After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations. – Oscar Wilde
We recently paid a visit to Captain Baxter in St Kilda and embarked on an enjoyable, gastronomic journey.
As we arrived at the venue, the first thing that grabbed our attention was the fantastic location. Perched on the first floor of a building right on the beach, the restaurant has an illuminated stairway which takes you to a sprawling sitting area containing 2 separate, well-stocked bars (one at the rear and another at the front), walls covered by floral wallpapers and chic yet simple décor complete with a large terrace and balconies. Our waitress for the night was Emma, who delivered attentive service with big smiles. She eagerly explained how the restaurant is usually open till late every day and how weekends bring in throngs of people who come to enjoy the sunshine, a tasty morsel to eat and revel in beautiful views of the Port Phillip Bay.
We got a table by the window and could see people strolling on the beach. I could easily envisage how spectacular the view would be during daylight. There were also patrons dining in the terrace enjoying the fresh air and engaged in spirited conversations.
The food menu was simple yet ticked all the boxes while the drinks menu was extensive. The seafood-focused food menu showcased subtle Asian influences and covered seafood, meat, vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options. Our taste buds were enticed by the likes of hot and numbing blue swimmer crab, 'char siu' pork cutlet, salt baked kingfish, duck meatballs, 'crying tiger' lamb chops and so forth. Small plates were priced at $5-$7 each or $14-$19 for each plate. Chargrill menu was priced from $24 to $130. Seafood was priced from $25 to $50. Sides were priced from $9 to $13. Desserts carried price tags from $10 to $14. Cocktails were priced from $16-$22.
After an animated discussion, we placed our orders and eagerly waited for our food as we listened to the loud music playing in the background. The sprawling sitting area seemed to cater for work events, fun night out with friends or a romantic dinner with the better half. The ambience was welcoming and relaxing and the staff rushed about attending to patrons.
Our food arrived with a flourish. Every dish was a good portion size and could easily be shared.
The fish and scallop pie was a beauty to behold. My husband demonstrated his commendable patient trait as I took time snapping photos of the Instragrammable pie from different angles. It was a pot pie with a gorgeous, crunchy crust which crumbled when poked with a fork and gave way to scallops and fish baked in a rich cheese sauce. All the chatter receded to obscurity. We ate silently as we paid tribute to the dish by slowly and happily savouring every mouthful of the decadent pie.
Next, we turned our attention to the black mussels beautifully cooked in a sour curry and served with flaky roti. The mussels were fresh and suffused with the sour curry. Every single mussel was devoured with great pleasure.
Baked potatoes usually serve the purpose of being a side which fills you up in case the rest of the meal is far from sufficient. Baked potatoes are more of an after-thought rather than a primary choice. However, these baked potatoes took us by surprise. Small potatoes were cut in the middle smeared with peanut satay sauce, topped with curry leaves and baked to perfection. The tender potatoes were infused with the seductive aroma and tantalising flavours of curry leaves and satay sauce. We would have happily polished off a big bowl of these yummy potatoes.
We found numerous use for the roti which we used to mop up the sour curry and the cheese sauce from the pie.
Every meal should end on a sweet note, so we decided to sample some desserts. But before the desserts arrived, I stole away to the restroom and found it to be large and clean with powder room type facilities so the ladies can touch up their makeup. Quite clever! Outside the restrooms, there was an ATM - very handy if you need to withdraw cash!
Our dinner was concluded with 2 different desserts. The Pavlova dessert was somewhat plain but hit its mark. This meringue dessert was soft and light and was topped with tasty passionfruit puree. The sweetness level was just right. The other dessert of condensed milk custard, dark chocolate and coffee was in one word moreish. It was rich and decadent and we devoured it with gusto.
We paired the meal with cocktails with quirky names. The pornstar martini got top marks for presentation. A combination of vanilla vodka, passionfruit liquor, passionfruit puree and vanilla sugar syrup was served in a margarita glass topped with half of a passionfruit and accompanied by prosecco in a shot glass. The idea is to take a sip from the cocktail glass and cleanse your palate with a sip of the prosecco. It was an interesting cocktail.
The other cocktail was the green bounty which was served in a tall glass. It was a mixture of Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, apple juice, fresh kiwi fruit, lemon juice and a touch of absinthe topped with a slice of kiwi. It was quite potent.