I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published July 28th 2014
Where fine food meets fine art
For me, dining out is about so much more than food: it's also about presentation, ambience, quality and service. Rarely, and very happily, all those elements can synthesise into a superior and seductive dining experience where, as Aristotle once said, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts". I think Aristotle must have arrived at this philosophical truth based on the five course Degustation Menu at the Gold Coast's Seaduction Restaurant and Bar.
Seaduction occupies a stylish space on the first floor of the towering Soul building on Surfers Paradise foreshore. I arrived with my husband, Comedy Relief, for our mid-week dining experience, where we were greeted warmly and seated at a table overlooking the beach, just a few metres across the road. Bronze leather chairs mixed with touches of cowhide. Along with large lighting fixtures, outdoor fires and pretty lanterns the completed picture was modern, cosy, fresh and elegant. From our position near the window we had a view, first of the mid week markets that spread along the opposite beachfront, and then later, when everything was packed away, we watched the waves rolling onto the sand; very relaxing.
The degustation menu offers five courses with matching wines, as well as coffee and petit fours. Touches of the kind of 'molecular gastronomy' favoured by celebrity chefs like Heston Blumenthal invitingly pepper the menu: 'sweet corn custard', 'brioche soil', 'tarragon sponge' or 'carrot and shellfish espuma' anyone? It's all delightfully inventive but at the same time, substantial and familiar.
Here is our experience, course by beautiful course:
Course One: Seared diver scallops served with andalouse sausage crumble, sweet corn custard and carrot essence
Three lightly seared scallops were served on a bed of sausage crumb and topped with a wisp of carrot foam. This dish was a perfectly balanced marriage of contrasting flavours and textures and the delicately creamy sweet custard was a highlight. The accompanying G. H. Mumm Rose bubbled lightly and was finely flavoursome.
Course Two: Ora King Manuka wood smoked salmon with noilly pratt infused butter cream and two caviars
We loved the intense wood-smoked aroma and full-bodied flavour of the melt-in-your-mouth salmon, which combined well with the unique texture of the caviar and the creamy, sweet pea puree. It was served on a wide, square plate and topped with crispy chips. The Lethbridge "Dr Nadeson" Riesling was itself pleasantly smoky and sweet.
Course Three: Seaduction Foie Gras parfait with tempura prawn, tarragon sponge and light truffle oil with brioche soil
The light and crispy prawn sat high above the artistic arrangement of foie gras and delectably sweet tarragon sponge. The lines of brioche crumbs added crunch and texture and the fruity Dexter Pinot Noir was beautifully balanced.
Course Four: Butter poached Poussin, with a tempura of langoustine, artichoke puree and a carrot and shellfish espuma
This course was served on large stone plate and was a palate-pleasing conglomeration of young chicken and shellfish atop a full-flavoured artichoke puree with a tasty but quickly vanishing foam cloud. The earthy, spicy flavour of the Bonnachi Chianti Riserva was well matched to the food.
Course Five: Decadent velvet chocolate, marshmallow rice crunch, almond dentelle with white and dark chocolate soil
This was a rich, smooth chocolate explosion, balanced by the crunch of rice crisps and toasted almond flavour. The 'Valdespino Pedro Ximinez Sherry was delightful; a pungent, sweet liquid plum pudding.
Coffee and petit fours were excellent. A real highlight for me was the honeycomb, something I'm not usually fond of. But this honeycomb had none of the cloying sweetness I expected. It was super light with an almost salty aftertaste.
Comedy Relief and I agree that this was one of the very best meals we've ever had. The food was superb, each course was expertly announced and served by our friendly waiter, the wines dovetailed perfectly with the food; it was a night to remember. All through the evening I found it difficult to drag myself away from the pure enjoyment of the experience to write notes so that I could accurately portray it for readers. Executive Chef Steve Szabo has put together a truly fine dining experience.
Seaduction's five course degustation is available for $115. With matching wines (tasting size) the cost is $150, or you can have it with matching wines (full size) for $180. I recommend the whole experience as perfection on a plate by the sea.
* Geraldine was a guest of Gold Coast Tourism and Seaduction Restaurant *