Adding a touch of a la carte class to Brisbane's Caxton Street precinct, Gambaro's Restaurant has been serving up fresh seafood since 1972. Having recently experienced their great service and food I can see why it has been around for so long.
[ADVERT]I visited Gambaro's with a large group of (very loud and slightly tipsy) friends to celebrate a birthday. We were seated at a large round table which comfortably fit our party of eight yet was small that we could converse with each other without having to shout. Michael Gambaro himself was our host for the night and was very attentive, stopping at our table often to ensure we were enjoying ourselves and rebuking me in a grandfatherly manner when I eyed up a passing dessert trolley before we had even ordered.
A quick browse of the menu revealed almost too many choices for us to handle in our semi-inebriated state. After much deliberation, however, we were ready to tell our very patient waitress our orders. The caramelised sticky Karabuta pork was the entree of choice while the live Tasmanian rock lobster, despite the intimidating P.O.A. beside it, was a popular main. For me, it was the sticky pork and oven roasted loin of Tasmanian wild clover lamb as I am unfortunately allergic to shellfish.
Our entrees soon appeared. The sticky pork was quickly tipped as the favourite, though there were soft moans of delight coming from someone who had ordered the crab bisque' While small, the pork managed to be sweet, savoury, crispy and melt-in-your-mouth all at the same time and was begrudgingly shared with everyone at the table by those who had ordered it.
Several glasses of wine later, the mains were brought out. I had been apprehensive about ordering a lamb dish at a seafood restaurant but my fears were unnecessary. The lamb was cooked to perfection, topped with a beautiful herb crust and accompanied by mouth watering fondant potatoes.
Meanwhile, next to me, a lobster was pulled apart and consumed with gusto. Inexplicably, the lobster had been dubbed 'Larry' by its orderer. A lively debate on the well-being of Larry's bereaved lobster family and the mental state of people who name their food ensued. Was Larry aware of the tragedy about to befall him when he was pulled from his comfortable tank? Unconcerned, the instigator of this argument soon reduced Larry to nothing but a shell of his former delicious self.
Several bottles of wine had now been consumed by the table and we were getting quite rowdy but the staff took it all in their stride with not a single dirty look directed our way. Unfortunately the restaurant does not split bills, leading to some hilarity as we attempted to add up our individual totals. The average for three courses and drinks was about $75 dollars each, though Larry was quite a bit more. Overall, our experience at Gambaro's was excellent and I highly recommend it for large dining parties.
As for Larry - we can only hope he is enjoying himself in crustacean heaven.