When it's a sunshine adorned day nearing dusk, heading down to the coast to catch the magnificent ocean views and feel the sea breeze is one of those priceless, carefree, irreplaceable moments. It's one of the best sights Perth has to offer, even though
But to catch a glimpse of fading sunlight at its last moments before the world becomes one big black canvas, with a single special person - it doesn't get any better than that.
Unless of course, you do all that with a WHOLE BUNCH of friends instead! Why just settle for one?!
Especially if it happens to be a big group of retards you've
Fate is at play in one way or another. When we all crossed paths that day, to when we're all on separate paths now, but we make sure we all come to the same intersection, at least one day in each year. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it means a lot. I'm ecstatic we've kept up the tradition of our annual Christmas get-togethers during that magical time of year.
And for 2011, Soda Sun Lounge was our location for celebrations. Sun(set), sea and friends - a much better replacement for sand I reckon. Add food to that list, you can't ask for much else.
Except maybe for better food...
Many dishes ordered that night, and many dishes not tried as a result of a very long dining table and I happened to plonk my butt at the end of it. I made the effort to walk around the table taking photos but had the decency not to help myself to the dish after I did so!
|Summer Berry Smoothie - $7|
So to make sure the stuff inside her mouth didn't melt or something along those lines, it was probably best for her to consume cold stuff and, well, stuff that don't require chewing. She opted for a chilled smoothie but I don't remember much of it. It was cold, it was tangy, it was all I can remember.
|Apple Dew Spider Mocktail - $9.50|
I had a sip of this and was close to ordering one for myself. It was dainty and sweet, a very girly drink overall with its contents of sparkling apple juice, fresh mint and honeydew melon sorbet. The addition of mint always adds a refreshing feel to anything, and a refreshing colour burst for presentation purposes.
|Caramelized Duck Tacos, Sichuan Pepper - $16|
It's a smart idea to present the dish as Make Your Own tacos though.
|Sour Dough, EVOO & Balsamic - $5|
I wonder if the oil dips are ever finished. Bread drenched in oil isn't my type of thing. On a side note, I had the choice of drinking a litre of oil in a night, or, surgery as the 2 options for my gallstones. Never has surgery sounded like such a good option!
|Chermoula Spiced Barramundi - $34|
A quick google search tells that chermoula is typically a marinade consisting of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin and salt. I don't remember the taste of the marinade much but I do remember the fish was cooked nicely with moist flesh. The addition of yoghurt didn't complement the fish as much, but it was ok with the tabouli.
Having said that, the tabouli was quite bland, yoghurt was bland, 2 wrongs didn't make a right here! But I finished it anyway cause it was light and interesting, contrasting temperatures and textures with the cous cous and cool yoghurt. Contrasting things seem to go well together, much like opposites!
|Angus Scotch Fillet - $34|
Soggy, limp, sad, heat cooked chips as a result of being on the bottom. Which is a waste if the chips are freshly cooked to a crisp, crunchy bite, only to be absolutely ruined. The slab of Angus Scotch Fillet is supposedly served with cafe de paris butter, which is said by Wikipedia to contain a whole party of ingredients of herbs, spices, mustard, dill, rosemary, paprika, capers, chives, curry powder, parsley, shallots, garlic, ANCHOVIES?!, smothered inside the butter.
And all I see is a slab of cow and chips...
|Pizza - $22|
I believe here we have the Chorizo, Potato, Rocket, Red onion and Chipotle pizza tonight. You don't see too much except cheese do you? Cheese always dominates in terms of smell and place on a pizza.
|Beetroot Gnocchi - $26|
And because I wouldn't consider eating dirt, I wouldn't consider eating beetroot. It tastes like the ground! So I don't love gnocchi, hate beetroot. My reaction to beetroot gnocchi? NOT BAD! Maybe you can try mixing your hated foods together and they'll suddenly taste better. Spooky stuff. Or maybe cause the flavour of beetroot wasn't as intense as its red colour suggested. The rest of the dish made up of broccoli, peppers and goat's curd could have had more flavour to it too.
|Sumatran Roast Duck - $34|
The side of green mango salad didn't help this Sumatran Roast Duck much either. It was hard and crunchy with the vegetable choice and while you might like it, the firmness of the mango flesh is not something I enjoyed giving my jaw a work out to. We'd pretty much made the worst choice in terms of hard textured food. I'd noticed by the end of it how I pretty much took over eating the dish as poor Puffy Cheeks couldn't eat a thing.
|Green Mango Salad|
I go crazy during mango season and could quite easily go through 2 a day, everyday for about 3 months.
Maybe not, but I wouldn't mind accepting that challenge.
|Result of my hard work|
In the middle are the leftovers of Real Chips as per what they are called in the menu, served with aioli dip and set us back $9. A very filling price right?! If real chips are like so, I'm fine with normal chips that cost less dear. As I'm sure we all still had a hankering for dessert or just more time together, we left Soda Sun Lounge for elsewhere, but not before numerous attempts of a group portrait with the camera balancing dangerously on balcony ledges and on randoms' car bonnets improvising as a tripod.
Even so, the camera was probably safer in those conditions than in the hands of C, who fumbles and trips on air every 5 minutes or so. Watching her, I'd have to stereotype and say that Blondes, heels and cameras are a fatal combination.
After experiencing Soda Sun Lounge for myself, I would have to agree with the reviews on the internet. They say it upfront and honest and summarise the place pretty well. It is definitely a place with a view, a freaking STUNNING view too, but it could really be something more if it made improvements to its food. It's not particularly bad, but for the sky high prices you're really paying to look at the ocean. And you can do that for free, just across the road.
It was unfortunate we couldn't get seated outside on the balcony, overlooking the water with the sun setting into the horizon, a perfect backdrop to dinner. Indoors has more of an intimate feel with dim lighting and atmosphere while seating outdoors takes on a more relaxed, wind-in-your-hair feeling. Quite a large restaurant provides for many different seating options - our wooden communal-hall-style bench tables and chairs, sofas, outdoor deck and sails, private dining areas and mezzanine bar seating options. Ours was probably the least attractive but catered best for large groups.
The area is very spread out and spacious, accommodating to the beachy, relaxed feel really well. It's probably a notch up from being absolutely casual, but not to the point where it's fine dining or anything remotely close to being so. The menu is not extensive, as we'd pretty much tried more than half of the selections available in the main course section. Value for money? I'd say you could do better, and so can Soda Sun Lounge.
To be honest I can't comment on service as I don't remember much of the staff, and that's because they didn't seem to exist, not because I ordered one too many cocktails. They took our order, and I didn't see them until our dishes were delivered, and then I never saw them again. It wasn't bad service or anything, but just felt a bit unwanted and unloved when our empty bottles of water sat alone and unfilled. Not much attention given but otherwise they do what they do.
The restaurant is located upstairs on top of a real estate business, and is a bit tricky to find if you're coming from side roads and use the parking at the back. Heaps of parking on the street, in the carparks above and below, which ended up being the lovely backdrop of our photo. Which was an awesome substitute from the natural sea horizon across the road, purely because we were too proud or too embarrassed to ask a stranger to take a photo for a flock of giggly loud school girls.
We seem to take on that embarrassing identity whenever we migrate together once a year.