The latest high-profile restaurant launch for Crown Casino is The Atlantic. The much-anticipated seafood venture seats a whopping 300 people, with the kitchen headed by chef Donovan Cooke.
The Atlantic website promises: “an unrivalled selection of wild and sustainable fish, unique oyster varieties and pristine shellfish” with the philosophy of “ocean to plate” governing the menu. This means a daily changing menu inspired by the freshest seafood on the day.
As for the ‘sustainable’ claim, we’re not quite sure what benchmarks The Atlantic is using, though chef Donovan Cooke professes that he refuses to purchase fish caught using dredging techniques because of the damage this method causes. What he does serve is an extensive selection of fish, mostly from local waters. The day we visit there are 11 fish available both on and off the bone, as well as 5 different oyster varieties and a range of cold and hot seafood starters. The daily reprint of the menu allows for some impressive traceability – the origin of all fish on the menu is presented in brackets, reflecting a commitment to the “ocean to plate” ideal.
The usual culprits are available here - sea-cage farmed King Salmon and Ocean Trout, Snapper, and ‘Tuna’ (the species worryingly not specified on menu, but we’ll assume it’s Yellowfin). There are also some less-utilised local species available, noticeably Black Bream and Garfish on this occasion, reflecting the restaurant’s desire to ‘educate’ customers rather then just serving the same-old.
To conclude, it’s questionable how ‘sustainable’ the menu choices are at The Atlantic, the focus instead being on the freshest available seafood on the day. However, the menu is transparent enough that a customer can make an informed and educated decision about what to purchase. The use of correct fish names and statements of origin allow diners to accurately identify what they are eating and use a relevant guide. And, if you’re still not sure, the seafood knowledge here is such that they should be able to answer any questions you have… so ask away, consume sustainably and, as always, let the restaurant know why you’ve chosen the Bream and avoided the (unidentified) Tuna.