Lickerish has been on my “to eat” list for quite some time, and for one reason or another, I’ve never been able to pay this place a visit. In what could have been a quiet Saturday night at home, I made a spontaneous decision to catch up with Tempting Palates for a late dinner. Little did I know that the owners were winners of the first series of My Restaurant Rules and the former Greedy Goose on Melbourne Street.
Lickerish caters for the full spectrum of customers, whether it be a quick bite, shared tapas or a leisurely meal. They have 20 tapas dishes on offer, 7 types of pizzas (10 inches in diameter, gluten free base extra), a small selection of desserts, and some seasonal main dishes which are written on paper hanging off the entrance wall.
Lickerish is located in a spacious upstairs open plan area. Seating is plentiful with a combination of normal seating and high benches. They also have outdoor dining spaces on their balconies which boast views of the sea. The decor is somewhat eclectic, but ideal for it’s location.
For starters, we had the Chef Selection Sharing Plate. I must admit, I was a bit hesitant in ordering this because the last time we had the chef make the selections, I was disappointed. Having done the sums, it did make sense because you had a good cross section of the tapas dishes on offer.
Homemade Bread – This was thinly sliced and then baked until crunchy. It was so crunchy, two of us in the group could feel pain in our teeth. Not a good start.
Coriole Olives – Great olives from the McLaren Vale wine region. Enough said.
Pumpkin Basil Arancini – Having had the most amazing Paella Arancini last week at Si Senorita, this one was a disappointment. The rice was undercooked and very dry. I also felt it was a little on the bland side.
Honey and Lemon Chicken Wings – The chicken wings were really well marinated but I thought the meat was a little dry.
Gravlax – The raw salmon had a lovely silky smooth texture which was harmonised by the salt, sugar and dill.
Sopressa – An aged Italian salami that was freshly sliced.
Marinated Tiger Prawns – We thought it was odd that there was 3 of everything else and only 2 tiger prawns. Obviously prawns are expensive. Having said that, the prawns were well marinated and cooked to perfection.
The group also decided to order mains to share, and I ordered the Italian pizza which consisted of salami, proscuitto, olives, chilli, tomato and mozzarella.
As soon as we told the waitress we were ready for our mains, the food came out almost immediately. This indicated that the mains were waiting for us in the kitchen already cooked, and the delay in bringing the food to the dining table was going to affect how the food tasted.
As predicted, the pizza base was very soggy, although it had an even consistency. We found a piece of foil stuck to the base which indicated the base was premade and then placed under a grill. Having said that, the amount of toppings was satisfactory and evenly distributed on the pizza. The tomato paste was generously applied and the chilli gave the pizza a nice kick.
The Pan Fried Duck Breast was served with golden beetroot, walnut, pomegranate and witlof. The duck meat was tender and succulent, and really well cooked, although I thought the skin could have been a little more crispier. The sweetness of the pomegranate and golden beetroot balanced the bitterness of the witlof, while the green beans added a nice crunchy texture.
The 400g Rib Eye with mash and relish was the dish of the night. Not attractive in presentation, it was a dish I’d have again and again. The thick piece of steak was charred on the outside but had a perfectly cooked pinkish centre. The subtle sweetness of the relish sauce was amazing and the spring onion potato mash soaked up the juices well. This is a dish where you’d lick the plate clean.
Dessert was a Dark Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramel Popcorn and Ice Cream. The rich and decadent dark chocolate filling was sitting on a nice firm crust. The soft pieces of popcorn were lightly caramelised and the hint of saltiness balanced out all the sweetness in the dessert. The ice cream was smooth and velvety and was well complimented by the biscuit base.
I thought the service at Lickerish was generally below average. From the moment I walked into the door, it took a good 10 minutes before anyone asked whether I needed assistance. The waitress that served us on the night was rather delightful and had good knowledge of the menu. Drinks and food arrived promptly, and new plates were provided after each course. As the night progressed, the service seemed to drop off and it became harder to get any sort of attention.
As far as price goes, the tapas dishes start at $3, pizzas $18, mains $20 and desserts $12. For the 3 of us, each person paid $46 for the Chef Selection Sharing Plate, 3 mains and a dessert. We all thought the ribeye was amazing, the dessert very good, and everything else, average. With Lickerish being full to capacity on a Saturday night, they’re obviously doing something right, but I felt we only had glimpses of it during our visit.
WHERE: 26 Semaphore Rd, Semaphore