Long time, no sea … they’re back!
Those of us who have a digital persona become aware of important events so much more quickly than those who are not au fait with the digital world. It is possible that virtual reality is the best place to be but after lunch at Long Time No Sea I can confirm that actual reality is best. You need to have been hooked into Facebook or Instagram (or both) to have discovered that Will and Sophie are back from their Western Australian trip. The G and I are digitally hyper-aware and we booked in for the first day of the reopened Long Time No Sea: 1 November 2017. Keen readers of my musings will recall that I wrote about Long Time No Sea in January.
Above: The LTNS crew: (L to R) Henry, Megan, Sophie and Will … and Slim. Photo: Isobel Green Moore We found the place unchanged from when we had last visited it in May but the food was a new experience. Will and Sophie are joined by their friends Henry and Megan.Henry’s helping Will backstage while Megan (with her stunning Canadian accent)joins the lovely Sophie at front of house. The menu is designed in red and grey with an easy-to- read sans serif font. I didn’t read it. There was no need. For some while now, when I visit what I judge to be a good restaurant (and the judgement is entirely mine), I like to leave it to the kitchen to decide what I will eat. When I looked at Long Time No Sea’s menu my eye alighted immediately on the top left which read “Let us feed you (it’s what we love to do)”. The G and my daughter Izzy were up for the “feed me” option and from the moment a bowl of variously sized and coloured olives in an orange-flavoured marinade arrived we were on a culinary ride.Will bakes his own bread. He also makes his own Danish pastries; they were on the counter as we walked in. Three of them came home with us. It’s a long day for Will, Will bakes his own bread. He also makes his own Danish pastries; they were on the counter as we walked in. Three of them came home with us. It’s a long day for Will, and presumably Sophie and Megan and Henry, but he clearly loves it. “I get up at 0530,” he told me. Well, I am glad someone does.We had not had time to finish the olives before a plate of stracciatella, salted tomato and basil arrived. Spread on Will’s bread this was splendid. We had roasted bone marrow that was served with beef jus, beetroot and herbs on a leaf of radicchio; I rolled mine up and it was gone in a flash. I have always been big on offal, and bone marrow is a particular favourite; not, however, of my daughter but that meant I had two. We followed the bone marrow with tiny and succulent local squid rings with pork crumbs and lightly coated in a citrus emulsion. I don’t know why it is, but anything from the sea seems to go particularly well with anything from a pig. I remember being in Port Isaac in Cornwall (which you will know better as Port Wen in Doc Martin) and enjoying a slice of black pudding topped with a scallop. Marvellous; just like the squid with pork crumbs that Will made. This was followed by pipis. I have seen these described as an unassuming shellfish. This is nonsense; Will prepared them with a sauce of XO butter and chilli; I found the trick was to scoop the sauce up in the shells and lick them clean. I doubt my mother would have approved but she wasn’t there to see.
Above: Perfectly presented: leaves arranged as a flower You would think by now that we had had our fill and that the $55 for the “feed me” menu option must have run out. We probably had had our fill but this did not stop us from doing justice to the beautifully slow-roasted lamb shoulder that came apart with a gentle touch from a spoon. This was served in a smooth and creamy sauce verde that demanded to be hoovered up with a spoon. This was served with a salad that was as well presented as any salad I have seen; absolutely simple, perfect purple butterhead lettuce leaves with just a light vinaigrette dressing. And roast potatoes. It is at this point in a meal that The G is prone to say “well, we don’t need desert.” I remind her that no one needs desert but it is an essential part of the human condition that need and desire are frequently unrelated. And when I tell you that desert is a hazelnut dacquaise with a mango and olive oil ice cream I rather think that you will take my point. By now you will have gathered that we had a good lunch. Will and Sophie are such lovely people and their new support team of Henry and Megan equally delightful. If you haven’t been then you should. It’s a simple as that … but you had better book for I think they might be pretty busy over the summer months. Long Time No Sea is at 3521 Tathra-Bermagui Road, Barragga Bay m: 0415 108 625 e: email@example.com w: longtimenosea.com Open …Wednesday and Thursday: 9am til 3pm Friday and Saturday: 9am til 3pm then dinner from 5pm til 9pm Sunday: 9am til 1:30pm (brunch)