Paul’s Seafood on Gouger


date of visit: Wednesday 24 July 2013

Almost four years since our last (blogged) visit to Paul’s. Andy loves this place and, in amongst the many many Asian eateries on Gouger Street, Paul’s is a blast of fresh sea air.

Paul’s is not a flashy, first date kind of venue. From the street, it looks like a fish and chip shop and that really is what it is. The fryer sits at the front of the shop, with a fridge of fish in front of it. Tables and chairs are basic and there is a tiny bar at the back, from behind which comes not only drinks but plates stacked with the basic salad, ready to be filled with fried, battered, crumbed or grilled seafood.

If you’re not in the mood for seafood, you don’t go to Paul’s: pretty much the only non piscine option is the garlic bread. The laminated menu lists the fish you can have (snapper, barramundi … you know the drill) and a basic specials menu might list things like salt and pepper soft shell crab or grilled moreton bay bugs.

Service is swift, making Paul’s an ideal venue for those with small people in tow (oh wait! that’s us!) or with somewhere else to be. We arrived around a quarter past five and while the restaurant wasn’t technically open yet, we were able to sit down, scan the menu and feed the toddler sultanas.

For the toddler, we chose the entrée portion of whitebait, while I had the salt and pepper squid (main portion, but I really could have done with the small option) and Andy had the soft shell crab. The whitebait came with some lettuce while the main courses came with lettuce, tomato and cucumber as well as Paul’s hand cut wedges.

I really like that the food is basic. The salt and pepper squid, at $20 a portion, tears strips off that which you’ll find similarly priced in a pub. I also much prefer the simple salad which is obviously crisp and fresh and NOT drowned in dressing. And the wedges are better too. Given that Andy always orders the soft shell crab when it’s on the menu, that must be good too. And the toddler rated the whitebait highly.

Service is relaxed and casual but efficient. Last night we were in the fortunate position of finishing our food before the toddler had finished his. The waitress cleared Andy’s plate, asking him if he had finished first. The toddler, clearly concerned that his little fish were about to disappear wailed “I not finished eating!” as she disappeared. Rest assured, the staff at Paul’s won’t allow your food to disappear …

For the three of us (food, a Boags and a glass of Skillogalee Riesling), after our Entertainment Book discount, the bill came to $55. A cheap, cheerful and tasty night out.

Pauls on Gouger on Urbanspoon

Fish Glenelg


Disclaimer: GroupOn sent me a $30 voucher to use as I liked. I chose the Fish deal which was selling for $49.

Date of visit: Sunday 23 September 2012

First up I’m going to talk about my GroupOn experience. But you can jump straight to the review of Fish.

Quite a while back now, GroupOn approached me, offering me a voucher to use as I wished and provide feedback on the whole experience.

Group buying sites, as a whole, seem to have a pretty bad reputation. I think that part of it is that buyers often have unrealistic expectations (they really do want to get something for nothing!) – personally I’ve only had positive experiences, but them, I’m very cautious. For more on that, check out my top tips for deal buyers.

I hadn’t actually bought from GroupOn before but I accepted the offer because Fish at Glenelg was offering a seafood platter for 2, with wine, for $49. As it was going to cost me $19 I figured there was almost no way I could be disappointed.

I had a bit of a struggle logging on to GroupOn – you’re offered the option of signing up either through Facebook or using an email – so you do have to remember which and, on my first go, the website did get its knickers in a bit of a twist but on a subsequent attempt it was smart enough to remind me how I’d signed up.

Buying the deal was easy (another smart tip for punters – if you have a credit card always use that for online purchases, it’s safer than a debit card) but after a couple of days I realised I hadn’t received any email confirmation of my purchase and it wasn’t showing up in my account on the site either. I checked my card statement and I had indeed been charged. I sent a query to GroupOn through the site and this was answered promptly and my problem solved. All you see on the internet is people complaining about the service offered by group buying sites when there’s an issue so please note that I had a positive experience!

The problem was that I’d managed to mistype my email address so my email confirmation had disappeared and, for the same reason, my purchase hadn’t made it into my GroupOn account either. Note to the GroupOn guys: look at updating the website so that it verifies email addresses (regardless of log on method) and autofills them when people order.

It took me a while to use my voucher (busy busy and all that!) so I was really pleased that GroupOn sent me an email a few weeks before the voucher expired, reminding me to use it.

As we were dining early on a Sunday I only rang Fish a couple of days in advance to make our booking. They open at 6pm so that’s the time we were booked for. We’re usually pretty prompt but we weren’t actually the first people through the door!

