Shumpty Eats: Cott & Co Fish Bar (Cottesloe Beach)

It has been a long time since I posted a restuarant review on this blog but I just had to write about my experiences at the Cott & Co Fish Bar this week.  Simply: this is one of the best restuarants I have eaten in full stop.  

The Venue: Cott & Co Fish Bar is part of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel on Marine Parade in Cottesloe.  It is an open space with the kitchen area viewable from the seating area.  Tables are set up for group dining as well as for parties of two.  Large windows take advantage of the spectacular view of the Indian Ocean across the road.

The Menu: As the name would suggest this is a seafood restuarant with a focus on tapas type dishes with a mix of mains thrown in for good measure.  As many of you know I do not eat seafood.  Normally this would cruel most seafood restuarant but not Cott & Co.  I have eaten there twice in the last 3 days and had two of best dishes I can remember eating: a pasta dish based around a brisket ragout from the specials board and, from the menu, the ricotta and truffle gnudi.  I am no vegetarian but that second meal is the best vegetarian meal I have ever had. 

The Service: The staff at Cott & Co provided us with wonderful service.  They were knowledgable about the menu, gave great recommendations and were cheerful to a fault.  The meals were served with alacrity. 

The Price: Given the standard of the food and the service, the prices at Cott & Co are quite reasonable.  Our order of a couple of mains, a charcuterie board and a couple of glasses of wine came to about $90 which felt cheap to me. 

The Final Word: This is a seafood restuarant that has wowed a non-seafood eater.  If you are staying in or around Cottesloe this is the first place you should eat.  If you are staying in the Perth area: this restuarant is definitely worth the trip.  I will be back again (maybe even on this trip). 

Chef Shumpty: Sweet potato, miso and wasabi soup

It is winter and that means soup season. Tonight I tried a recipe I saw on during the week which I adapted to my own taste.


2 teaspoons grapeseed oil

2 French eschallots, peeled, sliced

500g sweet potato, peeled, roughly chopped

4 cups chicken stock

1 ½ tablespoons miso paste

1 tablespoon ginger pickling liquid (the juice in the jar of pickled ginger)

wasabi paste to taste


¼ sheet seaweed, finely sliced

¼ cup coriander leaves, broken up roughly

A few slices of pickled ginger (optional)


Place a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the grapeseed oil and sweat the sliced eschallots until soft. Add the sweet potato and toss to coat and cook for one minute until the edges are beginning to caramelize slightly. Add the stock and, after slowly raising the heat to a medium heat, simmer for 25 minutes, stirring regularly to break up the sweet potato, until the stock has reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and whisk through the miso paste and ginger pickling liquid. Add the wasabi to taste whilst continuing to whisk (I like a fair bit of wasabi but be careful not to just make the soup about the wasabi).

Add to a blender and blitz until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, loosen with some milk or additional stock.

Add the topping ingredients to a small bowl and toss to combine.

Pour the soup into serving bowls, top with a generous pinch of the topping and serve warm.

Here is the result:


I loved this soup tonight on a chilly night in Brisbane, however next time out I will use some fresh ginger in place of the pickled ginger juice and soften it at the same time as the eschallots.


Shumpty Eats: George’s Bar & Bistro

I was very disappointed when the One Eleven Bistro in Eagle Street (Brisbane) shut down. In its place George Gregan has opened a Bar & Bistro in the same place.

Having had a couple of coffees there over the last week and finding the prices a bit steep for comparable coffees close by I was a bit hesitant when I was invited there for lunch today.

To say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement. The menu was very much a bistro menu and without the pretension and exorbitant pricing that had killed its predecessor. I shared the chorizo and haloumi entrees with my lunch inviter and found them both to be excellent and just enough to wet the palate for the lunch to come without leaving me full.

Main course was the wagyu burger which, at $20, is not only very well priced but is also very tasty.

The staff are friendly and knowledgable and the service swift. To go with the pricing, this speed of service makes this an excellent lunch venue in my view that I would recommend to anyone down at the Eagle Street end of the city.

