11 June 2012

Rick Stein at Bannisters: Seafood, Mollymook (20 Nov 2011)

191 Mitchell Parade, Mollymook NSW 2539

Stein's seafood down south

Before Baby Isabelle came along we had a babymoon trip down south to visit Berry, Jervis Bay, Tilba and included Mollymook to specifically dine at Rick Stein at Bannisters. We actually wanted to stay at Bannisters as well but unfortunately the friday and saturday we went away all the rooms and restaurant had been booked out due to a wedding reception. Sunday lunch was free but unfortunately included a $10 surcharge per person for the privilege. The restaurant had lovely decor and window views that stretched towards the sea through the trees. Complimentary bread and olives was good to start the appetite before I tucked into some freshly shucked Oysters ($24 for six) which included St Helens Pacifics which are one of my favourites. The oysters were fresh but overall didn't have as much brine as I was hoping for — perhaps it was because the shells were quite shallow. Grilled Hervey Bay Scallops in the Shell with Toasted Hazelnut and Coriander Butter ($26, 5 pieces) were topped with plenty of flavour making them worth trying. My main temptation for visiting the restaurant was to try their Grilled Local Eastern Rock Lobster ($126 600g) which also came at a premium price of $21 per 100g — but it was a babymoon after all so a bit of a splurge was justified. The lobster was split open and grilled, served with a sauce made with lobster fumet, parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives resulting in quite tasty yet salty flavour but happily the lobster meat easily came out of it's shell for my enjoyment. Nothing was left to waste as I battled with the legs to extract as much of the meat as humanly possible.

The Bannisters Fish Pie ($42) came in a smallish dish but made up for it in terms of the seafood hidden under the breadcrumbs and parmesan. Decent pieces of fish, prawn and scallop were to be found in a flavoursome creamy fish veloute sauce making it deceptively more filling than expected. For dessert we had Roulade of Soft Meringue, Vanilla Crème Fraiche and Pistachio Praline with rhubarb compote ($16) and Baked 'Valhrona' Chocolate and Marmalade Tart with orange blossom ice cream ($16). Both presented well and flavours to satisfy the discerning sweet tooth palate. My Affogato ($16) was thankfully served with a decent amount of ice cream although very expensive for the price when you consider it didn't include a liqueur. After lunch we checked out one of the vacated rooms which was well-furnished with all the mod cons and had excellent views over the pristine looking swimming pool and towards the sea. Hopefully one day we'll have a chance to return to stay so there won't be far to go after a few extra glasses of Rick Stein Semillon Sauvignon Blanc ($15/glass).

PROS: Water views, Nice decor and atmosphere, Friendly and accommodating service, Quality ingredients, Enticing seafood menu, Accommodation available
CONS: Can be very expensive depending on what you order$10 pp service charge on Sundays, No sign of Rick Stein in the kitchen
MUST TRY: Oysters and lobster if you can afford it and save room for dessert. Our waiter recommended the lobster thermidor which I'd go for next time.
VERDICT: Best not to think about the cost and just enjoy the moment with the nice surrounds and quality dishes

Complimentary bread and olives

Cutlery choices when having lobster

Rick Stein Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Hunter Valley, Adelaide Hills ($15/glass)

Selection of freshly shucked oysters, served with soy, lime, ginger dressing and eschallot vinegar: Ewan McAsh’s Rock Oysters, Snapper Bay, Moonlight Flat, St Helens Pacifics, Greenwell Point ($24 for six) — although apparently you're supposed to order either Sydney Rock or Pacifics and can't mix them

Grilled Hervey Bay Scallops in the Shell with Toasted Hazelnut and Coriander Butter ($26, 5 pieces)

Bannisters Fish Pie: Salmon, blue eye, snapper, scallops, mushrooms and prawns in a creamy fish velouté sauce, gratinated with bread crumbs and parmesan ($42)

Grilled Local Eastern Rock Lobster: Split open and grilled, served with a sauce made with lobster fumet, parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives ($126 600g, $21 per 100g)

Chunks of satisfying lobster meat

Mission accomplished

Side of vegetables ($7), Chips ($7)

Roulade of Soft Meringue, Vanilla Crème Fraiche and Pistachio Praline with rhubarb compote ($16)

Baked 'Valhrona' Chocolate and Marmalade Tart with orange blossom ice cream ($16) - nice presentation, good flavourAffogato ($16)

Affogato ($16)

Decent amount of ice cream to enjoy

Bill $345 for two, including $10 pp sunday surcharge

Reflection shot

Flat table support bases — I like

Restaurant outlook

Checking out the accommodation and views

On my wish list for next time if I can afford it

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Rick Stein at Bannisters on Urbanspoon


tania@mykitchenstories said...

The food looks very nice. It is quite expensive though ( no wine was included on that bill, so if you drink.....). I always wanted to go but now I think I'd rather save my money and go to somewhere in Sydney!!. Lovely photos Simon

Brisbane Devoured said...

GAHHHH the dreaded sunday surcharge! I think thats ridiculous..

Anonymous said...

the lobster... mmm looks like theres so many flavours there!

Anonymous said...

When next you visit Mollymook, I suggest you follow the local foodie scene and give Bannisters a miss and opt for the local favourites - St Isadores, Cupitts Winery or Citrus. All equally as good (or even better...see Tripadvisor) and without these silly prices. Signed South Coast Fussy Foodie

Simon Leong said...

hi tania, the glasses of wine were included on the bill actually but just the two. if you don't get the lobster then it would be a lot cheaper :-)

hi brisbane devoured, i think surcharges suck big time. i wanted to go saturday but was booked out for a private function :-(

hi tastyfoodsnaps, lots of flavours, lots of money ;-)

hi anonymous, thanks heaps for the local suggestions. I stayed in http://www.breakersmollymook.com.au/ and they suggested Citrus too but I didn't get a chance to visit but definitely on the wish list now for next time :-)

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