The Hamptons is the out of town playground for New York’s rich and famous. Now Perth has gotten in on the action with the latest lavish coastal instalment that is Hamptons City Beach. City Beach as a coastal dining destination is really stepping it up of late. It’s fitting because seriously the view from the Hampton’s dining room is postcard perfect, white sandy beaches and rolling blue waves.
And then there’s the fit out as you walk inside. Oh she’s got the look alright. It has the feel of understated luxury, with plush patterned carpet throughout the main dining room, a medley of welcoming leather clad booths and crisp white chairs and tables, along with an abundance of windows so natural light spills in, making it a thoroughly inviting space to dine. With its combination of indoor and outdoor options it actually seats an impressive 400 people!
We recently headed along to take advantage of a soft opening week promotion where your food bill was 50% though you knew it was a training session for staff. I thought it was an excellent idea. Let them find their feet and get into the groove of their new vast venue before the more ‘official’ opening day. On a Saturday with a little sunshine we arrived promptly at 12 and were shown to a delightful table for two near the expansive glass window. It was idyllic. It’s a nice feeling after smashing out a solid gym sesh in the morning and then racing around to do some food shopping to know you’ve arrived at lunch and have the exciting anticipation of a few leisurely hours of dining ahead. Bliss. And with my favourite lunching companion no less! With a nice bottle of red chosen and a glass in hand we turned our attention to the menu.
Now I’ll admit that I’m one who is partial to a bit of pre work before I go to a restaurant and am happy to study a menu to try and short list a few options before I arrive. As Hamptons is a newbie that wasn’t an option so it was like a big reveal when I first saw the menu. It was go time! As I scanned through each page there were lots of dishes that took my fancy. Helpfully it is divided into a few different sections and as my GG is always agreeable to making meals more of a shared affair, we decided to go with:
- Split roasted Shark Bay prawns, kipfler and celery crisp, witlof, citrus dressing ($34)
- Sweet corn and manchego croquettes, beetroot chutney ($16)
- Freshly shucked oysters, house dressing ($4 each, $36 dozen)
- Spicy crab and prawn tagliatelle, herb pangrattato, saffron broth ($32)
- Dry aged Sirloin (400g), chips, jus, chimichurri ($48)
As we waited for our meal I looked around and saw that the majority of the dining room was now full, which I suspected was a sign of things to come for the Hamptons, because in Summer as the weather eventually warms up, I could see this place being incredibly popular.
Our starters arrived and I never thought I’d be one to order oysters. There was a time when these sea dwelling goobers did nothing for me and the thought of even trying one was horrifying, but then you have one shucked fresh and nice and cold with a splash of good vinaigrette and you finally understand what all the fuss is about. So we started with three of those each and they fit the bill perfectly as being good oysters. Elegantly arranged, fresh and chilled and the house made dressings a pleasing addition. The first dish was soon devoured in an frantic flurry of tipped shells.
Next up were the croquettes. Sweet corn and manchego croquettes, beetroot chutney. And seriously is the world not a better place because there are croquettes in it? I’m such a fan of a good croquette and it’s hard to go past one which is an indulgent blend of manchego cheese and subtle sweet corn. The dollop of beetroot relish on top added a nice tart contrast to these precious morsels. The popcorn was an interesting addition and seems to be very on trend, but I’m not entirely sure whether the corn done two ways was needed, but hey it was still polished off once the croquettes had swiftly disappeared.
Our final starter was actually one from the larger plates section. Split roasted Shark Bay prawns, kipfler and celery crisp, witlof, citrus dressing. This dish was a vision – ‘you eat with with your eyes’ in full effect! Just so striking with the contrast of colours and shapes. It looked like a work of art. So fair to say I was fairly smitten before I’d even taken a bite. There was a very subtle charred flavour to those plump Shark Bay prawns and it paired brilliantly with the sweet citrus segments and subtle bitterness from the witlof and pokey celery crisp greenery. It was seriously one of the loveliest dishes I’ve eaten this year. So delicious and perfectly balanced. Great number of prawns too.
Given our starters had knocked it out of the park I was excited to tackle the two mains on the way. And as I discovered is the case, as chefs move venues there was similarity to the tagliatelle dish from a previous visit elsewhere but I welcomed the opportunity to try this dish again. Spicy crab and prawn tagliatelle, herb pangrattato, saffron broth. A generous mound of freshly cut pasta ribbons was delivered, intertwined with a decent amount of seafood, a splash of fragrant broth and a generous sprinkle of crunchy pangrattato. I’d liked it before and I liked it again. It’s a lovely dish.
And then there was the steak. Dry aged Sirloin (400g), chips, jus, chimichurri. It was well seasoned and had been cooked to medium rare perfection. It was a well handled piece of meat. There were two accompanying sauces, a rich jus and a lively chimichurri. We collectively agreed that we preferred the latter but even sans sauce it was a lovely steak. Also honourable mention goes to the chips. They had this amazing rosemary salty flavour and were stand out good.
What a feed! There was barely room for dessert! I say barely because obviously I was going to find room. They might have to roll me out, but I made my peace with that. There was a neat collection of dessert offerings and also a cheese selection. The chocolate option took my fancy, Chocolate marquise, raspberry, white chocolate icecream ($14), and soon enough it was delivered. So elegant. A perfect scoop of raspberry sorbet atop an ample slice of chocolate marquis before the bowl was scattered with white chocolate and freeze dried raspberry powder. Beautiful to look at and as beautiful to eat. A real decadent richness to that marquise which was pleasingly balanced by the refreshing fruity chill from the ruby red raspberry sorbet. Quite the way to round out proceedings.
It had been a lovely lunch. The kitchen team may only be relatively new to working together, but clearly they collectively have a lot of skill, because the menu items we tried were all delicious. I’m actually really looking forward to heading back soon to revisit some of my new favourites and try a few other dishes too.
Seaside dining at some of its finest. Take me back to the Hamptons!