LAKES ENTRANCE | What a stroke of luck to arrive in a town and discover that one of the region’s hottest new restaurants has opened just a week prior.
I hadn’t come across Sodafish in my East Gippsland “where to eat” research but when Sallie from Gippsland Jersey and Gabi from Sailors Grave Brewing both asked me if I’d eaten there yet, it was clear I needed to check it out, which I did for lunch that very day.
Sodafish is anchored in the harbour of Lakes Entrance in a refurbished ferry, the brainchild of owner and executive chef Nick Mahlook, who returned home after a long stint as the executive chef at Melbourne’s Atlantic restaurant.
Sodafish is all about supporting the local community and showcasing the region’s amazing produce. Upstairs it’s a bar and eatery and downstairs a fish and chippery. The menu is all about nostalgic childhood dishes and reinvented classics. What perfect timing for me to be in town!
The wonderfully charred woodfired arrow squid with potatoes, olives, lemon, and parsley is a highlight, as is the fish and chips. Nick’s version is some of the best I’ve ever tried – seasonal local fish coasted in sourdough batter, with tartare and lemon. So light and airy.
I also enjoyed the sourdough foccacia with flathead taromasalata, Merimbula oysters with mignonette, octopus ragout on toast, and duckfish crudo with citrus dressing and mustard leaves. For dessert, the Sol Coffe Roasters and Wyanga Park muscat tiramisu completed the meal perfectly.
Sodafish has only been open for two weeks, and already Nick and the team are smashing it out of the park. Consider it ‘must do’ dining in Lakes Entrance.
Middle Boat Harbour
Sun – Sat: 12:00pm to 10:00pm