There is an ongoing debate in Perth about whether it is possible to have good views and good food in the same place. While for many years views often won out over food, in recent years as the foodie market has amped up and competition has become more fierce it can definitely be said you can have stunning views and good food to match.
Odyssea Beach Café is relatively new, opening in early 2016 in a new $18 million beachside complex at City Beach that also houses two other restaurants and the revamped surf club.
The Odyssea Beach Cafe is part of a new $18 million complex
Odyssea is massive, seating 300 patrons in three spaces – a large airy and bright indoor area, a covered verandah that overlooks the surf club and amphitheatre, and a large uncovered deck area. It is also popular, and those without a booking at the peak times will find themselves standing in a queue as they wait for a table.
Odyssea is open seven days a week and covers breakfast, lunch and dinner. It also has an tempting dessert case making it a lovely space for morning or afternoon tea, as well as a takeaway kiosk on the side for those who don't want to put their thongs back on (sandy feet are welcome at Odyssea but you must wear shoes). In short, Odyssea is all things to all people.
The main room is large, bright and overlooks the surf club
The menu is modern Australian with nods in all directions – to Asia with Korean spiced pork belly with cucumber kimchi ($31) to the Mediterranean with chargrilled lamb rump with skordalia and red pepper harissa ($34) as well as plenty of Australian favourites such as northwest squid ($23) and roasted Tasmanian salmon ($34) and even chargrilled kangaroo with roasted beets and mustard relish ($34).
The lunch and dinner menus are separated into starters/share plates and the 'something bigger' plates. Prices range from $17 to $42 and this is reflected in the quality (almost everything is made in-house).
I chose the potato gnocchi with Ord River pumpkin, mascarpone, kale, green raisons and pine nuts ($28). It didn't look anything like I expected – the pumpkin was mashed into the sauce and the kale was left as large leaves – but it tasted phenomenal, and generated a fair bit of food envy at my end of the table.
The drinks menu was about ten times longer than the food menu, with cocktails, mocktails, alcoholic punch (which serves four people), beer on tap and bottles, spirits and a full page of wines by the glass. I ordered the flavoured house-made lemonade mocktail ($8) which was advertised as lemon, Chilean raspberry and Sicilian mandarin. I was quite disappointed that I could not taste either the raspberry or mandarin.
The dessert menu is small but punches hard with offerings such as spiced rice pudding with poached rhubarb ($12) Doughnut with baked chocolate ganache and caramelised banana ice cream ($14) Tahini parfait made with blood orange, dates, pistachio and marshmallows ($14) and roasted pear with thyme ice cream and elderflower ($14). The rice pudding was a perfect end to the meal, substantial yet delicately flavoured.
If you are celebrating something special, Odyssea offer a cake menu which you can serve in lieu of desert. At $75 for one layer or $85 for two layers, this may seem like a serious investment, but for a group of ten or more people, easily makes economical sense and you can even order a decorated chocolate plaque with a message. Flavours include carrot, flourless chocolate, strawberry sponge, coconut and lime and more.
Kids have their own menu, but it is quite light on, with three breakfast choices (one being fruit salad), four for mains (fish and chips, pasta, toasted cheese tortilla and dips with crudites) and a single dessert (icecream and topping). It's not the most welcoming kids menu I have ever seen, and even the breakfast menu doesn't offer either of the standard 'kid' staples: pancakes or French toast. It gets quite loud inside Odyssea though, so if you did bring your kids and they were howling for a pancake, there is every chance no one would notice.
Dogs however, are welcome on the outside deck and there is plenty of open grassed areas between the carpark and the beach, and the views (where not obstructed by the amphitheatre) are stunning. Bookings can only be made for lunch and dinner, with breakfast being available only for walk-ins, but it does get very busy so arrive early or be prepared to wait.