Writing about hidden gems is usually tricky; While we want to share the spot’s beauty with the world, we also don’t want it to lose its undiscovered charm.
But after seeing West Beach restaurant Oceanique and meeting the five enthusiastic family members who co-run it, we feel compelled to share our new favourite spot and trust the owners will always maintain its quaint feel.
Tucked away at Adelaide Sailing Club, the venue has impeccable oceanfront views and fresh seafood. You’d expect such a pristine location to be overrun by tourists, and yet, despite being bustling, the spot feels secluded and private, making it a truly hidden gem.
The oceanside spot not only has coastal views but also delicious food, including seafood right from the sea you’re looking over.
While they have delicious land-based dishes––crispy zucchini flowers, slices of roasted Waygu beef with truffle anchovy mayonnaise, chicken liver pate with spiced plums and crostini, an amazing vegetarian rigatoni, and more––their fresh seafood is particularly noteworthy.
Oceanique has entrees of house-smoked skate, which is served with a potato rosti, apple and horseradish cream, and “fish face,” which is Greenly Island ocean jacket cheeks with san choy bau, and mains such as the fish of the day and Pop’s Fish & Chips, which, like the fish face entree, are made from Greenly Island ocean jacket.
While ocean jacket is often stigmatized, Oceanique prefers the species because it’s better for the environment, an ideal upheld by head chef Toby Gush and the restaurant’s owners.
“Sustainability and the environment are really important to us; This is such a beautiful setting, and we want to make sure it’s here in the years to come,” co-owner Sam Dunning tells us.
“We use ocean jacket because everything else is overfished, so this is the most sustainable and local fish.”
And trust us, its dubious reputation is dead wrong; My friend described the sweet and light Pop’s Fish & Chips as the “best she has ever eaten.”
As you eat your tasty, eco-friendly meal, you can also wash it down with one of Oceanique’s cocktails (which can be ordered and made in an adorable cocktail trolley!) and enjoy the restaurant’s stellar customer service.
The West Beach gem is owned and operated by Lucy Dunning, her brother Sam and his wife Leticia Dunning, Leticia’s mum Tina, and Tina’s partner Giuseppe (Joe). There’s more than 150 years’ experience between them: Sam and Joe ran The Store in North Adelaide together, Lucy and Leticia both worked in events at the National Wine Centre, and Sam worked on reopening The Stag and Maid and Magpie, to name a few.
“Our family is now one, but until a few years ago, we were three different families,” Leticia tells us of their interwoven family unit.
“Hospitality runs through our veins; We live and breathe it. We truly believe in what we do and are confident that we are some of the best at it.”
The family’s dedication to their craft shows in their curation of their West Beach venue that ties together quality food, delicious wine, sustainability, and beautiful views into one that’s uniquely Oceanique.
Find Oceanique at 9 Barcoo Road, West Beach.