Sorry for my delay in posting – good old Spooning has undergone a major facelift and I am hoping this new format is much to everyone’s approval. To kick off the first post in the new format I had an awesome visit to Oceans Dining and Drinks located at the Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach. This place is basically heaven in summer, opposite the beach with endless water views, a huge deck and fantastic food and drink. As opposed to moping about winter and the loss of the summer love they have embraced it wholeheartedly and decorated a large section inside to honour a winter lodge atmosphere. The new theme is called Après by the Sea and it embraces warmth with a fire, lots of wood, fluffy textured cushions and a warmer design that welcomes you and lulls you into a comfortable foodie bliss.
The Ocean’s venue itself is mostly a giant outdoor deck overlooking Coogee beach. In summer I could see most people only seeing the inside when ordering drinks and food unless it was a less than awesome day. The inside itself is quite large and accommodating. Oceans is suitable for families, young and old, corporate to surfy. There was curtains covering most of the windows I assume to keep in the warm but come summer they will be removed. There is an abundance of seating, from tables, lounges to even a bed. The bar runs most of one side and the back area, behind the double sided glass glass fire is the Après by the Sea area.
THE APRÈS BY THE SEA OFFER:
Après by the Sea can be reserved for larger group bookings, stand-alone events, a special celebration or to impress clients – reserve a fireside position, or the private dining area for a more exclusive experience. When not in use for events it is open to sit at for the public. The decor is worth it and so comforting – the fireplace area is nice – pity it’s not a roaring wood fire but you know, the environment, health and safety, nanny states, councils and so on. But the glass gas fire is still enchanting and the food is bloody amazing! There are special winter Après by the Sea cocktails you will also want to cuddle up with.
It was an absolute travesty I was driving because the drinks were out of this world. I had to stay three hours just to try them all and drive home under the limit.
- HENNYTHING IS POSSIBLE – Hennesy VS, apricot brandy, szechuan foam, cinnamon and turmeric. This was a creamy delight and mildly spicy. If you love szechuan you will love this. I enjoyed it but szechuan makes my tongue go numb – no idea why.
- DILL WITH IT – Absolute Wild Tea vodka, Licor 43, St Germain, Dill and Grapefruit Soda. This was easily the favourite of the night – I had two and would have had ten if I could have. It was also the only one out of the three that wasn’t spicy. I am not the hugest fans of spicy drinks.
- RED EYE MARTINI – Chilli Bacon Makers Mark, Kahlua, Licor 43, Espresso and Caramel Bacon. If it wasn’t spicy this would have been my drink of the night – just wonderful. I did get an extra large slice of bacon and kept dipping it in to the drink – now that was a treat.
They also offer some special winter wines you might want to check out and the House Spiced Mulled Wine might tickle your fancy.
APRÈS BY THE SEA FOOD:
There was too much food for me to actually get through it all. I felt like a well washed unbearded affluent Viking sitting by the fire with a table laden with delights. Besides the Oceans Dining and Drinks menu we sampled all the Après by the Sea treats. These were more canapés style and ideal for functions or parties. And bloody delicious!!
- Mini BBQ duck boa buns with Asian-slaw
- Eggplant schnitzel with a yoghurt sauce and chickpea crumble
- Cheese-burger spring rolls
- Seared scallops, with a cauliflower and parmesan puree and raspberry balsamic
- Macaroni and cheese croquettes with a beetroot relish
- Roasted cauliflower, quinoa, cranberry salad with crushed nuts and kale
The schnitzel was surprising – I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the eggplant. The croquettes I ate quite a few of and I skipped the cauliflower dish because cauliflower is gross and should be burned with fire haha. The scallops were the winner for me and the cheese-burger spring rolls were unique. I enjoyed them but they weren’t a table favourite and felt a little more Coles frozen food section as opposed to the delightful Oceans Menu.
OCEANS DINING AND DRINKS FOOD:
The centrepiece of our dining was the Chef’s Hot and Cold Seafood Selection. Just O M G – we feasted on Lobster, King Prawns, Oysters, Blue Swimmer Crab, Salmon Gravlax, Salt and Pepper Calamari with Fresh Lime, Spicy Tempura Battered Mussels, Grilled Salmon and Grilled Balmain Bugs. I am quite a seafood picky snob and basically shovelled in Lobsters, Balmain Bugs (my favourite), Calamari and the Gravlax was divine. There was so much on the table that it was actually hard to get to and eat – we had second story tiers of food and it was quite special.
It wasn’t all seafood and the sides were sublime – all of them are available off the menu. I won’t mention the cauliflower again, but the Figs with Charred Asparagus, Prosciutto, Wild Rocket and Goat’s Cheese was a table favourite and I am stoked the Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds wasn’t a huge table favourite because it’s a personal fave and I ate a tonne of them. Another favourite that I ate way too much of was the Shoe String Fries with Truffle Aioli and Parmesan – truffles are my weakness. So are carbs, who am I kidding.
The desserts were an epic follow up treat that had us all loosening the belts – we weren’t missing these babies! I may have smashed into my gob a Chocolate Brûlée Dome and then a few slices of Nutella Rocky Road Pizza. I may or may not have washed them down with a slice of Apple Strudel. That would be gluttonous so I will not confirm or deny eating three desserts.
If I had known about Après by the Sea early in June I would have booked my birthday here. If I lived east side I would be down at Oceans Dining and Drinks for Sunday Fundays and as for the food – it is marvellous and you want it on your plate. The venue is great and the design for Après by the Sea is warmly comforting and reminded me of the snow. The mulled wine and cocktails definitely aided in this.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
Oceans Dining and Drinks Deets:
PH: (02) 9315 9178
242 Arden St, Coogee NSW 2034
Mon – Fri: 3pm – late
Sat & Sun: 11am – late
BAR: Fully Licensed
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment and/or any PR agencies representing them. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.