Sammy’s On The Marina has just recruited a new Head Chef, Camillo Crugnale, and just in time for Valentines Day. AFC was invited to the always splendid seaside restaurant to try a selection of the new menu geared to be fresh and enchanting, perfect for a romantic date on any day.
You can pretty much stop reading and make a booking after hearing about this dish. The Kangaroo Island Lobster & Blue Swimmer Crab Veloute is reason enough to make a visit. Served with Egg Yolk, Soft Potato and Moscato Wine of Love this dish is a superstar entrée. A soup with a devilishly buttery texture that ends with a sweet Moscato twist. Healthy chunks of crab and lobster meat that melt with the silky potato and egg. A dish that dances between puree and cream.
Following the Veloute is no easy task but Crugnale changes things up, going from a dish that wows from its purposeful blend of textures to another which is much more minimalist and demonstrates what presenting well cooked and prepared fresh ingredients can do. The second dish was a Prawn Cocktail with Succulent South Australian King Prawns mixed with Cos Lettuce, Raspberry and Parmesan Crumbs. This dish is just a collection of fresh ingredients placed on a plate. Yet the inventive combination of quality elements creates a refreshing bite. The cocktail sauce and prawns are above satisfying with the raspberry creating an out of the ordinary yet pleasing surprise.
To finish of the entrées was the Marinated South Australian Octopus & Mussels. This is served with Taramasalata Spread, Coriole Black Olives and Cucumber Salad. This continues the trend of simple dishes with incredibly fresh ingredients. Crugnale applies his expertise and background in Mediterranean cuisine with this dish. The Taramasalata and Black Olives both implement a salty flavour that complements and accentuates the Octopus and Mussels marinate.
Now we are on to the mains which if you have read this far it means you clearly ignored my instructions from earlier. If for some odd reason you still need more convincing on Sammy’s new menu here is the Seared Sea Scallops with Maple Pork Jawl. This is served with Adelaide Hills Cauliflower Puree, Barossa Speck & Truffle Dressing. No lie, Jawl is a strange cut of meat. You wouldn’t know it though as this Maple Pork is fried to that crispy perfection with that delightful Maple sweetness. With this the Scallops have a precise light searing on each side, keeping them pillowy. The Puree and Dressing give a fresh aspect to an otherwise fried dish with hints of truffle coming through in each bite.
Finishing up the main portion of the menu is the Baked Atlantic Salmon. Served with Orange Scented Pumpkin, Baby Spinach, Pickled Beetroot Egg with Hand Milked Caviar. Intention can mean a great deal in dining. I believe the intention of this dish was to create contrasting flavours between the Salmon, Egg and Pumpkin. The Salmon wasn’t cooked to create a crispy skin and instead seems to have been taken out of the pan as soon as it was ready rather then letting in fry for longer. was cooked perfectly and melted in your mouth as a good Salmon should however the short cooking time left the Salmon quite oily. I believe this was the intention. The oily more Mediterranean texture of the Salmon allows it to contrast greater with the saltier flavour of the Egg and the sweetness of the scented pumpkin. All in all, this is still an outstanding dish but could be polarizing depending on how you like your Salmon cooked.
Oh, you thought we were done. Not quite and if you’ve made it this far, congratulations. The first dish was the best, but this is a close second, because it’s dessert of course. Galiano Panna Cotta with a Braised Berries Compote and Baked McLaren Vale Figs with Spiced Almond Dukka & Mango Sauce. The Panna Cotta is as delicious as you could imagine, the syrupy braised berries give way to a subtle yet luscious and creamy Panna Cotta. The Vale Figs are a peculiar experience, the sharp taste of the exotic Spiced Dukka introduces the rest of the honey flavours of the figs and sauce.
So, there you have it. If I didn’t have you convinced by the second paragraph I’m sure to have swayed you by now. Not only have Sammy’s prepared a romantic Valentine’s Day menu, in the months of May, June and July they are also offering free Function Room hire. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0431 756 759 for more info.
Words by Jonathon Tonkin
WHERE: 12 Holdfast Promenade, Glenelg