The highlight of Day 6 was our dinner at The Boatshed Restaurant. I was really looking forward to eating at The Boatshed after seeing a number of adverts in various Geraldton/Coral Coast brochures/maps when we were planning our holiday. I rang on Friday night to make a reservation for Saturday – ordinarily I would’ve rung far earlier in advance, but hey, I was in holiday mode and didn’t think about it until Friday afternoon :). I was told that they were pretty much booked out for Saturday night but could fit us in at 6pm, which suited us very well.
Hot tip: if you go to Geraldton and plan to dine at the Boatshed, drop into the Geraldton Visitor Centre (located at the corner of Chapman Road & Bayly Street) and grab yourself a Boatshed Restaurant free drink voucher (one voucher per person per booking, valid for a beer, soft drink or spirit and mixer) – we used ours for Jac’s James Boag beer and my pineapple juice.
The restaurant is in a converted house, with different rooms utilised for dining and group bookings/functions. It had a very similar feel to and reminded me of the Witch’s Cauldron in Subiaco. By luck, we were given a table in the corner of one of the rooms, right next to a wall, which we liked very much – this position in the room felt quite intimate, as opposed to say, one of the tables right in the middle of the room. The room did get increasingly noisy and echoey as more diners arrived, so we were happy to feel like we were tucked away from most of them, in our little corner.
We decided to share a serve of North West garlic prawns ($18.00) for entree. These were just beautiful. The prawns were huge and cooked to bursty perfection (there were six, so we had three each), and according to the menu, they were cooked with garlic, deglazed with white wine and finished in a cream reduction. That creamy sauce was just gorgeous. We speared our prawns with our forks and wiped them on the plate before every bite to make each mouthful as saucy as possible. Honestly, that sauce was plate-licking-good. The rice was nice, though nothing special – it went very well with the prawns and that amazing sauce.
For her main course, Jac ordered the seafood crepe ($32.00) – I think she had seafood crepe on the brain after smelling/seeing the seafood crepe at the next table when we had lunch at the Freemasons Hotel earlier in the week. The seafood filling consisted of a generous quantity and variety of seafood – fish, prawns, mussels, squid, scallops and lobster, which had been panfried with bacon pieces and tossed in a rich, creamy cheese sauce. Jac found some of the squid a little rubbery but overall she enjoyed this dish immensely.
I ordered the rib-eye cutlet ($33.00) for my main course, which consisted a grilled 500 gram steak with a choice of pepper, mushroom or diane sauce. I chose to have my steak medium, with mushroom sauce. The steak was served sizzling spectacularly at our table – it did spit and sizzle fiercely when it first arrived – I had to lean back to avoid steak juices and sauce hitting my shirt. Even after the sizzling and spitting had ceased, I did have to be careful when eating – the spitting had left sticky droplets on the surface of the table, and I didn’t want to get sticky bits on my shirt sleeves – perhaps they should serve the steak on a larger dish, so that the spitting juices can land on the plate, rather than the table. I ended up wiping the table with my napkin. The steak came served with chips, which was a nice surprise – the menu had mentioned nothing about the steak coming with chips. I was pleased to see that the chips were served next to the steak, rather than under the steak which seems to be many chefs’ way of serving meat and chips – the chips were as a result crispy rather than prematurely soggified by the steak juices/being smother-steamed by the steak. The sauce was fantastic – absolutely loaded with mushrooms, with a rich beefy flavour. My steak was so tender I barely had to push my knife down to cut it.
I also had a side serve of steamed vegetables ($6.00). The broccoli and zucchini were perfectly cooked, firm but not hard. The honey carrots were deliciously sweet, tasting of butter and honey.
We were both too full to manage a dessert each and so we shared a banana and bourbon crepe ($14.50). Slices of banana were sauteed with butter and brown sugar, finished with flamed bourbon and served with lashings of cream and a scoop of ice cream. The sauce was lusciously sweet, darkly rich and syrupy, and you could most definitely taste the booze. The bananas were nicely caramelised. The spun sugar lattice garnish provided a satisfyingly crispy texture contrast. If you shut your eyes and plunged in you would’ve thought you had landed in sweet dessert heaven. However, with eyes open you could not fail to see as we did that the crepe itself was rather on the thick and misshapen side. To us, it appeared that we had been served a crepe disaster or some sort of poorly executed crepe shortcut – EDIT: actually, Jac said it looked like a nappy …ewwwww – but yes, the dish tasted absolutely gorgeous – the banana, sauce and cream more than compensated for the crepe’s thickness. I took a couple of photos from different angles, but really, it was an ugly lump of a crepe and no amount of repositioning could beautify it or give it definition.
Crepe aesthetics problems aside, I must declare that we loved our meal, and we will definitely dine at The Boatshed again if we ever find ourselves back in Geraldton. The service was efficient and friendly without too much unnecessary waiter-chatter, and the food was delicious, even the ugliest dish (as I hope I’ve conveyed).
Oh yes, and The Boatshed Restaurant has cute loo signs! The mens toilet is signified by the Blue Bone Groper sign (Hmmmm, bone? Isn’t that a little rude? Not that I’m offended!), and the ladies is indicated by the Pink Snapper. I had to wait until there was no one about to see me taking photos at the toilets – I didn’t want to look like some sort of weirdo now, did I? Heh.
The Boatshed Restaurant is located at 357 Marine Terrace in Geraldton and is open 6 nights a week, Monday to Saturday from 6pm and is fully licensed. The phone number for reservations is (08) 9921 5500.
Still more holiday posts to come.