Shorehouse got itself a new owner this year and a lot has changed. The food is as good as it was, but it is the wine offer which has us buzzing. It is one of the finest we’ve seen: not because it’s big and impressive (although it is) but because of its layout and commonsense varietal listings. Importantly it’s clearly not written by a wine boffin. It has a way with words and a design that allows everyone – oenophile or novice – to follow it and understand it. Bravo.
Shorehouse is about long lunches, celebrations, mid-week brunches and Friday free-for-alls. It is a joyous restaurant with bullseye views of the Indian Ocean at Swanbourne and a radiant, infectious summer party feel. As they say in their own publicity blurb, “Walk in off the beach, brush the sand from your feet and enjoy an ice cold drink or casual snack on the deck.” Which pretty much sums it up.
Gone is the hot Melbourne chef Oliver Gould. In his place, consulting chef David Coomer and a re-vamped menu. There’s a leek and spinach risotto with taleggiocheese; blue swimmer crab and prawn linguine with all the flavours from the bouillabaisse playbook – tomato, saffron, garlic and chilli; tiger prawns with chimichurri and burnt lemon cooked in the Josper and even a lamb shoulder dish with pea and mint puree. There’s big steaks, lots of sides and, yes, a good selection of desserts.
Shorehouse is fun, sunny and the perfect hang on long summer days or for healthy breakfasts after your beach run. Its wine is a welcome surprise and it’s cooking fits the bill.