28 McDougall St, Milton
Last night, I met up with a couple of my best foodie mates for dinner. After being indecisive about what/where to eat for AGES, I put my foot down for seafood. It must be something about the Queensland Summer because all my vegetarian cravings have subsided for thoughts of water, fish and crustaceans.
One of my friends had been to Lure before and gave the restaurant a thumbs up. We didn't make a booking (figuring that whatever restaurant doesn't work out can be replaced with somewhere less packed - i.e. adventurous/spontaneous dining) but rocked up real early as the first table.
I'm not sure what Lure looks like from the front because we sort of entered the premise from 'below' aka the carpark. Unfortunately that also means I didn't get my obligatory 'shopfront shot'. Let's all use our imagination then, shall we? The actual restaurant is quite long so I had the feel of being in a small restaurant when in actual fact, the tables stretched out further behind me.
What I really liked was the seafood bar at the front of the restaurant - you can really SEE everything on the menu in live format and unlike in some lesser-quality Chinese restaurants, the seafood all looked so clean and fresh. I think they are 2 of the most important features of seafood and what you really want to avoid is anything frozen.
The menu had changed since the last time my friend was here so we deducted that there was a strong seasonal influence. Because Lure is a seafood restaurant, most of the menu items feature seafood but there is the typical steak, lamb and a few vegetarian dishes here and there too.
After much debate and indecision, we settled for 2 types of oysters as entrees. The 2 girls (myself included) chose items from the 'entree' menu as mains and the boy chose the barra.
First up was complimentary bread - there were all sorts to chose from and it so happens that we each selected a different slice.
I thought my olive bread was great! The texture was soft and springy and it had a subtle olive flavor with a tanginess usual to sourdough.
The oysters came up in an impressive-looking platter on a bed of rock salt. We ordered 1/2 a dozen each of natural and rockefeller (Lure's specialty). It was (shock horror) my first time trying natural oysters and my 2 buddies literally stopped to see my reaction and followed up with concerned 'what did you think?'
I thought they'd be slippery and awful but the oysters were delish and I totally 'get' what the fuss is about and now understand why my parents hoard oysters in seafood buffets (and also, why mussels are just NOT on the same level... at all).
The oysters rockefeller were in a bed of creamed spinach with some roe on top. They were also really tasty but for me, the learning curve was really directed at eating the oysters plain. There's something special about them as they are, ungarnished and unmasked by other flavors.
Our mains came next - I was a bit surprised/impressed by our serving sizes. Since my girlfriend and I had both ordered entrees, the big plates caught me unawares. It turns out that they were upgraded to mains sizes and charged accordingly.
The lobster linguine was cream-based and had a decent amount of lobster meat. The pasta was cooked perfectly for me but the sauce didn't speak volumes. It just seemed a bit single-dimensional. I couldn't spot spinach anywhere? All I could taste was salted cream and I got over that pretty quickly. I think a bit of lemon and chili would have done wonders but I am a bit silly about chili on seafood pasta.
I had a taste of the bug salad and thought it was quite good. The accompanying mayonnaise was packed full of flavor and the bug meat was sweet, elastic and juicy.
Grilled barramundi fillet and soft shell crab - potato and mizuna salad, asparagus spears, apple and balsamic glaze
The grilled barramundi tasted like any other grilled fish from any restaurant to me. That's not necessarily a bad thing; perhaps I've yet to acquire a detailed appreciation for grilled fish? Whenever I order fish at a restaurant, I'm almost always disappointed. Not to say that it doesn't taste good... usually, it just tastes like grilled fish :D. The potato and mizuna salad was delicious though and soft-shell crab is a crowd favorite.
Our side of mixed seasonal veggies was fresh and crisp but nothing like as exciting as the one I had at The Point. This is most definitely a 'side' to incorporate some greens into your meal because it has no distinct appeal on its own.
We left dessert for somewhere else but I'd also like to point out that service was lovely. Our table was the first point of service for a new waiter that was on that night and if he hadn't mentioned that to us, I wouldn't have known at all. He was still very professional but more importantly, super friendly. I'd much rather a friendly, inefficient waiter than a cold, machine-like entity even if they're spot on with timing. When we were making up our minds over what to order, this waiter came with a senior waitstaff who recited the whole menu to us and explained where every fresh ingredient came from - VERY impressive.
Lure Seafood Restaurant was a good experience overall. It's always nice dining out with friends and we found the environment great for just having a chat/gossip. The quality of food was quite consistent and this seems to reflect the standard of ingredients they have on display. At first I thought the menu is a bit on the pricey side but then again, in all fairness it is seafood we're talking about here so I think it's quite reasonable. Another mention to wonderful service too.