes paired with a crunchy salad made it a great starter. The Salt and Pepper Squid, on the other hand, was served with a creamy tartare sauce, chips and salad. It was a perfect serving of all textures and flavours. The crisp of the chips, the flavour of the side salad, the richness of the tartare sauce and ultimately the soft, peppery squid made the classic a big hit.
The main course comprised of Seafood Bowl and Market Fish of the Day. As straightforward as these may sound, the two dishes were anything but simple. The former is a fried food fan's dream come true. It was crunch all the way down to the bottom. Saying generous would be undermining the portion size. A big serving of salad and tartare sauce accompanied the mound of seafood: garlic prawns; calamari rings; fish cake; battered prawns, crab meat and fish; heaped on grilled barramundi and chips. The best part of this platter of food was that each of the constituents had been carefully fried to retain the crunchy outer coat and softness within.
True to its name, the latter doesn't come with one constant kind of protein, rather changes according to the day's fresh fish. We were destined for barramundi. Undoubtedly healthier of the two, this dish was peppered barramundi fillet baked to perfection, served on a rosemary garlic chat potatoes base, and complemented with tartare sauce and salsa topping. On any given day, this fish dish can give the rest of them a good chase for their money.
Impressive food matched with elegant design and outstanding service (the merry duo - Donna & Mercedes - made our day) takes Blake Street Kitchen, not to mention Kogarah Clubhouse, to the league of high-end Sydney restaurants while still keeping the spirit of its RSL background intact.
For those looking for a perfect spot for that Friday night catch-up over drinks, here's something from Kogarah Clubhouse: Featuring a stellar line-up of Sydney's best DJs, Clubhouse Fridays bring together the freshest beats and drink deals for an unforgettable night in South Sydney!
Gather the gang and kick-off the weekend in style every Friday from 8pm – late, with FREE entry! Drink deals on offer all night long include – $10 COCKTAILS / $5 HOUSE SPIRITS/ $5.50 SELECTED BEERS)
Parking: there is free clubhouse parking for members and ample street parking for no-members.)