134 West Coast Drive, Sorrento
Ph: (08) 9246 9221
A New Take on an Old Favourite
I visited White Salt on a dark and stormy day with views of the wind and rain on the coastal vista providing a natural accompaniment to our feastings. With a long history of providing quality food and service, White Salt is introducing a new menu with the same family feel and surroundings. Their new chef Marco Parussini brings his international experience of working in Italy and Paris, consolidated with his love of European and Australian ingredients.
Inspired by the ocean on the doorstep, Marco celebrates local Australian fare with a seafood focus. I started the meal with the Grilled Sardines balanced on a medley of tomatoes and finely sliced red onions with parsley and micro herbs. The acidic bite of the cherry tomatoes and red onion cut through the crispy sardines and the rich salinity was complemented by a smattering of capers. The dish was a fantastic accompaniment to the 2019 West Cape Howe Sauvignon Blanc, with the crisp citrus notes matching the acidity present on the plate.
The Exmouth King Snapper was soft and melt in your mouth and the buttery texture matched the smooth and delicate sweetness offered by the parsnip and truffle puree. The baby leek and courgettes with flowers added crunch and texture.
When the Grilled King Prawns arrived I was transported to a warm beachside holiday far away from the blustery and stormy conditions. The butterflied prawns sat amongst cubes of compressed watermelon basted in a lime juice. The dish was reminiscent of a cocktail; with zest of the lime balancing out the fruity finish of the watermelon and bringing out the sweetness of the firm prawn flesh. This is the type of dish that makes you feel a little special – like you’ve given yourself a well deserved treat.
The Pork Chop with Sous Vide Fennel brought me back to the present moment with its rustic and hearty appeal offering the right amount of comfort for the conditions outside. I could smell this dish before it was placed on the table with the rich and buttery notes of the fennel reaching my nostrils from a few feet away. The pork chop was well cooked and maintained moisture when paired with the mustard jus. Softly cooked, the fennel was the highlight with the natural subtle aniseed characteristics complemented with sambuca and garlic butter flavours. Accompanying the dish was the 2019 West Cape Howe Shiraz and the peppercorn notes highlighted the savoury notes in the jus.
Marco hopes to offer some creativity and flair with the new menu outside the traditional parameters of the ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’ experience. The Rhubarb and Balsamic Compote with coriander, mint, spring onions and pine nuts on sourdough is a key example.With big strong flavours, the coriander and spring onion cut through the tartness of the rhubarb, offering a fresh reprieve from the sweet and sour notes of the balsamic. The goat’s cheese balances out the dish with a pleasant intensity while the creaminess accompanying the dense texture of the sourdough makes you chase the plate for more.
I finally finished with a Strawberry Tart. This deconstructed marvel was art on a plate with sprinklings of elderflowers sitting amongst beds of fresh berries, wild berry mousse, coulis, meringue shards, a tart shell and a chocolate sphere. The dessert was satisfying without being too much and the flavours carried through the dish invite you to dip the meringue and tart shell pieces into the saucy elements. A beautiful finale to a delightful menu.
By Danica Scott