'So many worlds, so much to do, so little done, such things to be'. (Tennyson)
Published October 25th 2013
Beachfront dining with a twist
Good food, good wine and a beautiful beach straight over the road. Enough of a drive to make it an outing. Not so far that it's a hassle. Plenty to enjoy in the area after lunch or before dinner. All day tapas menu if you aren't up for a full meal; sounds like a recipe for a great day out.
I was lucky enough to attend the opening night for Fuze Food and Wine and it was fabulous. They treated a full house of punters to a never-ending array of modern Australian tapas with a twist, not to mention more vodka oyster shots and cocktails than we could keep up with. It was hospitality with a capital H, with a personal touch you don't always find.
Fuze's 'Fish 'n chip spring rolls' of atlantic salmon, potato and smoked fish with lemon myrtle tartare are a clever and tasty reinterpretation, wrapped up in crisp spring roll pastries. Their 'sausage rolls', unfortunately not on the menu when we went back, were a surprising hit of rich dark mushroom, perfectly seasoned. Spiced caramel chicken wings looked unprepossessing, but had plenty of zing. The generous slab of Duck Liver Pâté we tried on our next visit, served with preserved red currant, apple cider jelly and pear liqueur, was light, creamy and delicious. At $12 a serve, it cost little more than you'd pay for a take home slice in a delicatessen.
Menu prices start at just $4.50 for the ubiquitous but yummy slider (smoked chicken, pulled pork or calamari), and max out at $32 for an asian-inspired slipper lobster and king prawn hotpot or an aged Black Angus steak with Spanish style accompaniments. The dessert menu continues the 'inventive fusion' theme of the menu, with chocolate and banana spring rolls (a bit much if you've had the fish n chip spring rolls as we did), chocolate taco, or jam doughnut pancakes, just $10 each.
Sliders Fuze style
Funky and energetic young chefs Hayley and Ben Doublet have taken a leap of faith by opening up on the Esplanade at Christies Beach. Like the influx of canny buyers and builders, they know position and potential when they see it. Those of us who live down the street or around the corner are rejoicing.
It's a tough gig for new chefs starting out on their own, until the word gets out. Hayley is continuing as Head Chef at Maxwell's Winery Ellen Street Restaurant, which I want to try after looking at their menu today. Plus she and Ben have a catering business, Big Bear Catering, which was highly recommended by the couple we shared a table with on opening night.
If you like your food and drink on the expensive side, and the service on the snooty side, you'd do best to keep driving past Fuze to Horta's in Port Noarlunga. If you'd prefer to chill without breaking the bank, while still enjoying a touch of culinary flair, give Fuze a try. It's a worthy food destination no matter where you're travelling from.
A friend commented that Fuze add gst when you pay at the counter. She was left with gst for all the diners at her table, since they paid her for the listed cost of their meal and then departed. Who adds gst as a hidden cost these days? This is not a practice that secures repeat customers.
I will certainly try the new restaurant at Christies Beach. But I think your comment about Hortas was unprofessional. I have always found the staff at Hortas very friendly and welcoming, even if I'm only dropping by for a coffee after walking my dog. Not "snooty" at all. Perhaps a bad choice of words?
Looking forward to trying it! Great to have a new beachside addition in the area.
Also well worth a stop by at Christies Beach if you are after something more simple but good (and inexpensive), the lovely little beachside cafe, Ripple and Swirl, at the other end of the CB Esplanade. The usual beach cafe takeaways, but also good for a casual sit down breakfast or light lunch after a walk along the beach. Good coffees too.
And I find nothing wrong with the more expensive Horta's either . . .
We saw this article about Fuze Food and Wine earlier in the week and enjoyed lunch there yesterday. Food, service, atmosphere and outlook were all fantastic and we will be going back again and again.
R & W