Fine dining for the Saks of it

Written on the 15 September 2010

Dine under the sails of Marina Mirage and watching the fish glide through the still Broadwater, or enjoy the inside comforts of a modern, luxurious design.

FOUNDERS of Saks Restaurant and Bar Mario and Angelo Parente, happily present this ambience and aside from sumptuous cuisine; the restaurant they co-own with son Frank and daughter in-law Bianca is all about versatility and flexibility.

Versatility in that the restaurant is the perfect place to meet with a valued client or to reward a staff member, but with 220 seats and entertainment to suit, Saks is also renowned for its cocktail parties and functions.

Flexibility is the fabulous seasonal menu that offers a tantalising option to satisfy even the most meticulous fine-dining aficionados. After 25 years in the restaurant industry, the family name has garnered a healthy local following, much like the menu itself.

While this reviewer discovered various influences, Maria best describes the menu as ‘modern Italian and Mediterranean; including traditional favourites with a modern twist’. The acclaimed restaurateur also highlights the importance of supporting the local produce industry.

“Our emphasis is on fresh local produce. Seafood, steak, pastas – we also have a broad gourmet pizza menu,” she says.

“The locals love coming in regularly as they’ve known for quite some years that we put so much importance on our service and delivering what people have come to expect from us. They feel the warmth of our restaurant and everyone is made to feel very welcome.”

We certainly felt the warmth when we entered Saks Restaurant and Bar on a perfect Saturday – the aesthetics of the view heightening what we knew would be a unique dining experience.

A dozen natural oysters got things to start, closely followed by home-made duck spring rolls - Parente family style.

Served with sesame sauce and wakame salad, the spring rolls warmed the taste buds for the perfect combination of seared scallops served on a bed of celeriac puree, rocket shaved fennel and apple salad.

Main courses were another tough choice if not for a freshly caught snapper served with a Thai-influenced chilli, coriander and lime dressing came out on top along with the lamb risotto served with wild mushrooms and baby spinach.

The extensive menu is as innovative as the food is exquisite. The generous serves satisfy the heartiest appetite with nothing lost from the presentation.

For dessert we chose a home-made lime sorbet made by Maria served with a shot of limoncello and the Tiramisu home-made white chocolate cake whose tastes included frangelico liqueur, savordi espresso, a raspberry compote and white chocolate ice cream.

A meal at Saks provides insight into why this family of restaurateurs have become favourites with locals as well as interstate and international visitors.

Saks Restaurant and Bar defines how a contemporary restaurant can innovate to keep traditional flavours modern and exciting.

Whether it’s a fine dining experience, a lavish lunch to impress clients or a few drinks after work, the Parente way will delight you and your guests.

The restaurant’s April special is a three-course business lunch with the choice of four entrees and includes mains and desserts.


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