We were taking a risk when showing up to Gigi’s, the newest hot spot in town without a booking, but we figured it was 9pm and hopefully some tables had cleared out. When we got there we were informed that the restaurant had been fully booked out but they were able to squeeze us in- yay!
When I was browsing through the menu, I was torn between my love of seafood and my love of home made pasta but when my friend asked if I wanted to go halves in a seafood platter for two, I couldn’t say no, after all, it was her birthday weekend .
I agree! That would explain why I’m happy most of the time
Very busy, even though we were seated at 9pm, there were still people coming in.
Table all prepped for our seafood platter for two!
With almost an hour long wait for our food, we were offered complimentary warm bread with balsamic and olive oil from the kitchen.
Finally! Our Seafood platter for two arrives!
Venetian Hot and Cold Seafood Fritto Misto– salt and pepper squid, Spanish mussels cooked in a bianco sauce, rosemary grilled Australian king prawns, fish of the day (local John Dory), Crystal bay king prawns, Tasmanian smoked salmon on a celeriac remoulade and Balmain bugs in a citrus dressing ($78.00).
Where to begin? Clockwise from the top left hand corner maybe. Salt and pepper squid was very tasty with a ‘not too over the top’ batter and non chewy squid, you can’t go wrong. The John Dory was a nice light fresh fish. The rosemary grilled Australian king prawns was so fresh, sweet and delicious! Crystal bay king prawns– I’m pretty sure I ate most of these but I was “helping” my friend because she was getting full. Balmain bugs- very fresh and truely delicious. Tasmanian smoked salmon on a celeriac remoulade- probably my least favourite thing on the platter only because I didn’t find the salmon salty enough. Spanish mussels cooked in a bianco sauce- I’m not the biggest fan of mussels so I was hesitant to try one, but oh my! They fast became my favourite thing on the platter, they were well cooked and I even dipped my bread into the sauce to savour the flavour.
Chicken breast involtini saltimbocca– with polenta parmesan and sage mash, served with muscatel butter and sage sauce ($19.50). Nice, lots of flavour but a bit too rich, my friend had to order some extra bread.
Fettuccine– with red wine slowly braised beef ragu, shaved parmesan and orange gremolata ($18.90). With fresh home made pasta this was definitely better than your average Italian restaurant! The beef was very tender and melted in your mouth.
Dark chocolate & hazelnut tortina– with warm ganache, vanilla ice-cream & pistachio nut praline ($8.50) When 3 out of 4 people order one type of dessert (they weren’t going to share ), you better hope that it was good. Luckily the chefs did no disappoint, one my friends said ‘that it was to die for’. For me personally, it was too rich, one bite had me on a sugar high for a while but I did appreciate the warm soft moist cake.
Vanilla bean white chocolate panna cotta– with peach liquor & blueberry compote & biscotti ($8.50) Not an overly sweet dessert, this suited me to a ‘T’. The blueberry compote was delicious and was sweet enough to compliment the panna cotta. I couldn’t taste the white chocolate but it had a nice wobbly texture.
When we went, Gigi’s had only been open for a month. Since following them on FaceBook it looks like they have a lot planned for this venue including live music on Sundays and updating their menu. I have high hopes for this restaurant and can’t wait to go back and eat more fresh seafood.
Venue: Gigi’s restaurant and bar
Address: 22 Market Street, Wollongong, NSW, 2500
Opening hours: The restaurant is open from 7am till late, seven days a week.