It had been many, many years since I last went to AQWA – The Aquarium of Western Australia. So long in fact that I’m pretty sure it was called Underwater World when I visited so I’m highlighting my vintage. They’ve started doing a ‘Dine Beneath The Sea’ series where lucky guests get to explore AQWA after hours, for an adults only experience, before enjoying a delicious three course meal seated inside the underwater tunnel. A very unique place to dine!
I felt incredibly lucky to be invited along recently to give dining beneath the sea a go and I was so excited! GG and I headed along on a Friday evening and arrived a touch before 7 o’clock, joining the eager crowd waiting for the doors to swing open. As you entered, friendly waiters offered trays of drinks and I happily took a glass of sparkling as we headed in. It is amazing to see so many beautiful sea creatures in their various aquariums. I’ll be honest, a lot of them I’d never seen before! Like this bright orange slug creature, where’s he been hiding?
I was particularly taken by the tanks of jelly fish with their striking lighting, which made them seem suspended in the water, before gently floating about. Just beautiful, and this scenery was perfectly matched with the easy listening tunes they had playing. The mood was set and very much favoured a couples night out. There was a distinct lovey doviness in the air!
A few tasty canapes, Chilli garlic prawns with crispy chorizo and Spicy savoury cones filled with tomato salsa, avocado jalapenos and sour cream, were offered as guests wandered throughout the main floor and definitely piqued the appetite.
Did I love seeing the sea horses? Or course, they are amazing. Did I manage to find Nemo? I sure did, there were a few of those cuties hanging out together. And Dory too? You bet, she was there in all her brilliant blue. It wasn’t our normal Friday night out and I think that was a big part of what made it so special. It isn’t something you get to do every day.
We were then shown down the stairs to our tables….. beneath the sea. Thirty two tables for two were arranged along the length of the underwater tunnel, covered in white linen table clothes and adorned with a vase of colourful florals and a flickering candle. Oh yes, they had nailed the romance factor!
A fairy lit drinks trolley wandered throughout ensuring people had a drink in hand.
So there you sit with your special someone, enjoying a wine, while your eyes are drawn to the constant movement – the sharks, giant sting rays, turtles and schools of many different types of fish. It’s honestly like you never stop looking around, it’s distracting, but in a really wonderful way.
Execution of the meal was on point, with the talented kitchen team ensuring the timing of each of the three courses was pleasingly spaced out. Entrees of Smoked chicken breast on a bed of rocket with mango salsa and pancetta was light and tasty, with a well considered pairing of different flavours and textures.
For mains there were two choices. GG ordered the Beef fillet cooked medium rare with truffle mash, glazed baby carrots and a creamy wild mushroom sauce, while I went with the Crispy skin barramundi severed with baby chat potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes and lemon infused greens. Absolutely no doubt that I felt slightly strange eating fish in front of fish, but it was really nice fish! It was well cooked and I really enjoyed what they’d done with the spuds. Across the table I did get to try a bite of the beef fillet and it was tender and that mushroom sauce was a winner. Two courses in and we were thoroughly enjoying our meal.
Dessert was Sticky date pudding with Bailey’s butterscotch sauce and Simmo’s gourmet vanilla ice-cream. Talk about a crowd pleaser! Everyone loves a sticky date and this sweet treat rounded out the meal beautifully. It’s not a night out you’ll soon forget. The AQWA team ensure all guests are well looked after and they want your visit to be magical and ours surely was. These dinners are popular, but they do have a wait list you can sign up to if you head to the link here.
My thanks to the AQWA team for having us along. I like to be, under the sea.