Upon our return to the beach, it had gotten darker and colder, so I was happy to go inside and get right on to the business of eating…
pork and pistachio terrine, venison chorizo, duck liver pate, cheddar, baguette, home made pickles
Decisions were easy, as far as starters went for J, Jac and I. We decided to share the tasting plate which came loaded with lots of delicious and well made components. I especially loved slathering the fresh baguette with the pate (rich, creamy and very very smooth), and enjoying it with the chunky terrine. The home made pickles were similar to Giardiniera, and were an excellent crisp and tangy addition to the otherwise rich meaty offerings.
Whiting fillets with potato crisps and aioli
TFP is not a pate fan – so she picked a fish special, crispy fried whiting fillets, with home made aioli and waffle cut potato crisps. The fish was well prepared, and we all thought the aioli was great. Nothing beats home made! But it was a shame the potatoes were a little more soggy than crisp.
We also shared some garlic and herb ciabatta, which arrived at the table fresh and steaming from the kitchen. You know what’s even better with pate than baguette? Garlic and herb ciabatta. Probably a total food faux pas, but totally delicious :)
Gold band snapper with potatoes and fresh tomato
Jac chose the fish of the day – which was Gold Band Snapper, served with boiled potatoes and topped with a chunky tomato salsa. I thought it looked beautiful with the jewel-like tomato strewn across the fresh fish.
Linguine with Carnarvon King Prawns, Cacciatore sausage and chili
TFP’s main was a hearty looking linguine, with fat king prawns and studded with loads of red chili. We all agreed that the sausage would have fared better in the dish if it had been sliced in smaller pieces. Still, it was nice to see a generous helping of each of the components, rather than a mound of just “pasta with extras” (a pet peeve of mine).
J’s chowder was the first to arrive and immediately made me hungry with the aroma of smoked salmon and fresh seafood. I loved how smooth the chowder was – it had a lovely silky finish, though I think it was partly potato-based. The chunks of seafood were well cooked and fresh. J even surprised himself and really enjoyed the mussels – a bivalve he’s only recently learned to enjoy.
Three hour fennel roasted pork belly, garlic confit mash, spinach, cinnamon apples and chardonnay jus
J and I share a dinner dilemma each time we find pork belly on the menu. We both want it. But we know we should go for different mains to reap the benefits of tasting two dishes. So as a result, we try and mix it up a little – it’s not really fair for one person to get the belly each and every time :)
This time around I got the belly, and boy was I glad. The pork was incredibly tender, and cloaked in an amazingly crunchy, bubbly coat of crackling. I loved the apples which were sweet and slightly al dente (not mushy at all – yay!), and rich with cinnamon. The accompanying mash was really rich, sadly too rich, as I had to leave some behind. The chardonnay jus was syrupy and savoury, perfectly complimenting the sweetness of the apples. This course gets two photos because it just looks (and tasted) so damn good.
Affogato with cointreau and Simmo’s vanilla ice cream, with pistachio biscotti
None of us were willing to throw in the towel after our mains. J decided to combine coffee with dessert – he chose the Affogato, which was served with Simmo’s vanilla ice cream. Based in Dunsborough, with outlets in Mandurah as well as Margaret River and Busselton, having Simmo’s ice cream is a bit of a holiday tradition for me – one of the places I always look out for if I know it’s where I’m visiting!
crème brulee, coconut tuille biscuit, pineapple and mint granita
TFP and Jac decided to share a dessert, and chose the creme brulee (in lieu of there being a pannacotta on the menu, Jac agreed this would be the next best thing) which was served with a pineapple and mint granita and delicate coconut tuille biscuits. TFP raved about the granita, and tried to scoop up as many quickly vanishing ice crystals as possible. The brulee was lovely, though I would have enjoyed a thicker caramelised top.
Pavlova with passionfruit curd and double cream
My deconstructed pavlova was a lovely sweet end to the meal. Though the pav was a little more meringue than the marshmallowy-style I tend to prefer (and make at home), it was matched well with the tangy curd. The addition of double cream was artery clogging, but totally necessary, in my opinion – because, I ask you, what’s a pavlova without cream?
I really enjoyed dinner at The Goose – the food was solid, and the view of the famous Busselton Jetty is a treat. As we left the restaurant, it was getting colder and windy. Despite the weather, I know the spectacular views of the jetty were making J contemplate the benefits of the fluorescent lights for squid catching… but with a full eating diary on our last full day down south the next day, it was time to go.