Dining at Carmody’s, Southport Sharks’ award-winning signature restaurant, it’s hard to believe how far the club has come from its humble beginnings. Following its founding in 1961, most early social gatherings were held in a tin shed adjoining change rooms at Owen Park. Named in honour of Gerry Carmody, respected Treasurer and Licensee of the Southport AFL club, Carmody’s is a great example of how far its dedicated members have brought the club.
Perched above the grandly lit adjoining football grounds, we look out through floor to ceiling glass as mist rises from players training in the crisp night air. Inside Carmody’s, we’re in a peacefully stylish dining area at linen-clad tables, far away from the bustling inner city, enjoying excellent service and a meal which satisfies on many fronts.
Sous Chef Nathan Hay’s menu has come a long way, too, from the time when club Vice President and benefactor Wally Fankhauser used to place hot potatoes soaked in garlic butter as snacks on the bar!
It’s just as generous, however; modern, internationally influenced comfort food, big in flavour in generous serves. We are sampling Carmody’s new winter menu; dishes which draw from local produce from earth and sea.
We begin with indulgence: Crab, parmesan and truffle mornay filled oysters and Pork Belly as entrées. The pork belly is a winner! Lightly smoked, the palate is balanced in flavour and colour with a sweet maple bourbon glaze and accompanying butternut pumpkin, pork floss and a rhubarb and ginger compote.
We choose winter mains: a sensational Braised beef short rib dressed with juniper honey glaze on a mesquite potato terrine, and a Grilled lamb rack presented two ways – a cutlet on the bone as well as a gamey shank, its meat pressed to intensify the flavour. They’re both beautifully presented generous serves, accompanied by plenty of vegetables. Nevertheless, the range of sides is tempting too, such as Butternut pumpkin with cranberry, maple roasted pecans and goat’s cheese.
The dessert assiette (plate) enables us to share four of the chef’s selections ($17.90): Chocolate lava pudding with Persian fairy floss, Deconstructed cheesecake, a Cinnamon doughnut, Smoked white chocolate ice cream and a parfait glass of Lemon meringue. It’s a feast which will leave no diner hungry!
It’s worth watching out for the weekly specials. They’re fabulous value for great food! The Celebrations Menu on Tuesday and Wednesday nights ($39.90 for members) offers two courses from a set menu as well as shared dessert. Saturday’s Early bird Menu offers two courses for $29.90 for members. There are benefits to dining early (complimentary shared dessert if seated before 6pm) or in a party of four or more (complimentary wine). Check the conditions on the club’s website.
Carmody’s Grill is far more than a club restaurant. Awarded regional winner for Best Pub/Club/Tavern Restaurant 2012, Carmody’s has gained wider recognition through Australian Gourmet Traveller’s Wine List of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013. As the lights of the floodlights dim on the field outside, the flavours on our palates also fade. Somewhere in the club someone may have claimed the $17,000 members’ draw, but we feel that we’ve won already with a fabulous meal.
Southport Sharks, Cnr Musgrave & Olsen Ave., Southport Ph: 07 5532 1155
DISCLAIMER: Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of Southport Sharks. Prices were correct at time of writing. Please check latest prices with venue.