A Whole Lot of Love
There’s something decadent about a gin tasting plate on languid summer’s day, especially in the gorgeous surrounds of Eagle Bay. Who were we to argue with Steve Chapman, gin connoisseur and owner of Lot 80?
Even before a morsel of food had passed our lips, Poor Toms, White Knuckle, Four Pillars and Archie Rose were selected from over 170 gins in the Gin Room. Spritzed with East Imperial and Fever Tree tonic waters, the addition of lime and dried orange slices created a unique taste of varying tartness with each sip.
When Steve arrived at the 175-acre property a few years ago, it hardly resembled the now architecturally designed timber and stone restaurant it is today. Once a rustic dwelling handcrafted by local farmers and reached by a steep dirt track (now bituminised), Lot 80 still exudes an air of mystery reserved for the many locals in on the secret, including the odd kangaroo. As the afternoon rolled on, and further adding to the allure, from time to time diners would disappear into the scrub to follow the 1.5-kilometre beach track to the pristine waters of Eagle Bay.
Settling in on the deck for the anticipated feast, we began with the wasabi tempura Exmouth wild tiger prawns, which were sweet and firm, and served with creamy Japanese mayonnaise to offset the saltiness. The 2017 Frankland Estate Riesling (Frankland, WA) cut through the oiliness of the tempura batter leaving a crisp aftertaste. Mixing the mayonnaise, sesame seeds and salt with the microgreens was a masterstroke and added further dimension to an already well-executed dish.
With the tuna still dancing on our palates, the grilled Fremantle octopus followed with a burst of smokiness. Every mouthful was exciting: fresh mint and coriander, tangy tomato, red sorghum and creamy baba ganoush with the occasional pop of pomegranate (togarashi). The 2014 Pierro Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot L.T.CF. (Margaret River, WA) laced with redcurrant, sage and liquorice, further complimented the flavours of an already tasty dish.
The truffle honey cheese cream-filled Comté Gougéres served with a rocket and red wine poached pear salad was like experiencing an entire wine and cheese tasting in a single mouthful. Also, amazing value, as are all the prices, including the desserts such as the vegan dark chocolate mousse, and strawberry and limoncello Tiramisu.
Although there’s plenty of seating inside the restaurant and on the deck, plus additional garden seating, bookings are recommended for leisurely feasts over shared seafood platters, woodfired pizzas and Paella on Sundays, not to mention the live music, long table celebrations and casual weddings.
There’s a lot to love about Lot 80.