154 Ocean Beach Road
Sorrento VIC 3943
03 5984 1057
So, I was wandering the streets of Sorrento – alone. This is the downside of being a diving “widow” on weekends away – you have to be content to dine alone for lunch. I had a craving for some scallops and was thinking… where would I be able to get some well cooked food without having to drive out to one of the wineries. Ahh… Three Palms. Nestled in the main retail strip that runs through Sorrento, Three Palms promises an “exciting dining experience with varied menu origins and unique share style dining” (from their website). Well – I wasn’t planning on sharing – but I thought a few tapas style dishes would be fine for a lone diner.
They have an interesting ordering style – basically you’re provided with a large printout of their menu, and you specify how many serves of each dish you would like! I settled on three smallish dishes – and waited expectantly with a glass of pinot noir in hand!
Hmm… it doesn’t really look like tuna… and it’s a very unusual presentation for ceviche. But maybe this is one of those examples of a dish from varied origins! I was a bit surprised to find pita on the plate – but it actually worked quite well with the dish. But that’s about where the positive story ends… the fish was frozen. And not just frozen in a “I’ve just frozen it a bit to get uber thin slices” – frozen in a way that the slices of fish were folded around each other and melded together; in a way where I had to use my knife to prise apart the fish pieces… this had clearly been prepared in advance, including folding through the ginger and lime dressing – and then frozen!!!! Not good. And, I have to say… it looked suspiciously like smoked salmon to me… not an impressive dish at all.
These scallops were actually the best dish for me – they were perfectly cooked to medium rare. The orange quince dressing was delicate and light, and the spicy dukkah was a great foil and good textural contrast. Quite a good dish.
I have to admit – my first mouthful of these were amazing. I had clearly hit the mother lode – with a generous serve of duck in my first mouthful. It was then I decided to cut them in half and capture the cross-section. Hmmm…. that’s strange – there’s no duck there…. And that was the problem with this dish – the duck was barely there, captured in some small pockets – but 80% of the content was spakfilla! Rice noodles and vegetables. This dish cost $14… I can’t help but compare them to the incomparable lamb spring rolls from Lau’s Family Kitchen… which are about the same price – and they are choc full of gorgeous meat! Sorry Three Palms – just not good enough!
I was in the mood for a sweet finish to my meal – but a quick peruse of the menu, and wondering how they might murder a pannacotta, made me decide to find my sweet finish elsewhere. Alas – this is a restaurant that promises a great deal – but fails to deliver. It may be a classic example of a restaurant that enjoys a bit of a captive tourist audience in the main street of Sorrento, but for the price you’re paying (I paid $52 for 3 dishes and a glass of wine) - the quality is just not there.