One of the negatives of the predecessor restaurant was that it was attempting to be a high class establishment in a space that was open and in a lobby of an office building. It had the feel of the food court about it. That feel remains but recast as a bistro with reasonably priced food it works albeit if you do not like all and sundry walking past the restaurant to know you are there this may not be the restaurant for you.

Food: 9 out of 10

Service:9 out of 10

Ambience: 7 out of 10

Final Word: George’s Bar & Bistro is definitely a place I would recommend for a quick lunch catch up without pretension and with haste. Get around it.

Shumpty Eats: Hundred Acre Bar

I played golf this morning at St Lucia Golf Course finishing up at about 10:45am. Having been on the course at 7am I was gasping for something to eat and thought, for the first time in the near to 30 rounds of golf I have played at St Lucia, of getting something to eat at the Hundred Acre Bar which over looks the 13th and 18th greens.

Having viewed the menu and chosen my meal, noting that the breakfast menu ended at 11am, I went to order only to be told that the kitchen was closed and, according the waiter who served me, “if I send back another order the chef will kill me”.

So 15 minutes before the advertised time I was unable to order off the breakfast menu. To say I was not amused would be an understatement. Nonetheless I was still in need of something whilst I waited for the rest of the golf social group I play with to finish. A skinny flat white was ordered and some 20 minutes later was duly delivered. It was lukewarm at best and three swallows later I had abandoned any thought of hanging around the venue and headed home.

I am sad to say I will never recommend anyone to this establishment again. This is bearing in mind that generally, in the past, if anyone had asked me for a breakfast recommendation on that side of the city I would have always suggested the Hundred Acre Bar first. Certainly if you are golfer expecting a feed after your round you will be left sorely disappointed. Maybe if I had been wearing the lycra that the cyclists who frequent the establishment, I might have had a better chance but I will never know!

Final word: didn’t get to try the food but the coffee was ordinary at best and service staff couldn’t really give a toss. Give it a wide berth!

Hundred Acre Bar on Urbanspoon

Shumpty Eats: Reserve Restaurant

It has been a long time since I wrote a restaurant review and by the flow of visitors to this blog for some reviews it has been remiss of me to not continue to with the Shumpty Eats series. Henceforth I will try to keep this series going on a fortnightly basis with a review of a particular restaurant that I have eaten at.

This fortnight’s restaurant is a new restaurant I have discovered just out of the CDB of Brisbane called Reserve. Straight off the bat I will say that it is the best restaurant I have eaten at in a very long time and is in the grand final (with Saffron in Arrowtown) for the best eating experience I have every had. I have been there now on no less than 5 occasions since first discovering it so this review really is an amalgam of those visits. I have experienced just about everything on the menu save for seafood and have picked my top dish from each of the four categories on the menu.

The first thing that is striking about Reserve is that its main dining room is cozy and warm with a fire place in the centre and the tables well spaced. The staff are friendly and, impressively, over my visits there in the last month have gotten to know me which shows a higher standard of service than some other places.

The menu is impressive and is at the more refined end of the restaurant spectrum but the staff are excellent and clear in the explanations and recommendations.

Onto the food:

Appetiser: Demi Tasse of Butternut Pumpkin and Truffle Soup

Served in a small coffee cup this appetiser is just about the best tasting soup I have ever had. Rich and creamy and served hot but not too hot this is the perfect start to the meal. If chef came out and said to me that all they had left in the kitchen was this dish I would grab my spoon and demand they send me bowl after bowl. This is a perfect start to the meal.

Entree: Roasted Banyard Quail with Leek and Bacon Stuffing, Sauce Soubise

I am a fan of Quail and anytime I see it on the menu I order it. This Quail dish is an absolute gem. It is the stuffing that sets it apart from most other quail dishes I have eaten: it just sets the meal off perfectly.

Main: Crispy Crackle Pork Belly with Celeriac Remoulabe, Spiced Prunes, Apple Sauce

If you take one piece of advice out of this review it is that this is the main you must order. It is without question the best main dish I have had in any restaurant in Australia. It defies a description that could do it justice. Suffice to say: go and try it!

