****Geraldton Food Aventure****

The mother and myself have been talking about making a trip to Geraldton for a long long long time. Due to my health issues, this trip was postponed several times. But we finally made it! Why Geraldton? One word. L.O.B.S.T.E.R.S! We have heard that Geraldton is pretty much Lobster central of Western Australia (or even Australia)… and being crazy people with a willingness to travel distances for good and fresh food, we decided that we would make a trip there.

Calling this random a trip – well not really, a planned trip, not really either. So I shall just call this a long-awaited trip that had the opportunity present itself!

So I had 2 weeks to do some planning of our route, where to go, what to see, what to eat, and basically time our trip so that we can do it all in 2 days (yes, I know, we’re mental, but we refuse to spend too much on accommodation).

It was a pretty long week at work, so I was definitely looking forward to this trip. As we drove north, we stopped by the beautiful Pinnacles, then made our way to Cervantes where we went to Lake Thetis (beautiful stromatolites) and then drove around town to see what they had. The mother then told me that she had been here before (although totally denying it just days before our trip), and even told me where she bought a lottery ticket from. (-.-) Anyway! As I looked at my trusty maps on my tablet, I saw this place “Indian Ocean Lobster Factory”, and I thought, “why not just have a drive around and have a look”. So we did that. And found ourselves arriving at Lobster Shack, where we saw large canteen like tables in this little outdoor area, with a massive truck that had a service area. We knew this was a possible lunch place.

  

 

We went down and was greeted by a friendly staff member, who told us that they do serve lunch and could even take one of their lobster tours where we’d see how they clean the little creatures, and the whole process of ‘sea to plate’. We opted out of the lobster tour, but certainly wanted some good ol’ luncheon.

We all decided to order a grilled lobster & chips, each at $25.

It was quite a wait before we saw the same guy who spoke to us first carrying out some live lobsters (which they call crayfish, really because of the size of these lobsters). We knew this would be good because we’re having this fresh out of the ocean and onto the grill! Yummo! I couldn’t wait.

About 15-25 minutes later (drowning + cooking + ‘plating’), we all got our serves of lobster & chips, and I couldn’t wait to dig into it. The lobster was cooked in garlic butter, and boy did it smell good! There was some salt, chicken salt, lemon juice, tomato sauce, etc. for us to help ourselves to. I took my first bite, and… it is freshness to the wow degree! Loved it loved it loved it. Brilliance. It was a small sized lobster, so the amount of meat wasn’t that much, but hey, the freshness is what matters to me.

The chips could have done a little more cooking to get it crunchy, but that didn’t really matter, the salad was just plain. But hey, we did go for the lobster.

There was a couple next to us who had the lobster burger and chips, which is basically a hot dog bun with a lobster and octopus marinated meat pattie – but it didn’t really receive good reviews from them at all… “not worth the money” were the words I remember.

Anyhoo. The lobster shack is probably going to be where we’d have our lobsters yearly if we ever wanted to – just 2.5 hours from Perth – why not!

We then proceeded on in heading towards Geraldton, then amazing ourselves with the famous Greenough leaning tree. By the time we arrived in Geraldton, it was about 3.30pm. We checked in, freshen up and found our way to the HMAS Memorial, where we snapped some photos like tourists, and then took a drive around town.

Dinner was at The Boatshed, somewhere that I have been looking forward to after reading The Food Pornographer’s review on it.

I had booked us a table a few days before, and so upon arriving, we were shown to our table. It was a very interesting place, with many little areas with tables. When we arrived, we were the first in the area we were in, and it was cosy. We had a browse of the menu and were informed of the specials, and that the lobster was at $60 each (including cooking). We decided on:

  • Tasmanian Salmon – Fresh fillet of Tasmanian Salmon grilled medium rare, topped with fresh asparagus, hollandaise sauce and prosciutto [$40]
  • West Australian Rock Lobster – Char grilled with Asian stir fried vegetables and rice [$60]
  • West Australian Rock Lobster – Mornay (Creamy white sauce, gratinated with melted cheese, set on steamed rice) [$60]
  • Serve of Vegetables on the side [$7]
  • Serve of Garlic Bread [$8.50]
  • Seafood Chowder to share [$22.50]
  • Bottle of Chapman Valley Chenin Blanc [$24]

 

 

Quite a fair bit to get through here! We had the garlic bread and seafood chowder to start off with. The garlic bread was average, although they had decent sizes for the bread they did serve. We wouldn’t have ordered this if the father didn’t insist on it… The seafood chowder on the other hand… O.M.G. And I mean oh-em-gee! The mother and I were just completely blown away by this simple but absolutely beautiful tasting dish. I didn’t take much of it because I am still trying to limit the seafood intake, but WOW. It is not your atypical, thick and creamy sort of seafood chowder… this was lighter, so tasty (probably because it’s cooked with bacon), with seafood tasting fresh! Definitely the highlight of the evening for me personally. I want another serve now!

