Hi I'm Jack, weekends are too short, so I love to make the most of the time we have. I also love cooking and occasionally write a blog of the food I love to cook, if you'd like to join me for dinner, click here dinnerwithjack.blogspot.com.au
Published June 4th 2012
We were up at Geraldton for the WA Day long weekend when I mentioned going into town for breakfast, instantly my MIL offered that there was only one place to go for Breakfast in Geraldton, the Salt Dish. A little while later my sister in law rocks up and it is a little late for breakfast, but she is excited at the prospect of going to this hometown eatery, so I begin to thinking this place must be good. FIL is not happy, he has chores to do and cannot join us, and apparently Salt Dish is his favourite café, for any hour of the day! So it has been decided, we will go our own ways and then meet at Salt Dish @ 11:30 for lunch. You need to be early to secure a table I am told.
I headed off to visit the HMAS Sydney II Memorial with my nephew in tow, it was a beautiful day around 23 C sun shining and barely a cloud in the sky, the memorial had a new feature added last November and it has been beautifully done as are the other 4 elements. Once we had had a look around and taken a few snaps we headed over to the coast to check out the Lighthouse, something the young bloke wanted to do and then found our way to Salt Dish.
From the street it looked like any other store front, with the exception of the couple of tables set up on the footpath. On entering it was obvious how busy this place was as all tables were taken in the front of the restaurant, which looked onto the service area.
Here again were obvious signs of busy people as the staff went about, cooking food, making coffees and preparing to deliver plates of food to eager customers. Behind the service area was another smaller room with 3 or 4 assorted tables and dining/lounge areas. We were led through this area and out to a garden area out the back where a table for our party of 6 was set up in a spot shaded by sail cloth.
This area was very relaxed, the furniture was mixed at each setting and a few of old captain's styled armchairs set around an old coffee table. In various parts of the outdoor area were pot plants of flowers and herbs, it had a very homey feel about the place.
Virgin Mary, Iced Chocolate and Iced Tea with Honey and Lemon
Once seated we ordered some drinks, I went for an Iced Chocolate drink, something out of the ordinary for me, when it was brought to the table I took one look at it and began to wonder what I had done, there was so much cream and ice-cream in the glass, not at all what I expected. But after taking my first sip I was a little more relaxed about it, then I stirred it all up and it became this wonderful creamy liquid chocolate, oh so heavenly, I was immediately hooked.
Jo ordered a Virgin Mary, which appeared on sight to be very much a Bloody Mary. The waitress informed us that it was but for the fact there was no alcohol. I tried it and it was very yum, but I think I would rather dance with the big sister version, give me my vodka. The third drink brought out, ordered by Pam was an Iced Tea with Honey and Lemon, it too was very yum, but after tasting it decided I made the wisest choice - the kids were very wide eyed as they watched it disappear, so much so that they asked for the same at the end of our meal, which I was only too happy to get for them. Unfortunately when taking my order the lovely lady misheard what I had said and instead of 2 being brought to the table, there were four on the tray, bugger! I really did not need that extra iced chocolate, but it sure went down as if I did.
Soon the food began to arrive and finally I started to get an idea as to why everyone had been so excited about coming here for lunch. The first two dishes were the fish and chips for the kids - beautiful grilled fillets of fresh whiting and hand cut chips, it was just the start of the oh's and ah's from Jo and myself.
Pam had practically begged Jo to try her favourite dish, Lime Chicken, with beans, grilled coconut, coriander, and spiced peanuts finished with curry dressing and chilli plum jam on the side.As the waitress took the order, a huge smile came over her face as she gushed "My favourite, good choice". I could see what all the fuss was about as soon as the dish hit the table. I could taste the flavours just by looking at it, it looked so appealing. Jo twisted my arm so I would have a taste and that confirmed it as very yum, yum, yummy.
Pam ordered next and had managed to pick what I thought looked and sounded good to me, Szechuan BBQ Prawns in a green papaya, radish, cucumber salad with chilli garlic dressing and chilli lime caramel. The prawns in this dish were so fresh I'd swear I saw them still kicking. Another superb looking dish that tasted as good as it looked - I was disappointed not to have ordered it myself after trying it.
It was to be a Peppered Scotch Filet sandwich with balsamic onions, provolone and mustard mayo served with hand cut chips for Shane, I can only imagine how good this was, as he wasn't sharing it with anyone it can only have been as good as it looked!
Given my first three choices off the menu had been ordered, I looked toward the specials board for my meal and ordered from it a Beef Tenderloin Steak finished with a red wine jus and asparagus with béarnaise sauce and roasted kipfler potatoes. Whilst I may have been a little disappointed with having to go to my fourth pick, I was not at all disappointed with the meal, it was divine,. The steak was so tender the potatoes where perfect as was the asparagus and sauce.
I have eaten at a lot of restaurants in Geraldton, and several of them have been very good, but I can categorically say that Salt Dish is by far the best restaurant I have eaten at and one I will look forward to visiting on my next trip to Gero.
Tucked away at the northern end of Marine Terrace, opposite the beautiful sea is Salt Dish Café, a food lover's home away from home.
A bright red door, dark wooden tables, bent wooden chairs and a lush red wall fill Salt Dish with a warm, inviting feeling ideal for indulging in great food and friendly welcoming service, lifted off the back of Salt Dishes compliments card, I really could not have put this better myself.
Message from Buderim, Queensland. We are old friends of Heath's (Salt Dish owner and chief chef) folks, so we know something of his training and passion for things culinary. So it is no surprise to read your wonderful review; we never doubted that Heath would do something really stunning with Salt Dish.