red cray – belmont
Red Cray is one of the very few places where a waiter by the door has noticed me outside the restaurant and opens the door for me before I can even reach it. The waiter remembers my booking from memory, remarks my guest is already seated and escorts me to the table.
We are seated next to a glass walled room, with a breath taking view over the Swan River. Shielded from the rays of the setting sun, Red Cray’s location behind Sandringham is quite stunning. Many customers sitting inside the glass walled room go outside to admire the view of the peachy rays over Maylands and beyond. Next time I am getting a table in there!
There are a lot of waiters in the restaurant and understandably so. Even on a weeknight, the restaurant is almost full house. Our garlic bread arrives. It’s below average. The bread is soft and crusty but not grilled enough to crisp up the butter. The pungency of garlic was sorely lacking with a few depressing flecks of parsley on each slice.
We both order the Cray Royale for our mains. It’s half a crayfish with mornay sauce, with two grilled prawns and a scallop on a skewer, served with risotto and salad. It looks delicious, the angry redness of the crayfish shell sits on a bed of creamy risotto, willing us to dig in.
The skewer of prawns and scallop is topped with a few specks of caviar, which imparts a salty taste. Perfectly cooked, the prawns are tender, fresh and generously sized. The scallop was an exception to the case in Perth – perfectly cooked, plump and wait for it – it was sweet. I wish there were more scallops on the dish, but I had to try my best to savour just the one. The risotto was creamy and dotted with flecks of spring onion. I also wish I had more of it but it was already a large serve!
It was not until we walked out of the restaurant that I realised the crays were from the tank, which would explain the slightly tough texture. The crays were undoubtedly fresh, but crays kept in tanks tend to deteriorate and will never rival the taste of crays fresh from the sea. I guess the best option would be to catch my own lobster and have it fresh, but that is probably never going to happen!
For cray lovers, besides the taste – size is the most important factor. I digress to the last time we had crayfish – it was at Victoria Station during a crayfish special. Seriously the size of the crayfish rivalled the tiger prawn on the surf and turf! Red Cray’s crayfish are about legal size – so a decent enough size. $33 is good value for the half lobster served. We prise the soft white flesh from the tail and keen diners like me can manipulate even more flesh from the head and legs of the crayfish (if you are willing to get stabbed in the finger by a spine, like me)(ouch). However no finger bowls were provided.
To finish up, we had coffees instead of dessert (though there were some tempting options). The coffee is particularly strong here and was quite bitter even in an affogato.
Overall it was a better than expected meal and I’d definitely return. The service is exceptionally good. I noticed their waiters actually bother to remember tables and diners and regularly do rounds of the restaurant. Their menu is good value considering the quality and river views (if you can get the right table).
Up’s: Well priced, good quality food. The menu is quite diverse, there’s something for everyone, even meat lovers. Great service and potential river views.
Down’s: Apart from the below par garlic bread, none to mention.
Red Cray Seafood and Restaurant Grill, 86 Great Eastern Hwy, Belmont WA 6104
T: (08) 9479 7000
Lunch Mon – Fri 12 – 2.30pm
Dinner Mon – Thu 5.30 – 9, Thu – Sun 5.30 – 9.30
add a comment.
You may use Markdown syntax in your comments.