Food critic and kid crooner, Raff, road tests the menu (and karaoke room) at Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach’s fabulous Estate Coogee Beach.
Want to know a great way to work up a big appetite? Karaoke. Yep, it turns out that belting out killer tunes requires energy. I know this to be true because I sang myself hoarse in the too-cool, on-site Karaoke room at the Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, which has got to be just about the funnest way to start an evening.
Though, I have to say it; it’s not really the singing but battling it out with my sister for airtime that expended the most energy. Turns out she’s a total mic hog. Anyway, after a few eardrum shattering hours I was more than ready for dinner. Luckily, we had a table booked right outside at airy and atmospheric Estate Coogee Beach.
Though Estate is extremely family friendly, it still managed to rock a luxe seaside vibe and in place of our karaoke crooning, the soundtrack was the happy hum of contented diners and a guitarist serenading guests with his cracking vocals (Seriously, this guy was almost as good as us… almost).
I’d heard from friends about how good this place was and after reading through the extensive menu, I was super excited and wanted to try as much as possible, so we decided to start with share plates, which was a wise decision
We started with the Hiramasa Kingfish Crudo, cubes of citrusy kingfish slathered in a silky coconutty sauce, not unlike a ceviche or ika mata, peppered with nibbles of dill pickle and served over a super crispy giant blue corn tostada. Turns out it was my tastebuds turn to sing singing.
Next up on the long list of entrees was guac and chips, but this fresh and fabulous guacamole was topped with a big hit of crunchy chilli oil, a combination that is literal genius. Seriously, why had we never thought of this before?
Next up was one of the things I was most looking forward to on the menu, the Moreton Bay bug roll. It did not disappoint. The soft roll was packed to the brim with succulent bug smothered in a creamy yuzu mayo and was accompanied by crunchy lettuce for a little texture.
The Estate prawn dog provided another bite of pure happiness. Think carnival corn dog, only stuffed with prawn, and gone Japanese with layers of Kewpie mayo, tonkatsu sauce, katsobushi and sesame seeds.
We tried a selection of Estate’s tacos, which were all winners, each unique and delicious in its own way. My fave was the Baja fish taco. Stuffed with crunchy battered barramundi, topped with charred pineapple relish and a smoky chipotle tartare, it was a mouthful of perfection. So perfect that I ended up ordering a second serve. The chicken mole taco was smoky and a little earthy, the fall apart chicken smothered in a spicy mole negro sauce and accompanied by cooling guacamole and sesame salt. My sister’s favourite though was a slightly left field Philly Cheese Steak taco, which I confess I was a tad sceptical of but I’m really glad she ordered it because the Philly cheese steak, roasted peppers and cheese sauce on tacos worked like a charm. All the tacos were so good, I’d be happy to pop in just for them (and plan to tomorrow at lunch).
All done with the small plates, we moved onto the mains and whoah, were they worth waiting for. One of my favourite dishes ever was the barbecued octopus. But this wasn’t like the chewy octopus I’ve had before and been disappointed by. This was gorgeous. The octopus was so tender and the texture so good, and it was served with layers of that deeply flavoured smoky mole negro and paired with sweet and sour pops of pineapple. This I could happily eat every day.
The crispy skin pork belly was absolutely as advertised. The skin was ridiculously crispy and the meat juicy and tender. But what really set this apart was that it was slathered with what is possibly my new favourite thing, yuzu apple sauce. It’s a brilliant combo and the citrusy yuzu really complemented the sweetness of the pork.
We ended our incredible meal with an equally incredible dessert – the Violet Crumble, a clever concoction of a silky, insanely purple violet ice-cream, crunchy, gooey, dark chocolate brownie, and nitro salted honeycomb shards, which were scattered across the plate at our table, creating quite the smoky spectacle. Just wow.
I loved this meal. Every dish was a winner and I could have happily eaten everything twice but for now, fuelled up from this epic meal, I’m supercharged and raring for another hour of killer karaoke.
Reviewed by Raff – Age 13
Estate Coogee Beach
Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach
Crn Arden and, Carr St,
Coogee NSW 2034
Disclosure: Raff and family were guests of Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach but all taco tackling, ballad busting and opinions are 100% our own.