There is NOTHING I hate more than a stranger who spoils my time out.
There we were, celebrating our friend Joon's acceptance into Bond University on the Gold Coast at Angelo's on the Bay, minding our own business (and we're not a particularly rowdy bunch, so it's not like we were screaming or anything); the table next to us was conducting a wedding reception, and they decided to have a speech. Glassed were tapped with silverware, and the mother of the bride stood up - and, doing the respectful thing, we quietened down a little.
BUT, apparently that wasn't enough for some shrew sitting at that table - she actually turned around and shushed us repeatedly as if we were small children, instead of doing the adult thing and politely asking us to be quiet for a moment. Stephen and Joon, being the classic passive aggressives, started talking louder. Said shrew literally turned around in her chair, gave us the evil eye for 30 seconds, then shushed us again with her finger literally in front of her mouth.
I may or may not have sworn at her.
Irritating episode aside, we chose Angelo's at the Bay because we've always had good experiences there. The food's wonderful, the service is top notch, and the atmosphere is normally pleasantly ambient.
We started with some rolls as we were waiting for everyone to find parking, then ordered drinks for the table.
This was mine: Malibu, fresh banana, banana liqueur, coconut cream and pineapple juice were all combined to creat the Banana Colada. It was a little strong with the banana liqueur, which masked a lot of the other flavours, but still enjoyable.
6 perfectly roasted scallops graced the plate, cooked so that the flesh was still delicate and basted in a hazelnut and chervil butter.
The tarte tatin was a beautiful starter, the eschallot caramelised until soft and tender, with the brie underneath supporting it's sweetened yet tangy flavour. It was served with a velvety cauliflower veloute, and asparagus and micro herbs tossed in a fresh salsa verde.
We tried this platter last time, and the quality seems to be pretty consistent. The top plate was where the cold seafood resided, consisting of oysters, king prawns, lobsters, raw salmon, and a seafood salad served inside avacado halves.
The lower plate included battered and fried calamari and fish, roasted scallops and chips, which came with tartar and cocktail sauce.
A large serving of al dente, house-made pappadelle was served with a fall-apart beef cheek ragu, with porcini mushrooms lending their nutty flavour and parsely giving some freshness. The whole delicious concoction was topped with truffle-infused pecorino, a decadent finish.
The salmon was flakey and moist, the skin grilled until crispy. The medallions were served on white bean puree and a zucchini and dill salad, and drizzled with an aromatic basil emulsion. Roasted kipfler potatoes and cherry tomatoes also dotted the plate.
The pasta for the ravioli was a little thick for my taste, but the mixture of pumpkin and chestnut was surprisingly well-matched, and the burnt sage butter accentuated the flavour. Topped with creamy marinated goats feta, it was a great dish.
It wasn't my dessert, but I still stole a spoon so I could crack the sugar top. It shattered perfectly! The custard was flavoured with super-sweet white chocolate, but balanced with sour amarena cherry and served with crunchy biscotti.
The pannacotta was thick and creamy, and delicately flavoured with peach and topped with rosewater pashmak. A tart strawberry consomme also graced the plate, and three small pieces of amaretto jelly finished it off. The plating was a little clumsy, but each seperate element was beautifully made.
The mini dessert plate was a tasting plate of three different desserts on the menu. The first was the very same peach pannacotta we'd just tried, but set within a chocolate cup. The middle dessert was an almond and Iranian dried-fig and cognac frangipani tart, with honey and nougat gelato, strawberry salad and vanilla-bean anglaise. I wasn't a particular fan of the dried fig, but I really liked all the other elements. The last dessert was the white chocolate and cherry brulee.
We were told that this dish came with honey poached fresh figs, but the honey syrup was only drizzled over the top, so the figs were inconsistently cooked. However, the flavours were good, and the berry sorbet was very well executed.
The food here is excellent, with a focus on quality and decent portions, and the service is always impeccable. We did exchange death-glares as we left, but it's not the restaurant's fault if some of their customers turn out to be unpleasant, and I'd totally come back if the opportunity presented itself.
Angelo's On The Bay
Prince Edward Park, Phillips St
Tel: (02) 9743-2225
Fax: (02) 9736-2391