Lifesavers on watch towers marked the entrance to Ben O'Donoghue's new South Bank Surf Club which opened last night.
In typical lifesaver style they were nonchalantly checking out the crowd but it must have been a trifle chilly atop those towers. And yes, they were wearing budgie smugglers while everyone else had donned overcoats and scarves. We were told to dress warm because it's an outside venue but it's really quite warm for an outside venue. The crowd and heaters kept us all toasty while the glasses of champagne dulled any pain.
South Bank Surf Club is located overlooking Kodak Beach in Brisbane's South Bank. The restaurant fits the position well - it's casual dining with an edge reflected in the menu which ranges from straight up char grilled grass fed Barcoo Darling Downs Angus X Rib Eye steak and Surf Club fish and chips to kingfish sashimi and wasabi prawns. The menu is heavily seafood but there's enough for non-seafood lovers (chicken, lamb, steak and kangaroo) to find a fix.
My highlight were the very smooth and fresh tasting oysters that were shucked in front of me. I was told they are just a couple of months old, unlike normal oysters which are grown for much longer. This may be the reason for the smooth and silky texture - delightful. Michael Dalton of Fino Foods is the supplier. These are available individually with a selection of sauces.
Ben has introduced a 'day' menu concept where there's a special share menu from Tuesday to Sunday - look for Mediterranean fish stew, stir fried chilli blue swimmer crab and whole grilled Thai-style reef fish amongst others.
Even the breakfast menu looks interesting - Surf Club Crumble pots with stewed seasonal fruits and Vannella buffalo yoghurt and granola crumble appeal to me. I'd also be tempted by Eggs Bender - Snowy Morrison’s hot smoked salmon, poached free range eggs, horse radish hollandaise and potato hotcake.
This is a kid friendly venue and there's a special nipper's menu which should delight as any course is served with ice cream and lemonade.
Bottom line: One to check out once the dust settles. Great for seafood lovers.
South Bank Surf Club