Decadent Dining at Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island
Capella Lodge on Australia’s Lord Howe Island is not just about relaxation within luxurious surrounds, on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The Lodge also prides itself on sophisticated dining, accompanied by classic cocktails and free-flowing fine wine…
Lord Howe Island is a speck in the ocean, 700km from the coast of New South Wales, but the restaurant at Capella Lodge has a reputation for stylish dining that is the envy of many mainland counterparts. The chefs at Capella Lodge have overcome the tyranny of distance by creating an innovative menu showcasing local produce - a bounty of local seafood, island-sourced fresh produce and a range of housemade specialties.
For dinner each evening, two menu options are available.
The first is the recurring Capella Classics Menu which remains constant throughout your stay, although it does change with the seasons. It covers all the basics you might need over the course of your visit.
Staples include a black angus beef fillet and a vegetarian fettuccine with chilli, garlic and tomatoes.
Of course locally caught, ultra fresh, Lord Howe Island fish is also always in the kitchen, prepared pan-fried or to your liking.
Hand cut chips, salad with goat cheese and olives, steamed island and mainland vegetables, desserts (including house-made sorbets) and a selection of farmhouse cheeses round out the selection.
The second menu option is one which changes daily, with the talented chefs making the most of the freshest available produce. It generally features an amuse bouche, followed by a selection of two entrees, three mains, desserts and/or cheese plus recommended matching wines.
Now invariably we find it very hard to muster the required self-control to hold back long enough to take those necessary revealing dinner photographs.
So if we are being honest, the very best looking (and tasting) dishes never made it onto our camera roll!
In particular the BBQ Moreton Bay Bug served on the evening of our arrival did not survive more than a few seconds.
However via a concerted team effort, the spatchcock lasted just a few moments longer.
(Though don’t think for a second it was any less satisfying.)
In addition to the regular menus, on one night each week there is a special six course degustation menu.
We started with an enjoyable cured kingfish with horseradish chantilly before moving on to a surprisingly flavoursome green vegetable salad.
Then came a very interesting dish of sautéed mushrooms with smoked egg and crispy pig.
The primary protein course, the onyx beef was a clear highlight of the night, however the rest was somewhat a satisfied blur with the cheese course ultimately delivered to our room so we could stretch out and take our time with it.
Some other dishes of particular note during the course of our stay at Capella Lodge are highlighted below…
As mentioned in our Capella Lodge accommodation post (Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island - More Baillie Lodges Luxury) the room rate includes breakfast and dinner, as well as all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from the bar (except a small range of premium wines).
Breakfast is served from 8am to 10am, and includes espresso coffee, freshly squeezed juice and a small buffet of cereals, fruit, toast and cold cuts, plus hot choices from the kitchen – the usual suspects of eggs and sides, plus more eclectic options, such as a breakfast bowl of grains and vegetables, and a chia pudding with honeycomb and roasted fruits.
In our five day stay, all were tasted, and all were delectable. The omelette with goats cheese was a particular highlight. And while the kitchen closes up at approximately 10am, the staff are more than happy to let you have a gentle start to the day, luxuriating in the stunning surrounds with a bountiful supply of coffee and tea.
When it comes to lunch, in all honesty you could very easily survive without it, especially given the included supply of in-suite snacks, replenished daily, such as cookies, nuts, chocolates, crisps and muesli bars. However the restaurant is of course open with a modest meal selection.
Many guests however avail themselves of a picnic lunch option.
In our case, as we are Mr & Mrs Smith GoldSmith Members, our reservation at Capella Lodge included a free picnic BBQ. In this regard, the Capella Team advised us of a stunning beach side location, and we arrived by bike to find a picnic table set with tablecloth and cutlery, three eskies full of drinks, meats, seafoods, salads, bread rolls and brownies, as well as all necessary BBQ tools, matches and kindling to cook our decadent oceanside feast.
The experience was all capped off by a post-prandial swim with a giant green turtle, making it a highly memorable and personal experience.
Back at Capella Lodge Restaurant, dinner is served from 7pm, but guests are encouraged to join fellow lodgers on the deck from 6pm, to watch the sun set over the ocean, with an expertly made cocktail in hand.
Bite-sized canapes make the rounds, hardly necessary given the decadent meal about to follow, but far too delicious to resist.
The included help-yourself (well, if you say so…) wine selection has all bases covered when its time to move on…
Once the sun has dipped below the horizon, and a myriad of stars begin to speckle the sky, the dinner service commences, with highly enthusiastic and knowledgable staff ensuring your every desire is met, and your every meal is memorable.
Capella Lodge is a stylish and sophisticated resort, and its restaurant, with its innovative cuisine and outstanding beverages, in the island’s most impressive dining destination, is well worthy of its acclaim.