Dessert: Vanilla Pannacotta with Cinnamon Beignets, Caramel Sauce

I am not normally a fan of desserts but I had my arm twisted to try this one and I was not disappointed. Often I find Pannacotta to be a bit hit and miss at some restaurants but this one was perfect and the caramel sauce the perfect accompaniment.

It would be pretty obvious that I am more than a bit enamoured with this restaurant. Do yourself a favour and check it out ASAP.

Where: Cnr Coronation Drive and Park Road, Milton, Brisbane



Food: 10 out of 10

Staff: 10 out of 10

Room: 9 out of 10

Final Comment: If you are trying to find a restaurant in Brisbane this is the place you must go!

Reserve Restaurant Milton on Urbanspoon

Shumpty Eats: 1889 Enoteca

Saturday night, as a preamble to my birthday, I celebrated my becoming a year older with dinner at another of my favourite restaurants in Brisbane, 1889 Enoteca in the Woolloongabba. Now this is a tough review for me to write because, paradoxically, in over 10 visits to this restaurant I have come to love the food in particular, and this is going to be a pretty bad review.

As always, lets start with the service and the fit out of the restaurant before launching into a discussion of the nosh on offer. The service on Saturday night was, it would be fair to say, at best ordinary and at worst some of the worst service I have received in a high end restaurant. Our waiter could not be less interested, our entrees were brought out and dumped on the table whilst it was still full with plates from our pre dinner bread and it took an age for us to get our bill. An example of the lack of interest our waiter in us rests on the fact of that my water glass was only filled once. As someone who eschews alcohol that made for a long evening.

The restaurant itself comprises two cozy rooms upstairs, a large “function” room downstairs dominated by a large table and on footpath dining. Inside it there is a buzz of noise from customers sitting no more than a foot apart. I should declare here I have never had a cavil with how the restaurant is fitted out and indeed enjoy the coziness of the place. Tonight however it just looked like the place was too full: people were being served their dinner at the bar and the tables in the “main” dining room seemed closer than usual.

All of this leads me to why I could forgive the bad service received: the restaurant was very busy and our waiter had to serve a heap of people. It is not the waiter’s fault but the restaurant’s if too many bookings are taken. I understand though the principals of capitalism and know that a restaurant is in the business of making money so I understand the owner’s keenness to pack more and more customers in.

I am a lover of food and can forgive even the worst of service if the food served to me is good. I can not therefore forgive the service received on Saturday night because the food served was not of the quality I expect, based on past experience, from this restaurant.

For entree I ordered the Affettati misti (piccolo) which is defined in the menu as:

Selection of hand-made cured meats with caper berries, vine ripened truss tomato, house baked bread

I will concede that the selection of cured meats that came out was excellent but there my acclaim for this dish ceases. The way in which this dish was served was confused as it came out on three largish white plates which quickly filled the smallish table on which I was sitting. Raw tomato and capers were not satisfying accompaniments for this dish and there was too little bread.

For main I ordered the Bucatini all’amatriciana which is defined in the menu as:

Hollow spaghetti, guanciale, chili, fresh tomato sauce, Pecorino Romano

I love an amatriciana as a pasta option in the main because of the mix of flavours between the bacon and the chilli. Unfortunately to say the pasta served to me was bland would be an understatement. If there was chilli in the dish I could not taste it. To add insult to injury the serving I received was so oily that I struggled to finish it. I concede that any dish that includes guanciale in the recipe is going to have some oil in it as a result but in this case the oil was just too much.

The final negative of the night came with my coffee: I ordered a cappucino and received a flat white. By this point I had lost the energy to send it back and just drank it so we could leave.

If this was my first experience of 1889 Enoteca I can say without hesitation I would never come back. I will not be doing that in this case as every other time before this visit I have left sated and happy. I will be giving 1889 Enoteca another chance: just not on a Saturday night in the future me thinks.

Food: 5/10

Service: 4/10

Fit out: 7/10

1889 Enoteca on Urbanspoon