I need a holiday.
I've been wanting a US trip for a while now but am lacking time and money.
But alas, no time and budget calls for another alternative.
A relatively close alternative is to visit an Californian inspired restaurant with some tasty good eats. why?
1. I needed to eat (drink) my heart's sorrow away
2. Pretend I was on holidays
That is how I found myself at SoCal Neutral bay.
The brains behind SoCal are Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll from Applejack Hospitality, SoCal came about when they returned from an eating, drinking and surfing trip in California, it oozes the southern California surf vibe and theme.
Cali inspired decor
the "outdoor" seating
The delicious food and drinks menu here is extensive and is a reflection of what can be found along HWY101. Head Chef Zac Smart sure lives up to his name, delivering an electic mix of share foods menu. Make sure you bring a few more friends!
I'm not much of a drinker, but there is a extensive choice when it comes to wines and selection of spirits, beers, ciders and cocktails. Drinks here are looked after by bar manager Joe Worthington.
Head Chef, Zac Smart & Bar Manager, Joe Worthington.
Corn chips with Pico De Gallo, Guacamole and Tomato Salsa
On Arrival, we were immediately handed a classic margarita and pointed to some delicious corn chips with Pico De Gallo, Guacamole and Tomato Salsa. A great way to begin our 6 course feasting! I was ravenous by the time I got there, so I attacked these like no tomorrow. It's not news that I love avocado, so the guacamole was definitely my favourite. The tomato salsa was a close second and was deliciously fresh.
A very welcoming display!
Crab & sopressatta tostadas
First up is the Crab & sopressatta tostadas, a mix of fresh crab and sopressata with just the right amount of chilli made it a great start to a food field night.
This was served with Joe's super amazing mystery cocktail, a citrusy cocktail with some delicious egg white foam to start.
Joe's super amazing mystery interactive cocktail experience.
Up next were these delicious chicken sliders, a soft bun encasing flavoursome chicken breast, avocado and chorizo, I could of easily eaten all 4! Definitely one of my favourites of the night.
The sliders were served with a Frisco Pisco cocktail. The Frisco Pisco was quite strong and definitely not for the light drinkers! the Pisco is infused with chilli and finished off with elderflower liquer and muddled cucumber.
Seared Salmon with Brocollini, chilli and coriander salsa verde
Seared salmon is a long time love of mine. It was no surprise that this dish was very well received with my grumbling stomach. Perfectly cooked salmon and chilli brocollini were topped off with some paper-thin sweet potato crisps! Mmmmm!
Dry Creek, Fume Blanc, Sonoma CA
I had had enough alcohol by this point, but the drinkers foraged on. The salmon was paired with dry and refreshing Dry Creek, Fume Blanc, Sonoma CA.
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with faro, freekeh, quinoa and kale
This dish is definitely a healthy dish in my books, topped with super foods like freekeh, quinoa and kale, but the highlight was definitely the tender slow roasted lamb shoulder which had the perfect flesh to fat ratio, making it a melt-in-a-mouth sensation.
Bliss Point Noir, Mendocino CA
The blissful lamb shoulder was served with a lovely red, the Bliss Point Noir, Mendocino CA.
Scotch Fillet with chimmichurri
Last but not least is the scotch fillet with chimmichurri, whilst tasty, the steak had sinewy and fatty parts that made it rather hard to chew.
Dry Creek 'Heritage' Zinfandel, Sonoma CA and a handsome waitstaff!
No more alcohol for me!
A scrumptious mushroom salad was served with the perfectly cooked scotch fillet. The mushrooms were supported by some lovely salad greens and mixed beans, just what I needed after so much protein!
Salted caramel expresso martini
I had to drive home and combined with my low alcohol tolerance, I only had a sip of this ketel one, galliano ristretto and honeycomb laced salted caramel expresso martini. As expected, the coffee hit was intense followed by a salty sweet from the honeycomb and salted caramel.
Chocolate, Pistachio & tequila brownie w/ chipotle cream
Last but not least were the chocolate, pistachio and tequila brownies. Fudgey dense cubes of chocolatey goodness, the addition of the chipotle cream adds a fiery kick to it for a great finish.
oh hello there Mr brownie!
SoCal 's extensive bar
The hidden entrance
Look out for the subtle Californian themes to find the stairway to heaven, I missed it when I walked past initially!
Are you hungry for some californian inspired food? Then this is definitely the place to go! You can find out more about them on their website.
Disclaimer: Milkteaxx was invited to SoCal Neutral Bay by Pendulum Communications, opinions are however her own.
Like to know more about Milkteaxx and her food adventures?
Till next time,