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The Beach Club @ The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

31 January 2013

Cottesloe Beach is – hands down – one of my favourite places in Perth.

Whenever overseas friends and family come to visit Western Australia, we ALWAYS take them to the iconic beach. To drink coffee. To eat ice cream. To devour fish and chips. To walk along the beach. To swim. To play in the play ground. And most of all, to watch the spectacular sunset over the Indian Ocean.

Last week I was invited to a special event at a brand new eatery called The Beach Club at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel, which yes, overlooks Cottesloe Beach.

The event was a Menu Tasting, specially organised for local food bloggers (and me), where we also met the Executive Director of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel, Gary Gosatti, and food consultant Russell Blaikie, of Must Winebar and Bistro fame.

I felt a little out of my depth surrounded by hardcore food bloggers. Here I was… a fashion-crazy, cycling fanatic, in the depths of kid-wrangling, paleo eating and a fitness program.

And here they all are – absolutely lovely people – chatting passionately about the *best* places to buy pandan cake. I’m thinking – “OMG I haven’t eaten pandan cake in years. Sugar! Food colouring! Wheat! It’s so bad for you!!”

Haha I realised that THAT kind of attitude was totally unacceptable in these circumstances. So I decided to shut the hell up, lighten up, abandon all, and just ENJOY THE MEAL.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Oh before I get into the food.

I have to share my other loves. Fashion and gorgeous graphic design. Check this out. My canary yellow, peplum dress matched the food menu AND the bar stool that I was sitting on. Howzat!

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Feta whip, dukkah, Aussie olives, and bread by Jean-Pierre Sancho – $14

The first dish to arrive was the crusty bread. This made me laugh because I’m trying to eat less wheat. Nonetheless, I tore off a crust and got stuck into it, like a real foodie.

The feta whip was lovely, smooth and creamy, with a good feta bite to it. Then when mixed with the crumbly dukkah… it was delicious. I would have eaten more, but I discovered…

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

…the olives. Oh god, I love eating good olives.

I knew that I had eaten too many, when I found myself fingering the jar like a monkey, trying to get the blasted ones that were stuck to the bottom of the jar.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Fried squid with Turkish pepper & tzatziki – $16

Oh hello there. I thought you were shoe string fries. But no. These were the softest, juiciest and most tender squid rings that I have ever eaten. Damn they were good.

My 9 year old son and I share a love for fried squid. We have been restaurant hopping in search of the best squid rings… and these might be it. I will definitely have to take him here to see what he thinks.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Spicy lamb meat balls with tomato sauce & yoghurt – $9 for a plate of 5

These lamb meat balls were quite different. Usually lamb meat balls are chewy, meaty and with a strong lamby flavour.

But this meat ball was really soft, fluffy, and it kind of crumbled when I bit into it. It was so light and flavoursome, that it filled my palate with mild spices, while the sweetness from the tomato sauce and the tang from the yoghurt made my mouth explode with happiness.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Pancetta, gorgonzola, spinach and and bechamel pizza – $24

Next up were the wood fired pizzas. Hmm. I’m a bit indifferent to pizzas nowadays. I make pizzas at home, once a week. So when I go out to eat… I prefer not to order a pizza. If I do… it had better promise to taste fricking amazing and be made by magical elves to make it worth my pain.

As I reluctantly munched my way through this slice – hallelujah – it was awesome!

Pancetta and blue cheese pizza? YUM. Can’t really go wrong there.

I sunk into my seat with pleasure, revelling in the magic of four simple ingredients. So simple. So good.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Prawns, chilli, Borello bocconcini, and basil pizza – $25

I love eating prawns. And chili. So this pizza totally hit my happy spot.

Speaking of prawns.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Grilled Carnarvon tiger prawns, pineapple, chilli & lime salsa, bean sprout salad – $34

This dish was the big winner for me.

It looked like a mess, and it was a bit hard to see the prawns… but the aromas, oh my! The smell of the nuts and the lime and the hot prawns and chili… ahhh it was sooooo goooood.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

I was bouncing around on my seat as I ate this. The prawns were so fresh! Bean sprouts! Mint! It was all so yummy!

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

Lastly, we tried the Arkady Margaret River lamb and Mount Barker chicken cooked over charcoal served with giant tabouli salad & tzatziki – $27

I was pretty full at this point. I think I ate too many prawns. I should have paced myself properly. Such a newbie error.

The meats were gorgeously, soft and juicy. They were slow roasted on the woodfired rotisseries, and you can choose to order either the lamb, chicken or have them mixed up, served with giant pearl couscous.

The flavours of the tabouli went well with the meat. But I’m not a big fan of pearl couscous. I’m more of a salad or salsa kinda girl.

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Cottesloe Beach Hotel

We were given a tour of The Beach Club, and I adored what I saw.

There was a fresh mix of different dining spaces – modern lounge chairs and low coffee tables (I saw a few families with kids in that area), normal table seating for a sit-down dining experience, bar stools and high tables for a more pub-style gathering, really nice corners to sit and chill out with friends… and you can even sit outside in the open air, under beach umbrellas (out of the wind!).

The Beach Club @ Cottesloe Beach Hotel

It was fantastic to see a place like this emerge in the beachside Cottesloe area. It was stylish, sophisticated, breezy, relaxed and definitely more “grown up” than its former life as an old beer garden.

The food was superb too, offering patrons a well considered menu for modern Australian dining.

It is definitely a place where I would take my family for a meal, meet a girlfriend for coffee, take a big group of friends for dinner, or just sit around with friends sharing nibbles and a beer.

And if you’re a visitor of Perth, make sure you check out Cottesloe Beach, go for a walk, have an ice cream, watch the sunset, then visit The Cott Beach Hotel for a meal to end your day. It’s just opposite the main beach car park.

Wearing Yellow to the The Beach Club

And lastly, just so everyone doesn’t forget that I like to mix up fashion with my food… this is what I wore to the The Beach Club.

I was probably a bit over dressed when I arrived (6pm) because there were lots of women wearing sun dresses and beachy tops and shorts. But I didn’t feel awkwardly over dressed at all.

By evening (8pm), there was a big after-work corporate crowd, lots of women in evening party dresses, and still lots of people in casual summer clothes and sandals! I love the laid-back beachy fashion mix!

The Beach Club
Cottesloe Beach Hotel
104 Marine Parade
Cottesloe, Western Australia

www.cottesloebeachhotel.com.au

A big thanks to The Beach Club for the invitation and dining experience.

(All photos of the food are my own. Taken with a Nikon D90 and 35mm f1.4 lens.)

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