A SCHOOL of bream break the water’s surface and swish about just a couple of metres below where we are sitting on the deck at Marina Mirage. I suggest throwing in a line but am promptly hooked by the No Fishing sign.
It’s the kind of ambience one can expect at Saks Restaurant, where the choice de jour is surely the sensational seafood buffet for two – apt with our fishy friends circling beneath.
Then it arrives – grilled marinated bugs, king prawns, baby octopus, oysters Kilpatrick, black mussels, soft shell crab, calamari and grilled reef fish on a bed of lemon scented rice – spiced with lemon pepper and with sides of aioli with its infused garlic and olive oil Spanish sauce.
“Lucky we didn’t order an entree,” says my lovely dinner date.
“I’ll eat what you don’t,” I reply, chomping into a juicy king prawn. And for the next 30 minutes, that’s all that is said. We inhale – I mean savour – the ocean delicacies from the giant silver platter, each crustacean bursting with freshness and flavour.
Once we start to reconnect over a befitting Tasmanian sav blanc, the offer of dessert is met with an emphatic and vigorous shake of the head – in a sideways motion.
It is decided that we stroll upstairs and recline in the cocktail bar on one of the many luxurious suites and have a conversation – they tend to like that, the women of today. Soon a waiter dashes past with a single dessert that struggles to fit into the glass. I look at my date, her eyes glaze over and before too long, we are tempted by a trio of brulee ice cream, white chocolate, chocolate gelato and biscotti.
It is the best way to complete an evening at Saks Restaurant and Bar, owned by Mario and Angelo Parente alongside son Frank and daughter in-law Bianca.
It is, and always has been about the experience here. Yes the menu and the venue are multi-award winners, but it’s the atmosphere that captivates.
After 25 years in the restaurant industry, the family name has garnered a healthy local following and a handful of famous visitors too.
There’s an emphasis on fresh local produce – seafood, steak, pastas and a broad gourmet pizza menu – but tonight we a caught by the seafood buffet – hook, line and sinker.
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