I found myself walking down Beach Road in Port Melbourne on a very moody Friday, early afternoon, just after I had handed in my final reports with a nervous energy that can only be compared to downing 5 cups of coffee in rapid succession (which come to think of it, I probably did that morning). I wasn’t going back to work, so I figured I’d kill time with a well-deserved lunch and beer.

Nautical at 3 Station Pier is the sort of large dock-warehouse kind of space which they market as a venue-type location. I spotted the lunch menu in one of the bay-facing windows and decided this was just the place to indulge a little in a lunch for one.

Which for some reason, the waiter thought was extremely odd.

In fact, I was treated as though I wasn’t even there. Nobody to take my plate, offer me another drink, offer dessert or any some such. I ended up getting bored and walked myself up to the bar and on the way, decided I’d rather leave.

Luckily, you can’t fault the food here. A bit pricey for some of the seafood dishes, my pork on asian style salad with a beer came to under $25, but I think it was worth it.

The crackling was crisp and light with the most succulent and juicy bit of hot pork resting atop the fresh asian tossed salad. (For some reason the picture makes it look quite dry, and I remember thinking that as it came out, but trust me, it was good.) The dressing on the salad was as sweet as the pork was salty and the only thing I regretted at the end of the dish was that there wasn’t more of it. I wouldn’t want to come here on an empty stomach – the portion sizes are smaller than average. Even the most venerated (and notoriously fry-sized serving) French restaurants around town give you more than that.

Like a lot of bay-side restaurants on a cloudy/moody Friday afternoon it was very flat, with a few scattered business meetings taking place and a couple of tourists – fairly miserable. I’d be interested to see how it goes on a hot summer night or as a venue. Given the service, I wouldn’t be coming here on a date unless they loved expensive seafood and views of the bay. My tip would to be to head down to the Stokehouse in St Kilda instead; excellent food, better views, better service.

Nautical Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Ambience: 2/10
Service: 2/10
Food: 8.5/10
Value for money: 5/10
Score (food is weighted double): 52%


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