A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published October 10th 2018
With a royal launch, Neptunes is back with a bang
Cafe Neptune in the bayside suburb of Brighton-Le-Sands hasn't just had a facelift, it has been completely rebuilt and fitted out, complete with a refined menu that is pure yum! The newly refurbished restaurant has certainly set the bar higher on the Brighton dining scene.
Occupying two levels, it boasts clean, contemporary finishes with hints of Mediterranean. One of the most notable changes is in the shift from a dimly lit interior of tans and browns to a more brightly lit, industrial chic aesthetic - complete with refreshing splashes of green around the venue. Very impressive to see how much more spacious, upmarket and airy this venue now feels.
Hanging lights adorn the stairwell, encaged by a black mesh. Meanwhile, the lower level hosts a well appointed open kitchen complete with an authentic wood-fired pizza oven. Seating spans the inside and outside along the street. Stay warm and cosy out here with banks of overhead heaters and speakers so that music from indoors can still be enjoyed.
Downstairs bar - talented bartenders at work on some delicious cocktails
The flair of this restaurant was evident upon arrival where champagne was served in flutes with strawberries and an innovative hundreds-and-thousands rimmed glass. We were also greeted by a doorway of balloons, a charismatic and friendly team of people behind the endeavour and a live jazz band setting the scene for an upmarket celebration.
The cocktails were spectacular in appearance and delightful to drink, attesting to the talents of the bartenders. Impressive Negroni's were delivered with consistency and flair throughout the entire night, as was another fruit-based passionfruit cocktail garnished with tangy passionfruit, mint leaves and hundred-and-thousands.
When it's so nice you almost forget to take a photo - passionfruit-based cocktail
Neptunes certainly provides new standards of dining catering for any event from intimate dining to functions. Although this night only provided finger food to accompany the drinks, the food was an excellent sampler of the quality that can be expected upon dining here...
Baby burgers were perfectly cooked and constructed.
A delicious amuse-bouche - a French term literally meaning 'mouth amuser' - of white truffle soup topped with caviar was served in a shot glass and was a glimpse into the high-quality approach this kitchen takes to curating your dining experience.
Perfect Oyster pillows tempura topped with caviar eggs, petals were served in the shell. These bite-sized delights were heavenly if you're a fan of oysters. This was a highlight as prior to this, I was never a fan of oysters myself, but perhaps Neptunes is my point of conversion. I could have gone for more of these doses of the ocean.
I knew the tempura battered zucchini flowers were in high demand among patrons. They'd be gone from the server plates in the blink of an eyelid. Stuffed with tangy lemon and ricotta, I tasted and saw the reason for this.
Flavoursome, succulent and lightly crisp lamb skewers were also floating around, each bite consistently tender and juicy.
There was also scallop floating around with the samplers
The talents of the chef were very apparent from our tasters. Dining here will be a treat. I'm very much looking forward to trying the woodfired pizzas fresh out of the stone oven, alongside the delicious cocktails on offer here.
The menu looks to marry Mediterranean and Australia fare with favourites like salt and pepper squid and specially tailored numbers like the wood-fired mac and cheese.
It was a great pleasure to witness the grand unveiling of this establishment, complete with an exclusive ribbon-cutting officially opening the new and revitalised Neptunes to the public. The passion, commitment and dedication of the owners were very evident and have translated into a wonderful new and what is destined to be a fine eating establishment. It's very exciting to see such quality restaurants like Neptunes entering the scene in Brighton.