A sunny Sunday can present the perfect opportunity for an impromptu lunch excursion. Such was the case recently for GG and I and we got it in our minds that we fancied some sea-side dining. So on perusing a few menus online we decided to give Clancy’s in City Beach a whirl.
We arrived nice and early, actually a touch before the kitchen in the restaurant section had opened, but were shown to a table and were able to order a drink and enjoy the view.
Really stunning location overlooking City Beach and the fit out of the place is bright and colourful and very open. It looked great!
We decided we’d share a few dishes and set to work studying the small shared dishes section of the menu to decide what to have. I have to say that there were many dishes that I was keen to order! Between us we managed to narrow it down to six and when it hit 12pm and we placed our order with our waitress she did let us know that this would likely be an ample amount of food! She did query whether we would prefer to order a few and then look to order some more down the track. We were feeling ambitious and stuck to our initial plans of six dishes. We were hungry after all!
grilled haloumi, watermelon, spinach, pistachio, crystallised ginger + lemon dressing 11
pumpkin & feta arancini, red pepper pesto, basil aioli 12
smoked chilli + tomato braised pork shoulder, grilled bacon, parmesan + jalapeño cornbread 16
crumbed fish tacos, shredded cabbage, tomato salsa, coriander, avocado + cumin yoghurt 17
snapper ceviche, citrus avocado, grilled sweet corn + chilli salsa in fried wanton baskets 17
pan fried garlic + chilli marinated cuttlefish, piquillo pepper, quinoa + coriander salad, sherry vinegar, olive oil 18
Didn’t take too long at all for the dishes to start arriving and as soon as they did I could appreciate the waitress’s gentle warning. The size of each dish was very generous! There was barely room for a side plate when our six dishes arrived and it was like Tetris to get them all to fit. But we managed and we surveyed the impressive spread.
First impressions were that everything looked great! Ingredients all looked super fresh and were creatively presented. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in! We decided to be strategic about the order we tackled the dishes in and started with the hot seafood with the plan of ending with the salad.
So first up we tried the pan fried garlic + chilli marinated cuttlefish, piquillo pepper, quinoa + coriander salad, sherry vinegar, olive oil. Amazing! I haven’t had cuttlefish on too many occasions but essentially find it very similar to squid. It was cooked to perfection. Nothing rubbery about it at all and in combination with the flavoursome quinoa salad it was just a delicious balance of flavours. We both loved this dish and it definitely raised the bar for the next five.
So from here we continued our seafood journey with the crumbed fish tacos, shredded cabbage, tomato salsa, coriander, avocado + cumin yoghurt. I don’t often opt for a hard taco these days. I find them hard work to eat without spilling things everywhere and I’m useless at hand foods at the best of times. But I was still keen to give it a go. The fish itself was really nice. Lightly crumbed on the outside and total white flakey goodness inside. Nothing fishy about it so that’s a win. However with the shredded red cabbage and only a small amount of the avocado and cumin yoghurt I found it a bit bland. I only realized after I ate mine that I didn’t have any of the tomato salsa in my taco, but I’m just not sure that some tomato would have upped the flavour stakes in this dish. So while I liked the fish, overall I thought these tacos could have been a bit more punchy in the flavour stakes.
Up next we took a sojourn from seafood with the pumpkin & feta arancini, red pepper pesto, basil aioli. I am a long time arancini fan and did think the pumpkin and feta was a lovely combo, along with the pesto and aioli. If I was being picky the trend of underseasoning seemed to continue with this dish. Just a sprinkle more salt was all I was chasing. I didn’t mind these though.
The final hot dish we had ordered was the smoked chilli + tomato braised pork shoulder, grilled bacon, parmesan + jalapeño cornbread. We both agreed on seeing this on the menu that it just sounded amazing. The dish presented well and having the cornbread as a base for the pork was an interesting idea. However, flavourwise again we were both left wanting. The pork just had no kick. If there was chilli we couldn’t taste it. The meat itself was almost a little watery tasting. I’d have to say that of all the dishes we ordered, this one proved the most disappointing, I think because we both had such high expectations on ordering it.
Back to the ocean and dish five was the snapper ceviche, citrus avocado, grilled sweet corn + chilli salsa in fried wanton baskets. Again, pretty as a picture, but I think with a ceviche I was hoping for a real zesty citrus flavour. Really didn’t get that with this dish. The snapper itself was very nice, but again it was a little bland.
Finally and almost as a palate cleanser of sorts we finished with grilled haloumi, watermelon, spinach, pistachio, crystallised ginger + lemon dressing. It wasn’t bad. I quite liked the combination of the salty haloumi along with the refreshing sweetness from the watermelon. As far as a salady dish goes it was satisfying.
So we’d ordered six dishes and had really only loved one of them. Not the best outing. No faulting the service, our waitress had been lovely and our orders had arrived swiftly, but just the impressive appearance of the food had not, for the most part, been reflected in the taste. As we left I was more than a little disappointed but did notice on our walk to the till that the dish of choice at other tables was the classic fish and chips. If I ventured back I’d stick with that.