 

The Tasmanian salmon that the father had was cooked really nicely, and I had a taste of it – lovely. It had this wonderful sesame coating, which really brought some flavour out, and the salmon was so soft, melts in the mouth. It was an excellent dish. The serve of salmon was pretty decent too – definitely worth that $40.

 

 

The West Australian Rock Lobster was what we drove 450km for, and it was a.w.e.s.o.m.e. The mother’s choice of char grilled was probably the winner over my Mornay, but both tasted beautiful. I’d say the afternoon’s lobster at Lobster Shack was a tad fresher, but hey, you’re right there, so you really cannot get any better than that, can you? We were served a whole lobster (which is bigger than that of Lobster Shack) too, so $60 – we’d definitely pay. The chargrilled with asian vegetables was nice and light, but got a bit salty towards the end accordingly to the mother because of the sauce that the vegetables were cooked in. My Mornay was lovely, though I really couldn’t stomach anymore cheese/cream by the end of it, and had to push some to the side. The taste was there, but because of this cheese/cream, it also made me lose the chance of tasting the real freshness of the lobster. The serve of side vegetables was a little more on the asian side… nice change, but a tad salty towards the bottom of the bowl where all the sauce was sitting.

 

The Chapman Valley Chenin Blanc was awesome – something different, and coming from a local winery, I confirmed there and then that the decision of visiting the winery the next morning was definitely a good choice! The flavour was nice and clean, with a wholesome taste at the end of the mouth.

The service here was absolutely brilliant, and I couldn’t have asked for better service, really. Having lots of questions in the beginning the waitress was patient and slowly explained to us the answers, and checked on us every once in a while. Top notch!

I love this place, and would go back there again once I get back to Geraldton – it is a definitely must-visit place if you ever pop by there!

We retired after, and slept early because we wanted to head to the farmer’s markets that was happening the next morning. Very small in comparison to the farmer’s markets here in Perth, but hey, didn’t stop us from buying some items! Got some breakfast jam (which I am definitely enjoying), strawberry jam, some vegetables, and corn, etc. Lovely morning.

We then headed to Chapman Valley to get our wines before heading straight down South enroute to Perth.

We decided to give Jurien Bay a try for lunch, at the Jurien Jetty Café.

We found plenty of people in this café the day before whilst on our way up to Geraldton, and thought we could give this a shot.

Being a relatively big café, we thought there’d actually be some restroom facilities available, but upon arriving, we realised there was none – which was a tad disappointing for us. Anyhoo, they have such an extensive menu that we stood outside for a good amount of time before deciding on our final order:

  • Fisherman’s Basket [$17.50]
  • Fish Burger [$11]
  • Grilled Fish, Chips & Salad [$17.50]
  • Coke Zero (for moi)

I personally thought being along the Turquoise Coast of Australia, we’d be getting some fresh seafood out of this café, but sadly mistaken :(

The food took a long long long time to arrive, and we were almost getting impatient. When it did come out, it looked like… hmm. Well, let’s just say it wasn’t impressive.

The fisherman’s basket had some squid rings, fish, prawns, and a crab stick. And they were all frozen items! Sigh. One down. The grilled fish was probably the best bet of all our dishes this afternoon. It didn’t look like it packed much flavour, but at least it was cooked decently well. My fish burger was average… and I could eat this anywhere anyway.

Would have spent a little more money and had another serve of those grilled lobster and chips at the Lobster Shack had we known about the quality of the food at this café.

There wasn’t much service to speak of here since we all had to order at the till, and we just needed to wait for our food to come out – which did take a long time considering the type of food they were serving.

 

After lunch, we took the long drive back to Perth, and this ended our 2 day, food adventure along the mid-western coastline of Western Australia. The Lobster Shack and The Boatshed are definitely places I will be returning to! And to leave ya’ll with some fantastic views after reading so many words!

 

The Lobster Shack
Website: http://lobstershack.com.au
Telephone: (08) 9652 7010
Address: 11 Madrid Street, Cervantes

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

** Marked a little lower than described since it is somewhat a self service eatery

Jurien Jetty Cafe on Urbanspoon

The Boatshed
Website: http://boatshedgeraldton.com.au
Telephone: (08) 9921 5500
Address: 359 Marine Terrace, Geraldton

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Boatshed restaurant on Urbanspoon

Jurien Bay Café
Telephone:
(08) 9652 1999
Address: 1 Roberts Road, Jurien Bay

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T. a.k.a. Miss Egg

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