The restaurant is a lot smaller than I expected, but has plenty of outdoor seating and faces directly onto the marina. It’s not quite dinner outside weather just yet but it would be perfect in summer – both for boat and people watching.

The kitchen area is really open – it’s really like a fish and chip shop in that respect because you can watch absolutely everything that’s going on. There’s a small bar at the rear of the restaurant but otherwise the floor is given over to seating.

As our GroupOn deal specified what we were getting there was no umming and aahing over food or wine. We opted not to have entrées because we weren’t sure how long the baby’s tolerance would last. The food came out quickly and you could tell it was all freshly done.

The platter consisted of 2 oysters, a bowl of mussels, 3 garfish fillets (doubles), salt and pepper squid, chips and salad.

The Sauvignon Blanc was a pretty generic dilute NZ number – completely inoffensive but certainly nothing to write home about. However, the food was all pretty good. Up until now, the baby has resolutely shown no interest in squid, but the salt and pepper squid, all tender and crispy, was his favourite – outstripping even the chips. The chips were excellent: gorgeously golden brown, irregularly shaped and fluffy on the inside. Much much better than the standard chip. I also really enjoyed the mussels – I think about one in the bowl was not open (something I don’t have a problem with when you have a whole bowl) – and they came in a tomato broth with tons of parsley which was lovely. The garfish was lightly battered and super fresh. The salad stood out for not being too ridiculously over dressed.

By the time we finished, we were full. It wasn’t the most giant fish platter in the world, but it was certainly enough for dinner (even if you do have to share the squid with a small eating machine). We rounded off the meal with coffees and headed home more than happy.

The big point of difference eating at Fish was the excellent service. Our waitress took the time to ensure the high chair was wiped down, she stowed the pram away for us, she offered us both cutlery and crockery for the baby and, when we neglected to order him a babycino (!) she was thoughtful enough to bring one out for him. And when I managed to forget his booster chair – she spotted it and reminded me.

As far as I’m concerned, Fish did everything right with this deal. Do I think it was worth the touted ‘original’ price of nearly $100? No – but it’s also not something you can order from their standard menu. Is it worth $50? ABSOLUTELY. The restaurant has successfully put together a deal which showcases what it can do and should entice you to return.

For the service alone, I’d go back to Fish, but the food is definitely good enough to warrant a return visit. Next time, I’ll go on a sunny day for lunch, sit outside, enjoy one of the lunch specials and order the baby his own serve of salt and pepper squid …

Fish on Urbanspoon

Sammys on the Marina

Marina Restaurants. Glenelg. SAPhoto by Amanda Slater.

Another guest review today, this time from contributor Fabio.

Date of Visit: 7 December 2011

Although I like seafood, I have never really sought to visit specialty seafood restaurants. So when visiting friends from Hong Kong asked for some recommendations, I had to ask friends and work colleagues for some suggestions. It’s a bit strange that Adelaide, which has such great range of quality seafood, does not appear to have a specialty seafood restaurant of great repute like Doyles in Sydney. Sammy’s on the Marina was suggested by a work colleague and ended up being chosen by my friends.

We arranged to visit after work on a hot Wednesday afternoon. Getting to Sammy’s can be a bit tricky and I suggest ignoring the Maps app on the iPhone, which directed us to somewhere south of Colley Reserve! Sammy’s is tucked in around the corner of the most northerly part of the marina complex and overlooks the marina’s breakwater – don’t get confused like we did and go into the neighbouring restaurant!

Being a warm day, we chose to sit inside and we sat towards the front of the restaurant with pleasant views overlooking the marina and sea.

For entree I decided we should have something which wasn’t seafood and we had to share the Three House Dips. There were 3 dips: beetroot, avocado and cream cheese.

After some indecision as to what to order for mains, we decided to go with the waitress’s recommendation of 2 platters: Deluxe and Sammys. All platters are served with chips and a Greek salad. For 5 hungry people this turned out to be a mountain of food and we should have probably skipped the entree or invited another person! Both platters were superb, but the Deluxe had the highlights for me – the lemon herb scallops and garlic cream scampi.

For drinks, we limited ourselves to just a single bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Shaw & Smith, which again was the waitress’s recommendation and proved to be a sound choice.

Despite being a bit pricey ($240 for the Deluxe platter and $150 for the Sammys platter), my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Sammy’s proved to be a good choice and whenever someone visiting Adelaide asks me again to recommend a quality seafood restaurant, I’ll readily suggest Sammy’s on the Marina.

Sammy's on the Marina on Urbanspoon