Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Contents 166 SCOOP AUTUMN 2010
Indiana | COTTESLOE
Indiana delivers food to match its superb
It s been a long time since I ve eaten at Indiana. It
has always been a bit of a cliche: great view, pity
about the food. So when Chris Taylor (Frasers,
Blue Water Grill, The Old Swan Brewery) an-
nounced a makeover last spring, expectations were
high. New head chef Ben Davies was brought on
board, the menu was overhauled and the gorgeous
beachside building given a much-needed lift. Heav-
en knows, we need more quality coastal eateries, so
I was desperately hoping for this to be good.
Things went well from the start. We were given
a great table, right by the huge windows, which,
even though closed due to the howling wind, af-
ford our Swiss friends and us a fantastic view of the
coast. The changes to the old building are subtle
yet welcome. All surfaces are freshly painted, chairs
and tables no longer look tired and the ubiquitous
beach paraphernalia has been cleaned up and rear-
ranged. The lounge area is inviting and perfect for
a Sunday cocktail. It all has a stylish cafe feel to it.
One glance at the menu and you can see that this
is just what the team is trying to achieve. Nothing
fancy here and, hallelujah, prices that don t make
us cringe. The menu is divided into sections of
cold, charcuterie (all 40g per serve), pasta, seafood,
meats, pizza, salad and sides.
We shared four entrees, which proved a great
choice. There is no way to look beyond the soft
shell crab ($24.50) because, when done well, it s
divine. The batter was light and the Szechuan pep-
per seasoning gave it the extra flavour it needed.
A simple plate of roma tomatoes, buffalo moz-
zarella and air-dried beef and rocket drizzled with
olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, was very good.
The high quality of the South Australian mozza-
rella shone, though I would have preferred no beef
strips as it complicated the dish.
I m always happy to see steak tartare ($24.50)
on a menu and it seems to be enjoying something
of a popular resurgence. The meat has to be of the
highest quality and well trimmed because there
is simply nowhere to hide with the dish. The
seasoning needs balance so as not to overpower the
meat. Too much Worcestershire or Tabasco or not
enough onion or capers and you re in trouble. Not
enough egg and the meat won t bind. The portion
is generous and served with hand-cut chips, which
were a welcome surprise. The meat was ground a
little too coarsely for my liking (again, a bit of a
trend these days) but that didn t detract from what
was a corker of a dish. Calamari was lightly fried,
crisp and tasty. Turkish bread is crunchy and hot
and comes with a very good hummus.
Although there are many smaller dishes to
choose from, the menu is a little limited with the
mains. I was after a simple piece of grilled fish but
the only thing on offer was swordfish ($20/$31),
which I didn t feel like. Similarly, if you want meat,
then there is only the scotch fillet or the wagyu
burger to choose from. We went with the fillet and
the swordfish and both were excellent.
The fillet (the dearest thing on the menu at
$37) is generous, perfectly cooked and served on
a bed of oven-roasted potatoes. My husband de-
clared it to be outstanding, which is quite a rarity.
Unfortunately, the duck, leek and mushroom
cappelletti ($31) was disappointing; the pasta was
inexcusably overcooked and the duck ragú dry. But
it was the only blip on an otherwise excellent meal.
Indiana s has repositioned itself as a casual,
beachside eatery offering simple, no nonsense,
great quality food.
Open Monday to Friday from 8am, with all-day food
from 10.30am, Saturday and Sunday for breakfast
and all-day dining from noon. BYO Sunday nights,
corkage $15 a bottle. 99 Marine Pde, Cottesloe,
(08) 9385 5005, indiana.com.au.
Roma tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella & air-dried beef
Soft shell crab
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