By: Vivienne Pearson
For a restaurant high on a hill with sweeping views over the ocean, Albatross is a great name. For one that serves a golfing community (as well as a bowls one), it has the extra meaning of being three-under-par.
For non-golfers, hearing something is under par might indicate that it is no good, but golfers know that a low score is sought after, so being three-under-par means you are way above average.
Albatross is the new restaurant at the Ocean Shores Country Club. Open since mid-March, the owners and many of the crew have moved across from the Bangalow Dining Rooms. Co-owners Jo Maiden and Adam Thornton say they are looking forward to the challenge of running a bigger venue. ‘Most importantly though,’ Jo adds, ‘we will be closer to home.’ Having lived in Ocean Shores for nearly 15 years and with kids at Ocean Shores Public School and Billi Lids childcare, they are true locals.
Adam will be head chef, combining this role with teaching cookery at TAFE. He will be ably supported by a young, local sous chef Bruce Daniel. Front of house will be run by Claire Kirkman (who is also a TAFE teacher and will be well known to Bangalow Dining Rooms’ regulars).
The menu sees bistro meals (most priced under $20) available all day from 11.30am – ranging from a good old schnitzel burger through to pulled pork on Burringbar blue-corn tacos.
A heartier restaurant menu is available for both lunch and dinner, with items from the grill including giant portobello mushrooms, butterflied salmon fillet and Angus beef. House specials include a rolled pork belly, green-tea-smoked duck breast and chickpea-and-pumpkin tagine. ‘You can have hearty, larger, well-cooked lunches as well as dinners,’ says Jo.
You can choose between the front deck (for ocean views), the back deck (for hinterland sunset views) or inside the restaurant, with new brightly coloured paintings.
The team are already well underway with functions, including weddings, and catering for groups who take advantage of the Country Club’s great facilities for meetings and events. The Kidz Club will continue for Friday night diners.
The main change for locals to be aware of is that breakfast on the deck will only be available on weekends. On weekdays, food kicks off from 11.30am.
That’s plenty of time then for a game of bowls or a round of golf before lunch. If golf is your choice, let’s hope seeing the restaurant’s new name brings you as much luck as sighting an albatross did for mariners – then you can enjoy an under-par round before a well-above-average lunch.
Albatross Restaurant and Bistro: Ocean Shores Country Club: weekdays 11.30am–9pm, weekends 9am–9pm. www.albatrossrestaurant.com.au
Butterflied salmon fillet.