Birthday celebration is an excellent reason to wine and dine with friends. It’s also a convenient excuse to splurge and catch up over a fine dining meal. A few weeks ago, the girls and I celebrated my friend’s 26th birthday at Windross in Cockle Bay. Located in the tranquil beach-front reserve of Cockle Bay, Windross is a refurbished historical villa that is now a beautiful restaurant where locals can come for everyday dining or become a romantic venue that is suitable for special celebrations such as weddings and private functions.

Being in a secluded area, parking was a breeze even though the restaurant was busy. We went on a Friday night and the dining room was still full of patrons at 8 o’clock. I was very impressed with the extensive menu that they currently offer, and there is something for everyone. This ranges from pizzas, pastas, salads and other main courses such as different variation of steaks, veal, venison, chicken and seafood. We were spoilt for choice.

The birthday girl is a regular Windross customer and she highly recommended the Bistecca Alexander steak. The tender and juicy scotch fillet was served with a side of roasted vegetables and a green salad. The sauce – a creamy combination of mushroom, bacon and roasted garlic – was hearty and delicious. My spaghetti arabiata,  with olives, capers and mushrooms was cooked in a fresh tomato sauce and tossed with chili oil. The chili oil gave the dish a nice bite and the pasta was cooked al-dente. The only complaint I had regarding my dish is the stones in the olives as I personally prefer them served de-stoned, especially when combined with pasta. My friend’s seafood risotto with pieces of prawns, scallops and mussels in a tomato-based sauce is surprisingly sweet and it was divine! The rice was nicely cooked and it absorbed the delicious sweet flavours of the tomatoes without being overpowering. Overall, we were very pleased with our mains.

As we had skipped entrees, we had ample room for dessert so we all decided to order a dish each. The homemade white chocolate cheesecake might sound amazing but the texture and flavours of the cheesecake was disappointing. Firstly, the cream cheese filling was not properly set, making the texture slightly runny. Secondly, the flavour was too intense and sweet for our liking. My kiwifruit ice cream on the other hand, was phenomenal. The velvety and milky texture meant that the ice cream is smooth and this was a nice contrast to the chunks of green kiwifruit that is mixed within. The highlight of our dessert would have to be the homemade Italian cassata that combined pieces of rum and marsala soaked fruits and nuts with creamy Italian ice cream. We immensely enjoyed the combination of rum and ice cream.

I was highly impressed with the food and service at Windross. The flavours for the majority of the dishes were spot on and the homey presentation of the food was unpretentious and simple. It was dark outside when we started dinner so we were unable to enjoy the beautiful view but this gives me a reason to come back for lunch which is available from Friday to Sunday between 11:30am and 2:30pm.

Date: Friday November 2012 | Location: 41 Shelly Beach Parade, Cockle Bay | Food: Contemporary Italian


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