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Published August 8th 2017
Sublime Seafood by the Shimmering Sea
Why does a bottle of beer sometimes cost almost double in restaurants than it does in a bottle shop? One answer, as enunciated by a famous chef who shall remain nameless, was to the effect of "You're not just paying for the drink. You're paying for the people that serve it to you and the character and ambience of the place you're drinking it in."
Such seems to hold equally true for seafood at the seaside. Break down and index a seafood platter into its constituent fish, shellfish, cephalopods, molluscs and crustacea and the resulting components from a seafood market could perhaps amount to a fraction of the cost of the dinner. It's almost enough make one choke on a tenacious tentacle.
However, reassemble this motley assortment of battered, fried, smoked, raw, grilled and crumbed denizens of the eternal deep and, served on a platter by the beach, the experience transcends its gelid and glistening (when raw) ingredients.
It's almost like one is eating a procession of images. Fresh sea air infused with the spicy scent of brine and salt-spray. The rolling, rhythmic murmur of breaking waves, burbling and foaming on a sandy shore. The tranquil static sibilance of water retreating, a serene, lilting chorus. The shimmer of wet sand fading to matte.
A refreshingly chilled glass of crisp white. A profusion of colours and flavours on a platter. A near embarrassment of collected textures, from the crispy crunch of beer battered whiting to the juicy succulence of prawn tail. Tangy palate-cleaning tartare against the creamy seafood sauce. Yielding seared, sweet scallops paired with toothsome charred octopus and savoury cold-smoked salmon.
The rich, velvety smoothness of raw oyster - the whole ocean in a single simple bite where simplicity is the supreme sophistication.
Or for others the repellent, salty, metallic, iodinated, gelatinous oversized booger of raw oyster.
At Sammy's on the Marina, 1/12 Holdfast Promenade in Glenelg, the view is magnificent. The seafood is fresh and prepared in a variety of ways for a pleasing smoky char, crunch or flavourful juiciness. Almost any seafood one can think of is on offer along with sides. There is little in the way of non-seafood options but vegetarian selections and steak are present as alternatives.
Prices are variable (see their website) but reasonable and the heaped platters are likely to precipitate a food coma. A seafood platter ranges from $150 to $240 for two. If you're looking for a bite of seafood with panoramic views of Holdfast Bay, Sammy's may well fit the bill perfectly.