Late in October, my team at work was visited by a few of our colleagues from India. I was then asked to organise a dinner for a small group of us which catered to their vegetarian requirements and was somewhere near the beach. After searching for a venue that would meet these two requirements, I decided to book Voyage Kitchen, as their Spring menu had lots of vegetarian options and the restaurant is situated opposite Sorrento Beach.
Unfortunately, our experience with Voyage Kitchen started off a bit roughly. When I called ahead to book a table, the girl on the phone seemed to be in quite a rush – so much so that when I went to ask a question, she hung up on me. On the night of our dinner reservation, I arrived punctually but was told that there was no table under my name and they had a function in half of their restaurant and could only offer a table to me for two hours. Luckily, after a few moments of deliberation, a few tables were rearranged and we were seated at our table of 6.
Voyage Kitchen serves simple, rustic food and does not have a liquor license (but you can BYO). There is a bottle-shop literally around the corner which is convenient if you enjoy a bottle of vino with your dinner but arrive unprepared.
To start with, we ordered a few entrees to share. The first was the Pea and Mint Croquettes ($12.50), made with crushed green peas, a little chilli, fresh mint and bread crumbs and was served with herb crème fraiche. This dish was interesting and had a subtle taste to it. The croquettes were also a bit crumbly but overall we enjoyed them.
The Mushroom and Porcini Dumplings ($14.50) were the better of the two entrees. These dumplings were made with wild mushrooms, cumin, sesame and coriander, then drizzled with fried garlic oil and sheep yoghurt. The dumplings were slightly crispy on the outside but still remained their softness. The flavour of the mushrooms and fried garlic oil was a winning match.
Our three guests were vegetarian and it was great that Voyage Kitchen had a lot of vegetarian options on their menu. One of our guests ordered the Pan Fried Homemade Gnocchi ($24.50) for his main, which consisted of potato and lemon gnocchi, fresh tomato ragu, lemon ricotta and herbs. Unfortunately, he didn’t enjoy it and it was barely touched.
Our other two guests ordered the Eggplant and Pinenut Moussaka ($23.50). I love Moussaka and have mentioned a few times on PFJ that my favourite dish is Egyptian-style moussaka. The Voyage Kitchen rendition of Moussaka was the Greek version, made with eggplant, parsley, semi dried tomatoes, Gruyère, toasted pine nuts, béchamel and fresh grated nutmeg. When this dish arrived it looked amazing, with the slightly brown layer of béchamel on top. The two guests who ordered this dish said that it was an excellent dish.
One of my colleagues ordered the Chargrilled 250g Sirloin Steak ($37), which was served with sautéed King Oyster mushrooms, herb butter and garlic, roasted potatoes. She stated that the steak was overcooked and she didn’t particularly enjoy the dish as a whole. However, she stated that the flavour of the sautéed King Oyster mushrooms was amazing and she wished that she had a whole plate of them instead of the steak!
My other colleague and I ordered the Sorrento Seaside Linguine ($31). The description stated that the linguine included Australian mussels, prawns, fish, squid, garlic, chilli, tomato, lemon and lots of fresh herbs, tossed with rocket and drizzled with local olive oil. I love seafood but was a tiny bit disappointed as I had no mussels and two prawns, whereas my colleague said that she had quite a few of them in her dish! I assume that our pastas were made in the same pan, but the dishes weren’t divided evenly. Regardless, I still enjoyed this dish however my colleague said that she found it quite oily.
We also ordered the ‘Our Salad’ ($12.50) as well as a serving of Hand Cut Chips ($10) to share. The salad was made with baby spinach, shallots, toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, shaved pecorino and shallot dressing. Due to the large servings of our mains, we didn’t end up eating the salad but enjoyed picking the pomegranate seeds off the salad at the end. The hand cut chips were sprinkled with paprika salt and served with aioli. I have to admit that I was surprised by the serving size for the $10 price-tag.
After dinner, we were left with our empty plates in front of us for close to an hour. Then, a waitress began to take some away, but then seemed to forget half of them on our table. It took her another extended period of time to come back and clear the table properly. The six of us all mentioned this peculiar method.
Overall, we were all happy to have a comfortable venue to sit and discuss a variety of topics. An added bonus was the variety of vegetarian options and there were excellent elements to each dish. However, the six of us were a little underwhelmed by the food overall but especially the service. Due to my average breakfast experience at Voyage Kitchen earlier this year, I’m not quite sure I will return again.
Voyage Kitchen is open for dinner between 6pm to 9pm, from Wednesday to Saturday.