Fruits de mer: The Guinea Chick Stuffed with Crab and Shrimp and butter sauce starter. *Photo by Sarah Lagan
Fruits de mer: The Guinea Chick Stuffed with Crab and Shrimp and butter sauce starter. *Photo by Sarah Lagan

I tasted my first ever guinea chick lobster and this lady’s not for turning. 

As much as I enjoy spiny and Maine lobster, it has never completely bowled me over as it does so many people — I normally go for a thermidor as the creamy, cheesy, brandy sauce takes it to another level. Sacrilege to some, I know.

Not feeling brave enough to commit to the local guinea chick for my main dish last Friday lunchtime, I chose them for the starter. As soon as I took my first bite I kicked myself and I’m already planning my next trip to the restaurant to order them for my main. It’s a bit of a treat at $26.50 for a starter and $47.50 as a main, coming in slightly more expensive than the normal lobster by weight.

They are tiny little critters — a small, adult guinea chick split lengthways and stuffed to the gills with crab and shrimp mix makes for a perfectly-sized starter.  

While lobster doesn’t so much fall apart in your mouth as retain its form to some extent, the guinea’s tiny tail is a bit meatier and a whole lot sweeter. As for that crab and shrimp stuffing, not too fishy, a slightly creamy taste with a lovely little crunch on top from the grill. The dish comes with a small tub of drawn margarine, I’d suggest asking for butter instead. Also on the side was a fresh, crisp salad — not too fussy to take away the limelight.

My guest chose the Wahoo Goujons starter which was nice but not a scratch on the guineas. The one-inch chunks of wahoo came in a lightly oiled bread with no greasiness. I’d probably get them again.

On to the main course, my old faithful, the Lobster Thermidor. The fact that it was locally caught was noticeable as it was fresh and sweet with not a hint of toughness to it.  

This dish has a killer sauce — the rich creamy flavour is given depth by the garlic and brandy while the button mushrooms and onions bring a nice little bite to the texture.

A generous sprinkling of parmesan finishes it off with a strong cheesy crisp.

The sides, again, are not too fussy, just a choice of potatoes and a little broccoli and zucchini, and of course a slice of lemon. Mine came with golden fries, my dinner guest opted for garlic mash which was really quite garlicy. She loved it but I would have tempered it down a bit as there is plenty of
flavour, including garlic, in the thermidor.

Finally, on to the Chocolate Mousse, presented in cute little Mr Whippy
arrangement with a swirl of cream, drizzle of chocolate sauce and a strawberry on top. There is not a lot of air in the mousse so it is quite dense. Although it is small I would say it is good for sharing after starters and a main.

So overall, the verdict is... lobster, I love you but I’m not in love with you. Guinea chick, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.